Sculpting Heads

Mudbox Bash Sculpting Heads Fast

This page is dedicated to sculpting heads in mudbox. Although these vids aren’t remarkably showy and most were demo’d while I was still learning sculpting myself the content is all based on the techniques I gathered and still swear by today. I go through each part and talk about how I’m thinking and the big things that are important. Although few of these videos I come out with finished awesome looking sculpts with a little more time and I’d have these models looking great.

This is where pot theory can come into it’s own, churn out the pots without trying to get super high quality, the faster you turn the pots the quicker you’ll get to being able to smash out quality work.

While learning sculpting I’d limit myself to just 20 min sculpts and try to get the forms in as soon as possible. This can be seen in the following sculpt.

Hulk Hogan – Based On Concept Art, by Unknown Artist, Sculpt by Andrew Silke 20 Mins

Follow some of the following tips and you’ll be busting out good heads in next to no time.

 

Working The Whole Head (17 mins)

When starting a sculpt the aim is to rough out the shape as quickly as possible. It’s best not to get stuck on details and instead flesh out all the main features as quickly as we can. This way we can see how all the parts link together.

1. Start with a big oversized brush and use the grab tool to shape the base mesh. W
2. Once happy with the shape divide up to about 100,000-200,000 polys.
3. Rough out the forms with the wax, grab and flatten brushes, pay attention not to spend to long on a given part.
4. Be sure to work areas of the model such and the neck shoulders60

 

Video 1.1: Roughing The Head (17:37 mins)
 

Video Notes

When starting a sculpt the aim is to rough out the shape as quickly as possible. It’s best not to get stuck on details and instead flesh out all the main features as quickly as we can. This way we can see how all the parts link together.
1. Start with a big oversized brush and use the grab tool to shape the base mesh. Work this base mesh until it’s in a very close state to the model. Use the wireframe mode (w) to see what the topology is going. We can use the freeze if we need to protect areas and make the neck smaller etc.
2. Once happy with the shape divide up to about 100,000-200,000 polys. This is a good medium resolution which will smooth easily.
3. Rough out the forms with the wax, grab and flatten brushes, pay attention not to spend to long on a given part. Don’t worry too much if the part isn’t perfect, move on and come back to it later.
4. Be sure to work areas of the model such and the neck shoulders and back of the head as they support the more interesting features such as eyes and mouth.

 

Ears Breakdown (10 mins)

Ears are a good part to practice as they are a complicated form that is relatively easy to master.
1. Hollow out a circle in the top half
2. Add the helix curving back inside the middle of the ear.
3. Create a peanut shape below the helix, this is where the hole goes into the skull.
4. Create a semi circle opposite the end of the helix
5. Create a fork in the top part of the ear.
6. push in the middle of the ear so it’s deep
7. Add details.60

 

Video 2.1: Ears Step By Step (10:50 mins)
 

Video Notes

Ears are a good part to practice as they are a complicated form that is relatively easy to master.
1. Hollow out a circle in the top half
2. Add the helix curving back inside the middle of the ear.
3. Create a peanut shape below the helix, this is where the hole goes into the skull.
4. Create a semi circle opposite the end of the helix
5. Create a fork in the top part of the ear.
6. push in the middle of the ear so it’s deep
7. Add details.

 

Nose Breakdown (15 mins)

Noses are another shape that’s relatively easy to master.

1. The nose is a cube like shape, slightly triangular. It can have a staircase kind of look to it on older more greek like noses.
2. Where the nose joins the forehead it goes diagonally into the skull. This area is actually the skull coming down to meet the nose.
This area is also the area that most distinguishes males from females. An overbearing forehead is male a softer forehead is female.
3. At the end of the nose is a rounded sphere. This is actually two pieces of cartilage. On older people we can see a slight gap in the middle of the nose, but on most noses it is hidden and round.
4. The wings come into the nose like a teardrop
5. The top lip facial area meets the nose about one third to half way in the profile.
6. The nostrils from below can have a slight peanut shape to them.
7. The very edge of the wings can spiral into the nostril.60

 

Video 3.1: Nose Step By Step (15:58 mins)
 

Video Notes

Noses are another shape that’s relatively easy to master.
1. The nose is a cube like shape, slightly triangular. It can have a staircase kind of look to it on older more greek like noses.
2. Where the nose joins the forehead it goes diagonally into the skull. This area is actually the skull coming down to meet the nose.
This area is also the area that most distinguishes males from females. An overbearing forehead is male a softer forehead is female.
3. At the end of the nose is a rounded sphere. This is actually two pieces of cartilage. On older people we can see a slight gap in the middle of the nose, but on most noses it is hidden and round.
4. The wings come into the nose like a teardrop
5. The top lip facial area meets the nose about one third to half way in the profile.
6. The nostrils from below can have a slight peanut shape to them.
7. The very edge of the wings can spiral into the nostril.

 

Eyes Breakdown (21 mins)

Eyes can be tricky. The easiest way to sculpt eyes is by using primative spheres or the pre built eyes as eyeballs and then sculpting around the eyes.
However I prefer to sculpt eyes as an exercise to help my ability to sculpt tricky areas.

1. Eyes are smaller than you may think
2. Think of an almond shape
3. The upper inside edge can be slightly higher and the lower outer edge can be slightly lower.
4. The tear duct is like a circular like shape that is on the inside eye low so that tears can drain out of the eye.
5. The brow sometimes dips down to overlap the outer edge of the eye on some faces.
6. Create the iris with the wax tool, be gentle.
7. The pupil can be hollowed deeply into the eyeball, this is a sculpting trick but also mimics how eyes actually work.
8. Use the pinch and sculpt (vwrinkle_vdm) to sharpen the edges. 60

 

Video 4.1: Eyes Step By Step (21:10 mins)
 

Video Notes

Eyes can be tricky. The easiest way to sculpt eyes is by using primative spheres or the pre built eyes as eyeballs and then sculpting around the eyes.
However I prefer to sculpt eyes as an exercise to help my ability to sculpt tricky areas.

1. Eye balls are sphere’s they’re smaller than you may think, on a realistic face they’re about the size of golf balls.
Eyeballs sit up and under the protection of the brow.
To sculpt holoow out the eye socket and then build up the spherical shape with the wax brush. Smooth is back and check from the profile and below to see if it’s spherical.
2. Add the top lid and bottom with the wax, thinking of a nice almond shape. The top lid generally overlaps the bottom lid. The lids may come high/low but generally meet the corners of the eye.
On older people we can see eye bags which droop down from the corners as well.
Check the eye lids from the side and below.
From the side we should see a clear v where the lids meet the eye ball. the inside of the eye should be back and hidden in the profile.
From beneath the eye should be very circular.
3. The eye lids should make a simple shape where they meet the eyeball. The upper inside edge can be slightly higher and the lower outer edge can be slightly lower. Note the shape of the lids change depending on where the eye ball is looking.
4. The tear duct is like a circular like shape that is on the inside eye low so that tears can drain out of the eye.
5. The brow sometimes dips down to overlap the outer edge of the eye on some faces.
6. Create the iris with the wax tool, be gentle. We can mask the area with freeze and invert (shift i)
This iris can have white below but generally not above unless the character has a very surprised expression, though this can be broken with very cartoony eyes.
7. The pupil can be hollowed deeply into the eyeball, this is a sculpting trick but also mimics how eyes actually work. We should see the full circle of the pupil otherwise the character will look sleepy.
8. Use the pinch and sculpt (vwrinkle_vdm) to sharpen the edges. Go up another level to get detail in the eye.
 

 

Mouth Breakdown (22 mins)

The mouth can be a tricky area. but with practice it can come together. Sometimes I find my mouths just work, and other times I find it can be a bit of a fight to get them right.

Video 5.1: Mouth Step By Step (22:13 mins)
 

Video Notes

The mouth can be a tricky area. but with practice it can come together. Sometimes I find my mouths just work, and other times I find it can be a bit of a fight to get them right.
1. from below the mouth curves around the face like a semi circle. They can be a little square with planes but they wrap around the face.
2. Build the top lip with the wax, be sure to know the “M” shape of the top lip. The top lip is made of three parts. Two outer parts and the inner bulge. This can be exaggerated or minimised depending on the character.
The top lip generally comes out over the top of the bottom lip in most people unless they have a large over bite or are pulling a strange expression.
The top lip can be tricky because it’s not a sausage shape which is easy to sculpt. In profile it’s a sharp point at the top of the colour change which then rounds down backwards into the face.
3. Build the lower lip with the wax. The bottom lip is made of two bulge shapes that come together. Sometimes it can appear as one simple semi circle.
The edges of the lips have little change in form so make sure the edges of the bottom lip don’t go too sausage like. The change in colour is just that… colour, not form.
4. Pay attention to the sagging area below the edges of the bottom lip. The lip ends below the bottom lip where it meets the chin.
It the profile the nose/top lip/bottom lip/chin can look a bit like a reverse staircase.
5. The smile line comes from above the nostril down to the edges of the mouth, but be sure to give some room as it doesn’t touch the corners.
6. Check the mouth from below to see it’s form, it should be rounded back into the face with a slight squared look.
 

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