Step 4: Block out the mouth and the chin
For the mouth, I use the same methodology as explained with the eye. Beginning with the corner of the mouth, I start extruding out edges from a single face to create the ring-like structure of the lips and the surrounding area. Then I start to build the inner portion of the lips and the beginnings of the inner mouth cavity. Then I block out the chin by extruding some of the edges below the lower lip downwards and redirecting the edges, so they do not follow the ring-like loops started by the mouth.
Using the same methodology for the mouth and chin portion
Step 5: Build up the eye region
Back to the eye, I add further edge loops to add more definition to the mesh. I also flatten the area below the eyeball, to create a shelf-like ledge. This will act as the lower eyelid margin, referred to as the waterline. On the inner corner of the geometry, I model in the lacrimal caruncle, which is the reddish-pink fleshy area where the upper and lower inner parts of the eyelids meet. Then, I continue to extrude the outer edges outwards to begin forming the forehead and the bridge of the nose. At this stage, the geometry almost forms a mask-like shape. On the inner portion of the eye, I also extrude inwards to create what will be the cavity for the eyeball to sit in.
Continuing to refine the eye portion by adding extra edge loops and pushing the form
Step 6: Create the nose
Next, I introduce the nose. As with the eye and mouth portions, I begin with a single plane and begin to build outwards. I enjoy working with each part independently as it allows me to be freer to add and delete edge loops without having to consider how it affects the rest of the mesh. Although, I'm thinking about how everything will come together, I don't want this to dictate how I add detail to these areas.
Step 7: Create the ear
The ears come next and I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of ears. Not because I find them tricky, it's simply because I find them boring. But there was a time when ears were tricky and I would do my best to avoid them or simplify them. I realized the way to approach them was – as I have said on many occasions throughout the creation of this model – analyze the reference. Once I broke the reference down, I found I could pretty much apply a ‘paint by numbers' approach. So I like to break the ear down to its structure and areas of depression. The structures are: the helix and the antihelix, the tragus and the lobe. The areas of depression are: the triangular fossa, the concha and the intertragical notch. Once you have these forms in your mind, you can extrude rows of edges to follow the directions in which they run and then push in the areas of depression. Also, as the ears do not blink or talk, it's not like we have to be extremely careful on their topology, although for lighting reasons we shouldn't take too many shortcuts.
Breaking down the reference of the ear to guide the edge loops
Step 8: Combining the features
Once the eyes, mouth, nose and the ear are roughly modeled in, I start to fill out the remainder of the face. I begin by combining the mouth region to the eye region by selecting both parts and going Mesh > Combine. I then extrude the edges on the upper outskirts of the mouth and direct them towards the eye region. Adding extra edge loops to the cheek will help to fill out the volume and get it matching the reference better. Then I combine the mass of the face to the nose and play with the mesh to match up the forms. This is where you add an edge loop here and delete an edge loop there. Be sure to always tidy up the mesh as you go. I'm taking advantage of the Sculpt Geometry Tool to even out the edges. To weld all the necessary vertices, I'm using the Merge Vertex Tool.
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Bringing the mouth, eye, nose and ear together