Course: Creating a Realistic Head in Blender

Hello and welcome to this complete Blender tutorial series on creating a realistic head in Blender 2.6 by Kent Trammell.

This is a in-depth tutorial series explaining the creation of a realistic human portrait with Blender. The entire process will be covered from base mesh modeling, detail sculptingtexture paintinghair growing and styling, sub-surface scatter shading, and compositing. Some of the more time-consuming tasks will be time-lapses with commentary like modeling, sculpting, and texture painting; the other parts will be mostly real-time.

Editors note: This series compliments well with the Citizen tutorial on Particle and FurFemale Head series and Compositing in Blender DVD by Bartek.

DISCLAIMER: We cannot redistribute the references used in this tutorial due to the license, but we can use them under Fair Use laws for educational purposes. They’re not available for commercial use, though.

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40 Responses to “Creating a Realistic Head in Blender”
  1. Posts: 2

    Hi Kent,
    First of all, thank you for all your amazing tutorials.

    I have a question about settings that give realistic perspective in the viewport, mainly the lens angle. In this tutorial you’ve increased it to 80mm from the default 35mm – what was the rationale behind that? Also, when you convert to metric system – or relabel the units, since 1 blender unit is 1 meter – your head sculpt is the height of a person, 1.7 meters. Does this have any connection to the lens angle?

    Also, on a tangential topic, if you had to create a head with realistic dimensions, would you aim at the right dimensions from the start or for some reason make it much bigger and scale it down after it was ready? And would it even matter which way it was done?

    Thanks in advance for the answer.

  2. Posts: 5
    irishrose says:

    Normally a 35mm lens would not be an ideal portrait lens. You would have to get quite close to the subject in order to fill the viewfinder and provide good detail to the image. By getting too close to the subject you would introduce some distortion into the image. Normal portrait lens focal length is 80-about 105mm. I’m sure a professional photographer would be able to provide a better insight, but this is what I have found and read over the years in rl photography.

    • Posts: 60
      dolores 74 says:

      Thanks irishrose, I did the test. Always wondered why my character looks so weird in close up.
      I did the test. Posted the result in an image on my profile.

    • Posts: 1
      nbernardsen says:

      You have indeed avoided the widespread myth, that wide-angle lenses distort the image.
      The most common portrait focal lengths for 35mm film or sensor format range from 70 to 135 mm.
      70 being for the “american shot”, 135 for a close-up.

      The distorting effect when you get too close to the subject is caused by the fact, that the distance between the lens and the tip of the subject’s nose is significantly shorter than the distance from the lens to the ears. Thus, the nose appears to be comically large. With the right point of view a person can be made to look like a bobblehead doll in camera.

  3. Posts: 1
    doodyfed says:

    Guys..i got a problem with the course in sss part…in the video ..i saw when Kent add the back scatter. Epidermal . Subdermal ..but not the diffuse..
    How should I add the diffuse texture ..plz

  4. Posts: 59

    All your tutorials are so amazing. I admire a lot your knowledge on anatomy and your focus on knowledge about the subject matter as opposed to the software/technology. Thank you!

  5. Posts: 1
    lokifawkes says:

    Great tutorial, except the prerequisite is unreasonable and for even some of the most experienced and talented artists, unattainable.
    Generally, only someone already capable of everything the tutorial teaches would be able to do the first part at all, and only if they are “perfect” with the sculpt tool at low resolutions. In layman’s terms, kids, don’t try that first step at home.

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