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Master MODO portraits: Perfect the geometry of a male head

By Bert Heynderickx (aka Alberto Ezzy)
Web: Open Site
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Date Added: 16th October 2014
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Step 7: Fitting a hat to the model's head

The hat is a model that I purchased from Turbosquid for a different project, but I felt it had the right look I was going for with this character so I decided to use it here. At first, it didn't fit the head model at all! So, under the Paint Tab > Sculpt Tools, I choose the Move Tool to gently and smoothly move parts to kind of mould the hat around the head.

Again, I keep the 2 viewports set up so I can have a clear view of what I'm doing.

The Sculpt Move tool provides an organic way of moving geometry around

Et voila! From a Lieutenant in the desert to a Greek fisherman!

Step 8: Create the eyes and position correctly

Human eyes are about 24mm in diameter. So here, I make 2 spheres of that size and position them accordingly. I also choose to assign a Material to them by pressing the shortcut key M, and assigning a unique name to the material. That material will have a very slight amount of reflection. And that's all there is to it! The rest of the eyeball doesn't have to be modeled because it's already scanned. And the different image maps and SSS we will apply in the Skin shader will provide a very convincing-looking eye.

Eyes. These are not yet windows to his soul, but we'll get there!

Step 9: Mastering eyelashes

First of all, I tried this technique for the lashes: I selected a row of edges, converted them to a curve, and duplicated one lash along that curve. But I didn't like the result. To improve things, I place, duplicate, rotate, and scale them all manually. They are barely visible in the end result, but sometimes it's these little details that make all the difference when it comes to capturing a believable human character.

I really wish there was a ‘make lashes' button! They are a lot of work...

Step 10: Other scene elements

Background elements to frame the fisherman character include a water plane, underlying ground, a few boats, and a wooden pier. The pier is modeled with basic Primitives such as cubes and cylinders.

A bit of variation and deformation can then be added with tools such as Bend, which deforms geometry in a curved manner. And don't worry: things will become more visually appealing at the texturing stage, which we'll tackle in the next tutorial – coming soon!

This is the wooden pier, waiting to become a background asset, which will be shot out of focus

This concludes the geometry/modeling part of this tutorial series. In the next installment we'll take a look at the creation of the different image maps that we will apply as textures for the skin, hat and shirt. Stay tuned!

Top tip: Smoothing Angle

To get a good representation of the geometry in the viewport, set the Smoothing Angle of the material of the head higher, then the usual 40°. I used 120°!

The amount of degrees to which the Smoothing Angle is set can make a big difference on bringing out the details of the scanned geometry

Top tip 2: How to apply a Matcap Shader

First, choose from the list of Matcap presets in the Preset Browser Palette. Then go to the Shader Tree and Add Layer/Special/Matcap Shader. Make sure it is placed above the Base Shader! Then you can choose your preset in the Image drop-down list. I like the Skin2 preset. You also have to be in Advanced OpenGL mode to see the result.

This is where the Matcap Shader should be positioned in the Shader Tree

Related links

Download a free trial of MODO
Discover more free tutorials for MODO from The Foundry
Find out more about the AMD FirePro™ W9000

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