To transform a cartoon character into a real human character you need good references to find the elements that define them. Most cartoon characters are very simple - especially characters from The Simpsons as they don't have much detail at all. I decided to choose a typical pose for Mr. Burns to give the human-looking model his personality. Other important things to consider were the facial expression, smile, teeth, long nose... these were good focal points to concentrate on for the modeling process.
I started with my standard head base mesh, which I built with ZSpheres in ZBrush (Fig.01).
Making the Face
To model the head and the face of Mr. Burns was a long process. The silhouette of his face was easy to build. I copied the typical shapes of his nose, chin and forehead, but the front view was trickier. After I added some detail to the face I used the Move brush in ZBrush to push around the face proportions until I was satisfied with the result. After that I concentrated on the rest of the fine details, like the folds and wrinkles (Fig.02).
The hair was created later with the Hair & Fur mod in 3ds Max. The simple haircut was easy, but I had to convert the hair into geometry to render it with V-Ray.
Texturing the Face
I textured the face in ZBrush using ZappLink. I used a photo reference, and projected it onto the head mesh. After some corrections I exported it to 3ds Max. I also used a subsurface mask and a specular map for the skin. For the details I created a displacement map in ZBrush. I rendered with V-Ray so I used the standard V-Ray material with the translucency function. This, in my opinion, works much better than the V-Ray fastSSS1. In Fig.03 you can see the settings I used.
I used box modeling to create the base meshes for the jacket and the neck tie, which I then imported to ZBrush. After correcting the proportions, I used the retopology tool in ZBrush to "paint” the mesh for the collar on the jacket. These new collar meshes were then imported to 3ds Max where I extruded them. Back in ZBrush I posed the arms and started modeling the details and folds (Fig.04a – b).