Section 8 (Part 2): Learn 3D Modelling – The Complete Blender Creator (Udemy) Course

In the past two weeks since my last blog post, I think I have been keeping good pace with my 3D modelling of a human head. In fact, I have already completed all of the lecture videos for this last section of The Complete Blender Creator Course. The idea now is for me to apply the knowledge I have learned in constructing my 3D human head model of Chagum, second prince of New Yogo in the novel and animated series, Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit.


To recall, from my previous blog post, the last thing I had done to my 3D model involved creating an edge/face loop for the eyes and mouth with the knife and rip and fill tools. In the updated screenshot (pictured above), I had used those face loops to quickly create several loop cuts, generating more geometry and allowing higher LOD (level of detail) to be applied later to the model if necessary.

Using the knife tool, I then proceeded to create and re-route face loops across the entire head (i.e.- the nose, nose bridge and across the cheek towards the jaw, outer contour of the face). This was a process that was extremely challenging for me; the concept of using and creating poles (where 3 or more intersecting edges join) while keeping geometry consisting of just quads in order to re-route face loops was difficult for me to grasp theoretically and to visualize, let alone execute in practice. However, I did manage to succeed after a bit of trial-and-error and am quite proud of myself with the results:


After creating and re-routing face loops, the bulk (approx. 80%) of the remaining lectures addressed lighting and material node setups (recall that I had shown the node editor and some basic node setups in modelling a fluffy bunny back in Section 6). This is because the instructor wanted to address the concept of photorealism in 3D model rendering. That is, in order to construct a realistic-looking 3D model or scene, it is important to understand the real world implications of light and colour and how we perceive and see things as translated in Blender (under Blender’s cycles rendering engine).

Now I won’t explain the theory behind each of the following terminology involved in Physics Based Rendering (PBR)you can research them along with PBR if you are interested – but here are some nodes in Blender that are worth considering for rendering a 3D image of a realistic-looking human head: Diffuse BSDF, Subsurface Scattering, Glossy BSDF, Layer Weight, Colour Ramp, Fresnel (I thought this one was the most interesting), MixRGB, Geometry, Hue Saturation Value (HSV).

Since I picked an animated/hand-drawn character, and as a result, will likely apply materials and textures in a way as to render it ultimately in a toon-shaded style, I have the luxury of not worrying too much about high LOD or having complex material/node setups. I am not looking to achieve a realistic look/rendering – just an accurate one as it pertains to the reference images.

Alas, back to modelling, the ear was the last requirement and was constructed separately from the head. Here, opposed to box modelling, the poly-to-poly approach was used to construct the outline of an ear from the side view. The ear comprised of two edge/face loops allowing for details such as ridges and the canal to be formed. The ear was then joined to the head mesh by bridging edge loops on both the ear and the deleted geometry on the head in order to obtain a single, seamless mesh. Of course, a mirror modifier was used/applied to acquire a pair of ears. Lastly, moving geometry about created a bit more definition in areas where it was felt they were needed the most:


As it stands, I am currently contemplating on whether to sculpt and add finer details to certain spots or just leave the model mostly as is. I would like to focus more on the material node setups to create the style that I want – that is, a more animated and toon-like one. Stay… tuned for the next update!

– Taklon