We have in Blender a very powerful tool for accurate reconstructions of history. Many of our great statesmen, leaders, innovators and artists are poorly illustrated or inaccurately represented in contemporary styles. With the current versions of MakeHuman and LuxRender, we Blender amateur artists have an opportunity to bring these great persons to life and add more interest to their stories. A perfect example is William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) English actor, playwright and poet.
There is probably only one reliable image of Shakespeare, even though there are claims to other likenesses: a monument in Stratford, many controversial portraits and even a “death mask”. A sensible, logical decision is to accept the ubiquitous etching by Martin Droeshout the Elder as the true representation of Shakespeare and this leads to the following features to be included in the model-
large frontal cranium bone
subtle cheek profile
slight assymetry in eyes
long ear lobes
weak moustache and goatee
Some assumptions need also to be made-
eyelashes to be included
dark brown hair
good physique for the time
Planned workflow -
Create a rough model; export MHX.
Import MHX scale 0.1.
Import .obj ready for modelling.
Delete MH eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes, teeth and gums.
Delete lower body.
Create lighting on separate layer.
Manipulate vertices referring to reference image.
Work on left and right separately, make asymmetrical.
Start hair on separate layer.
Start eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes on separate layers.
Generate UV map.
Manipulate UV map to give most efficient and effective use of area.
Export UV .png image.
Texture Paint model to create an additional main features guide.
Export Texture Paint map.
Use UV .png image as baseline.
Use additional Texture Paint topology guide.
Add additional layers -
epidermis diffuse, mainly green, colour
skin tone variations
skin bump texture
texture mixing map
freckles, blemishes, spots.
UV texture maps imports.
Check UV maps on model.
Fine adjustments to model.
Create LuxRender mixed materials.
Test render with LuxRender.
Repeat from “Manipulate vertices …” again and again and again …
Subsurface division x1, then Repeat as above.
Hair will be created as mesh, particles-to-mesh and cylindrical strands.
Each eye to be made from six separate parts.
Eyebrows and eyelashes cylindrical meshes.
Clothes will be duplicated from body mesh and modelled.
The first stage involved adjustments of the default male figure in MakeHuman to give a basic likeness of our hero. The available controls are getting easier and more powerful with each daily update of MH. The model was easily exported into Blender with the new facility and it was imported at a scale of 0.1 into Blender. Previous transfers showed that this scale gives a model which was similar in size to other artists’ models. More accurate modelling of Shakespeare’s physiognomy is currently being carried out in Blender - a vertex at a time. We’ll see how it goes …
Vertices = 9550
Effort = 3 hours (excluding research)
Gimp = 0 layers
Texture maps = nil
MakeHuman 1.0 Alpha 6.0