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3D Stylized Head Tutorial

By Athey Nansel-Moravetz
Web: Open Site
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Date Added: 25th May 2010
Software used:
3ds Max

One thing that you have to take into consideration when modeling for games, is texture space. You have a limited amount of space for your textures so you have to be as conservative as possible. Of course, this isn't something you have to worry about at all if you're modeling and texturing just for render or for movies.

Because of the concern for texture space, things that are symmetrical are usually only textured for half of it, and the other half is flipped and overlayed with the first half. Faces are one of the things that are usually cut in half since a face is usually symetrical down the center.

Of course if you want to do something like have a scar on one side, or put little stars over one eye or whatever, then you'll need to keep the whole thing laid out and texture both sides of the face as a whole.

If you have plans for your face to have some asymetrical aspects to it, you may want to keep it as a whole unit, other wise you'll want to do what I"m about to do for the neck. The neck os definetly going to be mirrored as I see absolutely no reason to keep it whole, so I'm going to flip it right off. First select half of the neck, right down the center. We need to break these UVs off before we can flit it, so press Ctrl+D to detatch them at the seam. Next go to Tools > Flip Horizontal, and move it overtop of the other side so that tey line up. Select the whole thing and Ctrl+W to weld the two sides together

957_tid_068.jpg
Now the neck takes up half the space it used to. Space that can be used for far more important things.

Next lets focus on the face since it is the most important part. Since the mapping was cylindrical, it left the top of the head all messed up. There are most likely some faces all stretched out and going some weird-which-way that's causing the texture to look all screwy there. There isn't much we can do to fix the stretching because of the nature of flatening 3-dimentional objects, but since this is the top of the head and there will most likely be hair on it, it really won't matter much.

For now we just want to get the UVs a little cleaner then they are right now. If the top of the head has a polygon that's all stretched and stringy, pull it uv by uv to form some retangular shapes. This is what my initial cleanup on the face has resulted in

957_tid_069.jpg
The polygons along the very top are veeery stretched, so if I had any important texture information there, it would look very icky. Fortunetly, it's the top of the head and I plan on having hair cover it, so it doesn't bother me.

There are a few areas on the face that overlap that you may want to clean up some. Most specifically the nose area. The nostrils extend out but the uvs are unwrapped flat on from the front of the nose. Because of this any texture applied to the nostril will appear exactly the same on the faces behind it. This can make it difficult to texture around the nose

957_tid_070.jpg
957_tid_071.jpg
Select the parts of the nose that are being overlapped in the back and try to pull them outwards so that none of the polys are covering others. Try to be as gradual and subtle as possible when distrubing the UVs around the area so as not to create too many distortions

when I deselected the eye sockets, I left a small inner rim connected with the face UVs so that I could put in a gradual fade to the redish inner eye socket. This part is also overlapping a lot of the eyelid UVs so I'm shrinking it down into the eye area

957_tid_072.jpg

I also needed to pull out some overlapping UVs around the back of the ear, but I don't usually worry about this area too much since you rarely see the back side of the ear anyways.

At this point I've decided that I'm going to prioritize texture space over asymmetry. I'm going to mirror the face over so I can have more room for details on the face itself.

I selecte half of the face, detached it (Ctrl+D) flipped it horizontally, and moved it overtop of the other side

957_tid_073.jpg




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