Making the head


We are assigned to start modelling our own heads in maya, a task that I have put off for a long time because of how much I do not want to stare at my face for multiple hours and realise all of the flaws (but mainly because of poor time management). The first objective was to get reference photos. (check). Above are the photos that I used to model with. I began by aligning them up in maya by using planes within it to highlight each making line within the face so as the images would be lined up as best as possible.

The first thing I discovered was how much I look like a frog, it has been a running joke for a while that I am a merge of a frog or a giraffe. This project has allowed me to resolve the mystery as I have now established that I am of course of a froggy decent.

From this I then started to apply planes to the face and begin aligning verts with the features within my face. This started the main basis for my topology.

Screenshot 2016-05-04 16.13.42
I then began buildings the main components of the face with simple mesh. Aligning the vertices with the side profile and then taking it to front view to then edit so as I could start to get some features looking somewhat 3D.

From this I then began to build the face out a bit more and started to connect the main components together. This task was a new one to me, learning new ways to connect verts other that target welding (we merged them). Also I began learning how to fill holes and learnt what you don’t want in a good mesh. (I was silly about to keep taking screenshots of my face without the mesh, so it kind of defeats the purpose of showing it un-fortunately)


But at this stage the few people that had seen my model so far had said it already started to look like me. Which was kind of awesome to hear as I never thought I could model anything that could resemble my face as I didn’t even seem familiar to it myself after seeing the many of photos of it for this project.

(I began checking for any mistakes as things had started to get a exciting so I wanted to check before going any further)

Screenshot 2016-05-08 23.46.26

The mesh was pretty simple at this stage and that was a relief as I thought it had no smoothness to it in any way and my fave is a pretty round one. I tried to achieve as much as I could with a simple mesh and  then I just kept on working.

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At this stage I was meant to start creasing certain parts of the geometry around the lips and eyes. But for some reason the mesh started to mess up in the eye overtime I did it, no matter where I creased on the model the eyes would go insane. I started to freak out things that the mesh was completely wrong and that I had random vertices attached to other ones creating weird things to happen. But all that it was, was the history needed deleted and the file needed to be reopened. This is what keep happening to the eye, when I tried to crease it. Other than that I didn’t run into too many other problems. But I probably didn’t give myself a big enough challenge.

When I mirrored the geometry over I found that my face was nearly 2cm wider on one side than the other. I had always knew it was larger on one side, but I never thought it was quite as much (which was quite hilarious to see). Anyway the was still a lot of work to be done at this stage.

Screenshot 2016-05-09 12.44.08

Foreheads are forever is something else I have learned while modelling my head. People say that you either have a four-head, a five-head or a six-head. But your fore-head goes the whole way round in this one, so it’s a fore-ever-head. Modelling the forehead was something I did find quite difficult though, and I’m not sure as to why. I think it is because the vertices need to be aligned so well that you can barely notice the movements as it  curves around the head.

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At this stage it is looking quite alien, and it’s only going to get more alien as it proceeds from the looks of things.

Making a sphere and aligning it to the mesh of the already existing facial features. This allows us to start merging the vertices and then deleting faces. after this you mould the head to fit a similar shape to yours. While doing this you have to keep in mine that the back of the skull begins to get wider. After you get the basis of this down you start to move the vertices so as they keep a constant rhythm going through the model.

Screenshot 2016-05-09 18.44.19Screenshot 2016-05-09 18.44.37

This is where I stop following one tutorial video and start searching for a good one of the ear. Once I found the ear tutorial I begins making the ear away from the head. I duplicate the side reference photo and then move is across so as to create a new work area.

I begin modelling the ear from a different tutorial and it’s not as scary as what I thought it was going to be. Within this video you basically extrude and add edge loops to get the basics of the ear made, then you play with the vertices to then start to form the movement and flow of the ear. Once you do that you form the depth.

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The ear was quite a fun and intricate bit to model. It was very hard to understand, but I enjoyed making it. I know I didn’t quite achieve the ear  I wanted but I worked with the time that I had. From this then came the difficult task of attaching the ear to the head model. This task freaked me out and I had tried to pre-plan it to the best of my abilities, but it still worried me as I know something bad was bound to happen. But the attaching of the ear did not go as bad as what was expecting and I found that the ear was quite easy to place and then align verts. When things go more difficult I was just able to add in edge loops to where I needed them and  then I moved some of them around to make it look more spread out and even.

Screenshot 2016-05-09 23.27.19

The ear was my favourite piece to model. From this I just had to start tweaking all the final bits, which I really did not have time for. I tried using the relax tool, but it moved the vertices in weird ways, so I worked with everything the best I could until finally I really had to submit. I’m happy enough with how it turned out. I was very scared of this task as every one freaked me out quite a bit from saying how difficult it was and from that I just kept putting it off with fear (which is a very stupid thing to do). But all in all, it’s not super difficult, you just need a lot of time for it and if I were to do it again I would give myself more time so as I would be-able to relax and enjoy modelling it.

Screenshot 2016-05-10 00.43.59

Final head, I wish I added a neck though….

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