Tutorial Head

I am but a man.

A man with a dream…

That dream: photorealism.

And today, I have come close.

Closer than ever before…

…by ONLY following tutorials.

It sounds crazy, i know, but I hope to achieve near-photorealism using only examples and knowledge found in online tutorials.

So far, I have accomplished this:

Now you can probably tell I used the below stated tutorials, but that’s okay. I just wanted it to look REAL. The above image is…um…not. real. But, It’s a good model (accomplishment #1, I’ve never been able to lay down a good head model, even with tutorials), and it looks at least fleshy.

Tutorials/Examples Used:
Detailed Head Modelling - Carlos R. Bisqurett
Modelling Ears in 3D - Carlos R. Bisqurett
Skin Shading using multi-layered SSS - Victor Malherbe
Realistic Portrait - Alt_Ligury (eyes)
Broken Shadows - Portrait, Grunge theme - Len (eyes and eyeball texture)

Make Texture Map
Give him a little hair, but he IS bald…
Jacket and shirt

If there are any unlinked items in the todo list, PLEASE suggest tutorials (especially hair).

I hope you like it!:smiley:

mikey_p, out.

Looks cool. The lips should probably have a different color. Did you use SSS and how did you get the ear to be pinkish so it looked like light was shining through it?
It looks really cool

Hey kyle, thanks! About the SSS, I used a node system involving 3 DIFFERENT SSS materials, so yeah. I used SSS.

To learn more about it and the other methods I used, check out the links under the image.

I have found tutorials for the eyes. I have modelled them myself and have constructed my own materials, and used the eyeball texture provided by Len on his Broken Shadows thread. My eye method is based mostly on the Broken Shadows Portrait by Len and the Realistic Portrait Tutorial by Alt_Ligury.

After a good bit of work and sifting and googling, here’s what I got:


Not too bad I think…you?

well, I like your eyes :wink: and the model above, for that matter…!!

GRACI! It takes about 10 mins to render, so development is slow, but I added the eyes to it and I realized: it looks TOTALLY out of place and that I need a good texture, so that’s probably next thing.

Okay, here’s the model with the head.



I’m beat.



well done on the eyes, but might I suggest Maq’s skin shader, it produces a lot more realistic results once you know the map layout,

Actually, that is Maqs shader.

Those eyeballs look great in that lighting, a higher res render would be nice. Thanks for putting that tutorial list together (and including mine… aww, shucks). One of Blender’s issues is that the documentation is getting there but scattered all over the place. I’m sure you will gather many people following how you do here.

A large clear (even lighting too) wireframe render (or screenshot from Blender?) and another without any SSS would help other artists give you feedback. You’re off to a flying start, but there are some small things that looked like they could be pushed a little further - shooting for photoreal afterall. Small things, but they can add up to distract the viewer.

Feel free to PM me if there are any issues with my tutorial.

Oh that is maqs shader. Well then texture it! haha, its the only way to unlock inner juicy goodness

Hey, ps, my computer’s been on the fritz and all I have access to right now is this little dell that I got at a thrift store for $15 USD. Soo…no blender right now. Another thing, BenDansie, I was working through your AWESOME tutorial then I realized that the modeling reference images I used SUCK as textures. They’re blurry and the idiot photographer used the (apperently) on-camera flash, so I have to redo the modelling probably. Does anyone know where to get really good (FREE!!!) modleing and texture reference images of a head? (preferably male)


Good and free (despite working for Blender) don’t often go together for obvious reasons. The above site has some reasonable images, but you might have to dig through a bit.

Good and reasonably cheap is easier to come by…

I almost left the above site because it seemed to be mainly gear for the program Poser (nothing against Poser, just don’t have it) but I stumbled upon the fact that the head photographer of www.3d.sk has an account here (possibly where he started off) with many quality sets. Renderosity registration is free, then after that you pick a set and pay through paypal, most of the sets are around $10 USD. Paypal is an option. Compare that to a full 3d.sk membership and you can save heaps if you only want one or two sets. There are sets by other photographers here and there I think, but his are the best (quality and range).

btw. One set usually has 40 or so photos, head and body - nude warnings where applicable if that is an issue.

When writing the tutorial - I intentionally didn’t use a model that matched the photos to show it could be done. It’s a whole lot simpler if they do of course. :slight_smile:

After a lot of thought and consideration, I have decided to restart on the tutorial head project. It will be two parts: 1) making a photorealistic female head and 2) making a more artistic/trippy version of the same woman.

I will open a new thread when I begin progress. I will post more pictures and especially in-progress shots.

looks like the halloween mask…

zymn: I was thinking the same thing…

Thanks for sharing the links. A lot of times you’ll see someone post results you like and it is nice that you share where you came from with those results. I also like your avatar image. :smiley: I’d love to see more updates.