• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL

Chapter 4. Organic Modeling > Creating 3D-Capable Sketches

Creating 3D-Capable Sketches

The task for this chapter is the modeling of a female head, which we first need to sketch out. I can unequivocally recommend the practice of working from a sketch or photograph when modeling; doing so will save you a lot of time. And in this way you can plan the expression on the face from the start and it will not remain—as with free modeling—left to chance.

Creating Sketches

We'll begin with a sheet of paper or an empty document in the graphics or paint program of your choice. Here we need only the most basic functions.

We'll start with a sketch of the side view of the skull, so we should choose a relationship of 8 to 6, that is, for example, an empty document in Photoshop with the dimensions 800 × 600 pixels. In addition, we will need four guidelines. A vertical line on the left should define a square field of 600 × 600 pixels, a horizontal line should divide this square exactly in the middle. A second vertical line should divide the square equally in the vertical direction, and a second horizontal line should halve the lower half of the square (see Figure 4.1).

Figure 4.1. Guidelines for the side view of the head

Sketching the Basic Form

To begin with, you should fill the left half of the square, starting at one-quarter of the height up to the upper middle, with a semi-circle. This will become the back of the head. On the right side of the square, there should be a stretched half-circle from the skull to the very bottom. This line flanks the forehead and face. You'll place the ear roughly between the middle and lower horizontal line, and the upper edge of the ear should protrude over the middle line.

Finally, a softly curved line should connect the middle point of the square with the chin (see Figure 4.2).

Figure 4.2. Sketching in the basic form of the side of the head

Cheek and Nose

A new guideline divides the lower quarter of the square again, evenly and horizontally. There, where this new guideline cuts through the face, you should add a curved line that reaches to the middle point of the square. This line defines the cheek, and later on the position of the lips.

The nose begins on the horizontal middle line, marks about one-third of the distance to the next horizontal guideline under the tip of the nose, and then ends at the halving of the halves of the square (see Figure 4.3). The tip of the nose should lie beneath the lower starting point of the nose (snub nose).

Figure 4.3. Sketching in the nose and cheek

The horizontal halving of the square also marks the height of the eyes. The eyes lie exactly on the middle line of the head. How deep the eyes sit in the head depends on measurements (see Figure 4.4).

Figure 4.4. Placing the eye

The Lips

Now draw a straight line from the tip of the nose to the point where the cheek line meets the face line. This line shows you the maximal bulging-out of the lips. The upper lip should be farther out than the lower lip. The lower lip is limited by the cheek line, while the corner of the mouth lies approximately underneath the eye (see Figure 4.5).

Figure 4.5. Sketching the lips

A straight line from the bridge of the nose directly in front of the eyes through to the corner of the mouth marks the position of the wing of the nose. Correct the path from the tip of the nose to the upper lip with a softly curved line.

Above the eye, you still need to add the brow. This should lie a good bit above the eye since it also marks the eye socket (see Figure 4.6).

Figure 4.6. Adding the wings of the nose and eyebrows

Now you can remove all guidelines and check the contours to make sure they're correct. Puff the chin out to the front a bit so that there is a small depression beneath the lower lip (see Figure 4.7).

Figure 4.7. Removing the guidelines and checking the contours

The Frontal View

This sketch will suffice as a reference for the side view. Next we will need a similar concept for the sketch of a frontal view. So that both views will fit together precisely later on, please use the same dimension for the height, that is 600 pixels. Select a slightly larger workspace, perhaps 650 pixels, so that there is more room to draw. The width should also be about 650 pixels so that there will be enough room for the ears on the sides.

Halve the 600 x 600 pixel plane with two guidelines (horizontally and vertically) and optically demarcate the extra 50 pixels at the bottom with another line.

Now draw an oval form in the square; the bottom should be a bit pointier than the top. Leave about 100 pixels free on each side (see Figure 4.8).

Figure 4.8. Guidelines for the frontal view of the head and outlines

Placing the Eyes

Measure the diameter of the head from the middle line and divide this distance into five equal parts. I have indicated this with vertical lines in Figure 4.9. These guidelines are based on the assumption that a head is approximately five eyes wide. From the width of the head, therefore, we can deduce the position and width of the eyes.

Figure 4.9. Five equal divisions of the width of the head

As in the side view, the eyes lie exactly in the middle of the head and therefore exactly on the halving horizontal. Sketch in there, on the left and right of the middle, two oval placeholders for the eyes (see Figure 4.10).

Figure 4.10. Sketching in the eyes

Construction of the Cheek Line

Find yourself a compass and measure the distance between the outside corners of the eyes. Then, using this value, draw circles around the outer corners of the eyes. Mark the place where these circles intersect with the vertical middle line. Using this trick we have constructed an equilateral triangle. This means that each side of the triangle is exactly the same length. In a paint program you can also achieve this by drawing a line from the left corner of the left eye to the right corner of the right eye in an empty space and then rotating this line by 60 degrees. Then move this rotated line so that the upper point lands in the corresponding corner of the eye. Finally, mark the place where the rotated line touches the vertical guideline (see Figure 4.11).

Figure 4.11. Guidelines for the nose and mouth

The Position of the Lips

Go one-third of the way between this point and the horizontal guideline and mark this position. This is where the nose ends. Now draw a generous arc from the horizontal middle line through the point in the triangle. This line marks the cheek line, something that will help us while we're constructing the mouth. Consider that this line on the side of the head will not be visible starting at the middle line. As you can see in the side view, this line begins at the ears and runs across half of the head (see Figure 4.12).

Figure 4.12. Sketching the cheeks, nose, and mouth

Sketch—underneath the cheek line—the lips. The lower lip should be a bit more voluminous than the upper lip. Place the corner of the mouth underneath the middle of the eyes.

Sketch the ears roughly; they should begin at the height of the eyes and end at the height of the nose marking. Now sketch in the eyebrows, whose outer edge should be directed a bit upwards. You'll begin above the inner corner of the eye and move outwards above the width of the eye.

Construction of the Nose

Sketch a triangle from the bridge of the nose, that is, from the position between the eyes on the vertical middle line, to the corners of the mouth. At the height of the nose, this triangle shows you how wide the nostrils should be (see Figure 4.13).

Figure 4.13. Determining the width of the nose

Don't try yet to limit the whole nose with lines. A sketched side line and the position of the nostrils are sufficient. As you can see in Figure 4.14, I have pulled the outer corner of the eye a bit upward, and pushed the cheeks outward along the cheek line. You can delete all the guidelines and scan both sketches into your computer or save them as TIFF or JPEG files on your hard disk. My sketches reproduced here are also on the CD.

Figure 4.14. Removing guidelines and sketching in contours

Deviations = Character

The relationships and rules for drawing a human head that I have described here are just rules of thumb. In order to give the head characteristic and unique features, small and intentional violations of these rules are necessary. The breadth and length of the nose dramatically changes the appearance, as do the thickness of the lips and the position and angle of the eyes.

Understand, therefore, that the foregoing description is intended only as a framework and feel free to make any changes you wish. Don't go crazy, however, because otherwise, the result might not look realistic. Often even the smallest changes result in huge optical differences.

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint