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Sculpting Advice? Faces, details, anything really


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6 months ago, after following several of the sculpting forums, I decided to try my hand at sculpting.  I am getting over the mental hurdle of worrying about my first attempts being "good" and starting to just see how it goes.  I am trying to make this into a chibi style miniature and I am using other miniatures that I have to grasp scale.   I have included my inspiration image to give you an idea of what I am aiming towards. So first, what do you see going well or going wrong?  

 

Currently, the hair is hardening and I am trying to take a layered approach to have it look as much like hair as I can.  I think the longer strands will need to wait until the head is ready to be placed on the body and I will braid her hair down the back.  

 

I am not yet happy with her face.  It seems too gaunt to me.  How to "flesh" it out?  

 

I need some objective eyes to help me out.  

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Where do you want to start? I still seriously suck at sculpting but I do have a bag of tricks and I have learned a thousand wrong ways to sculpt. Okay.. the face I guess.

First, take a step back and look at the actual proportions of the human head; the face is roughly the same area - the same "footprint" size if you will - as your hand. The nose, eyes, mouth and chin are all contained in that small area.

Women have a broader, flatter forehead than men - maybe flatter is the wrong word; their foreheads don't jut out as much as mens foreheads do, and especially in anime/cartoons, females tend to have HUGE heads in proportion to their faces.

 

Errors or not-completed details I can see in your head sculpt:

 

1. The crown of the head is too small.

 

2, The cheeks need to be much plumper. This is really tricky to learn, you'll probably find that when you try to make the cheeks rounder, they'll end up too big. The secret - apart from learning proper anatomy - is to remember that you sculpting 3D, not a flat shape. There are lots of ins and outs and sticking-out bits on the human body and the face is particularly three dimensional.

 

3. Hard to tell for sure, but I think the lower half of the face is too long. I think it should terminate just below the nose.

 

4. And to add more complication, the nose may be too big. I would probably halve the size of the nose. Tweezers are helpful for sculpting noses btw.

 

The first thing I would do is add a very large amount more hair to her head, you're going chibi-style so you don't have to worry about adding too much. Pile it on.

Edited by Cosmic_Mastermind
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Thanks for the feedback so far. I'm going to try to work on the face this weekend and see where it goes.  

 

Cosmic - I appreciate your eye, I'm going to start by fleshing out the cheeks and building on the crown of her head.  I think that this may help balance a couple of issues including the size and placement of the nose and the length of the lower half of the face.  

 

I think the eyes are ok so far, but that a small bit of green stuff will let me make an "eye" in the socket along with lids and lashes.  This may balance the bridge of her nose, but comparing it to some of the chibi models I have, I don't think it is that far off.  

 

While I like the way the hair started (it made me feel like the mini stood a chance of looking something like my goal), I am going to pull it off and go bigger.  

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I shortened and undercut the chin and then cut off the nose. I redid the nose and then added on the cheeks. It seemed best to pull the putty from the nose in a line along the cheeks and then down the jaw. I extended the forehead and I added eyes in the sockets. It is better, but I may still need to add to the cheeks. Thoughts?

post-13838-0-08663700-1425181163_thumb.jpg

Edited by Arydis
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I shortened and undercut the chin and then cut off the nose. I redid the nose and then added on the cheeks. It seemed best to pull the putty from the nose in a line along the cheeks and then down the jaw. I extended the forehead and I added eyes in the sockets. It is better, but I may still need to add to the cheeks. Thoughts?

 

It's horrible. Your first version is better in some ways because the shape is simpler and softer - as a female face typically is. But, there is improvement too... If I hide the nose and mouth, you can see that the face does basically look female, the eyes and cheeks are there and you are closer than you might think to completing the sculpt of the face. 

 

jjjjj.png

 

 

You need to add a muzzle under the nose; the human mouth is slightly forward of the eyes, at the moment the lower half of her face is all flat, and her mouth is just a slit. Take a look at side-on pictures to get a sense of the shape of the human head.

 

SuperStock_4184R-12575.jpg

 

wobbles.jpg

 

http://sharenoesis.com/article/draw-female-face-profile-side/1195

 

 

Personally I would start a new head from scratch; keep the old one for reference but make a new one. It takes much less time to make the same head the second time because you've got the shape modeled in your mind.

 

There was an excellent guide to sculpting heads (edit - I missed a whole sentence here somehow) which I can't find at the moment, I'll have a look for it later.. I would start by making a tiny egg-shaped blob on a cocktail stick/toothpick, let it set, then begin sculpting a head over that shape.

Here are some I did ages ago when I was practicing and learning to get the shapes of faces right. Some male, some female. I realized that even though I had a good sense of what a human face should look like, when it comes to sculpting, you often have to take one step back and two steps forward, especially with Greenstuff because once the under-layer or underpinning is set hard, you can't so easily remove bits that are in the way.. I had SO much trouble with eyes I could cry.

 

Also, female faces are MUCH harder to make look right than male faces. You can get away with all kinds of goofy errors on male sculpts, but on female sculpts any error looks like an error, not just a "quirk". On the plus side it does force you to pay close attention to anatomy so you learn faster.

 

 

heads%20on%20spikes.jpg

Edited by Cosmic_Mastermind
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Your first attempt looks far, far better than my first attempt.

Aside from the good advice you have already received here, some advice I got when I started.

Use lot's of references.

Every sculpt you do is practice for the next sculpt you do.

Read and watch every tutorial you can to get ideas on how to do things.

Hope that helps.

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Well, back to the putty I guess!  To get this right will definitely require more work.  It's not like I could get it right so early anyway.  I'll pull some resources so I have references for different facial structures and make another go at this.  

 

I think as practice, I will go ahead and "finish" this as a first attempt.  Getting this whole sculpt right will take multiple attempts I presume.  I will go ahead and finish this sculpt and consider the whole thing a practice run.  If I take the time to get the head "right" and then put it on a deformed body, that would be ultra depressing.  

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Well, back to the putty I guess!  To get this right will definitely require more work.  It's not like I could get it right so early anyway.  I'll pull some resources so I have references for different facial structures and make another go at this.  

 

I think as practice, I will go ahead and "finish" this as a first attempt.  Getting this whole sculpt right will take multiple attempts I presume.  I will go ahead and finish this sculpt and consider the whole thing a practice run.  If I take the time to get the head "right" and then put it on a deformed body, that would be ultra depressing.  

 

I think the face is the most important feature on most miniatures, which is why I'm pushing you to do better. If you can just get the face right, you'll have a presentable miniature. I can give you a bit of a shortcut tip; make a small head or skull shape, roughly the same shape as a motorcycle helmet and press a large wedge into the front, a bit like this:

 

scribble%20head%20shape.png

 

 

Leave it to set hard, and then sculpt over the shape. The empty wedge will make it easier to add the eyes and to remember where the cheek bones should be. It's probably not the best method, but it sort-of works.. sometimes.

 

edit*

 

Actually, more like this:

scribble%20head%20shape2.png

Edited by Cosmic_Mastermind
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All my old bookmarks have expired. ::(:

This one still works, but it's a guide to sculpting a monster, not human faces: http://www.miniaturestudio.net/tutorials/test-page-1/

This guy - Tom Mason - has some great free video tutorials on YouTube:

Video tutorials for faces/heads aren't so easy to find if you want free ones, 28mm/32mm miniatures are difficult to capture on HD video without a professional quality camera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference image by Mati - aka Badsmile:

 

1npdkj.jpg

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Had some more time for sculpting.  Facial Sculpt study - Attempt #2 - The zoom feature on my camera shows me the limitations of the human eye and my need for a magnifying glass desktop lamp for sculpting.  

 

Stylistically, this is a departure from the chibi style I want eventually.  

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