modeling face - need tips

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modeling face - need tips

Postby dma2017 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:53 pm

Hi all,

I am very new at modeling, and I would like a few tips from the *pros*.
So, It's not really a problem with using makehuman interface, but more something like "how to model".
What is your process to model a face/head from the photo of a person ?
I imagine you select first the gender of your avatar, then go to modeling/face, set the face position to a position similar to the photo...and then ...
do you start with the head fat, or play with the oval / round / rectangular ??? what is the sequence of targets you adjust first ?
Many thanks in advance for the tutoring :)

-David
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Re: modeling face - need tips

Postby loki1950 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:50 pm

The best way just does not exist only the one that works for you but a good start is the major elements the head size and shape the order you apply them does not matter at all art of any kind is a personal process that improves with use.The more you do something the better you get mistakes are part of the process it's how we learn anything so start making the mistakes nobody has to see them but you ;)

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Re: modeling face - need tips

Postby blindsaypatten » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:27 pm

VscorpianC has a video on modeling using images:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2uOJmy ... x=8&t=330s
along with several more MakeHuman related videos:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... V2cNUFw4D0

It's been a long time since I watched hers so I can't remember the details of her method. A common approach is to take a frontal photo and draw horizontal lines that line up with major features e.g. eyes, top and bottom of ears, bottom of nose, mouth, chin and top of head etc. etc., and then use that as a reference background image.

Others may disagree with me, but I think it's good to have the right expectations before you start, and I would characterize MakeHuman as a character generation tool more than a modeling tool. You can create a wide variety of characters very easily, but don't count on being able to create a particular likeness, at least not without creating your own custom targets and/or using something like Blender's sculpting mode and/or other tools. You will run into things like wanting to lower the chin without also lowering the back corner of the jaw, and will find you can't do that just using the sliders. MakeTarget is your friend.

Something else you will come to realize is that MakeHuman is based on one character per sex for the three races on the main panel. If the character you want to model has very different features than those six it can be a challenge to get rid of the built-in features in order to get the ones you want. A good example of this is the male Asian character, which is a very particular type of Asian and for the majority of Asian characters it is better to start with the Caucasian model because you can't get from the built-in Asian male to the majority of Asian faces - it has too many features that can't be undone. See the "difficult to model Asian features" thread for some of my early trials and tribulations.

Forum user jujube produced targets that reverse the transform from the base mesh to the default characters so you can start with the fairly generic/featureless base mesh if the built-in character features won't let you get where you want.

Something else to help set realistic expectations, the development team doesn't include anyone working on the artistic/modeling aspects anymore. The development team is focused pretty much exclusively on programming aspects, and more maintenance than enhancements, so don't get your hopes up that modeling issues you may have will be addressed by the devs, they leave modeling aspects up to the community. The saving grace here is that there are several knowledgeable people here on the forums who are friendly and helpful. The guy that was the central developer on the modeling side moved on to create his on system in the form of a Blender add-on. When I went to check that out I was impressed with a lot of the modeling features, but in contrast to MakeHuman it looked like largely a one man show, there didn't seem to be any community per se, so not much in the way of assets either. For now at least, I find the community here more important than the modeling enhancements there.

Okay, that was a lot more than I intended to write, so I'll just say welcome and shut up now.
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Re: modeling face - need tips

Postby dma2017 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:11 am

@blindsaypatten, thanks a lot - that is EXACTLY the information I needed. It seems I have a few videos to watch now :-)
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Re: modeling face - need tips

Postby blindsaypatten » Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:12 am

dma2017 wrote:@blindsaypatten, thanks a lot - that is EXACTLY the information I needed. It seems I have a few videos to watch now :-)


On the off hand you don't already know about it, youtube has a speed setting (accessed by the gear symbol on the bottom right on the desktop version of youtube) that lets you speed up or slow down videos. Some tutorials seem to take a long time to get to the point you are interested in, and some go so fast you have to repeatedly replay in order to catch what they did, the speed settings are very useful for this. ;)
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Re: modeling face - need tips

Postby punkduck » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:25 pm

dma2017 wrote:Hi all,

What is your process to model a face/head from the photo of a person ?
I imagine you select first the gender of your avatar, then go to modeling/face, set the face position to a position similar to the photo...and then ...
do you start with the head fat, or play with the oval / round / rectangular ??? what is the sequence of targets you adjust first ?
Many thanks in advance for the tutoring :)

-David


I don't consider me a *pro* :shock: , but here is my method I used for my 4 girls:

  • I've first created 4096x4096 skins from existing photos (front-view, side-view whatever I can get). A diligent but routine piece of work, I know.
  • Then I need pictures of real front-view and side-view ... which is not simple because "these" girls I made often look shyly to the floor :roll:. Even if this sounds funny, but perspective is a big problem sometimes, believe me :(
  • I always create reference lines on the images of the faces, like Angela Guenette has done in her "Blenderella" video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=375LkBKnXy0. For the reference lines, you only need to watch this video, if look the rest of the series you need a lot of time ... .
  • I load these pictures into MakeHuman and put them into foreground, maybe 40% opacity.
  • Then I started with the macro-sliders, male, female, proportions, Asian/Caucasian/African etc. so that the head roughly is like it should be. Then I resize the reference-pictures in MakeHuman until they fit.
  • I continue with head size, form, forehead, nose, mouth, eyes and ears. First the sliders changing major things, then minor details.
  • I also downloaded the custom sliders. Some members, Lindsay, Jujube etc. allready noticed, that we needed additional sliders, e.g. for my Asian character I was happy to use these little helpers.
  • Typically my faces are symmetrical, which is, even on real models, normally wrong. But it looks better and the texture helps me out a bit.

I also tried to use an exported MakeHuman character and made last changes in Blender with the background picture. It is not that simple but produces best results. In this case MakeHuman only supplies the modified basemesh and you change what you want in Blender.

Speaking about targets: the funny thing is, that you can also create a target like e.g. the actress "Uma Thurman" in Blender. Then you start in MakeHuman with "neutral" female base head (slider is zero) and morph this until you see Uma Thurman. But that means to model the complete head in Blender modifying the basemesh and then using MakeTarget. So our members normally model only small modifications with MakeTarget and do not change complete faces.
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