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Making Of 'Jean-Luc Picard'

By Miriam Bonetti
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Date Added: 23rd November 2009
Software used:
Maya, Mudbox


Hi everybody! I'm Miriam Bonetti, I'm from Italy and I'm a modeler and texture artist for CGI film productions. In this Making Of I'll show you how I created Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek.

As I'm a fan of Star Trek, I decided to try to reproduce Patrick Stewart. He has a really interesting facial shape and I knew it was going to be challenging to achieve a good likeness. I found some good references on Google and then got started!


I did the base mesh in Maya, using lots of photos to achieve the resemblance. I found it useful to create a couple of image planes (front/side), and to set my perspective camera with a Focal Length of around 60/80 to correct the default camera's distortion, in order to reproduce the correct head proportions.

Here you can see a wireframe view, then the entire model posed. I also decided to model a simple background instead of using a blurred photo (Fig.01 & Fig.02). For the eyes I didn't use the classic structure (outer transparent bulb, inner textured bulb) but, as you can see in Fig.03, I modeled only one bulb, a concave torus for the iris and a black disk that simulated the pupil's deepness.

Fig. 01

Fig. 02

Fig. 03

When I was satisfied with the base mesh I made UVs with Maya's unfold option, which I find is a very quick and efficient tool (Fig .04). I sculpted my model with Mudbox to make wrinkles and obtain a more organic mesh. I imported the base mesh into Mudbox and subdivided to level one to avoid displacement errors. While working on this I modified the base shape, and after that I re-exported the new mesh, to replace the previous mesh in Maya, and a baked displacement map (Fig.05).

Fig. 04

Fig. 05

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