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Blender is a powerful open-source tool for 2D and 3D graphics, full-on animation, compositing, and post-production. It is used to create movies and special effects, even in HD. In Blender Essential Training, Roger Wickes offers new Blender users a thorough explanation of its interface, tools, and features. He also demonstrates practical techniques and shows how to access the online and openndash;content resources of this amazing tool. Specific 3D techniques covered include navigating in 3D space, using cameras and lights, and rendering. Roger demonstrates how to rig, animate, and composite a character over live action. Exercise files accompany the course.
So now it's time to give captain knowledge a face. So we are going to click here and you can start with any major facial feature either the eye or the mouth. Let's start with the eye. If we can get the eye right, the rest of the face is easy. First of all, set expectations just like your hand, your first face is going to look like an alien. That's why we have kind of picked an alien looking face here. And eventually you will get better and better at it, at following the face topology. Getting a good face is all about getting a good topology. Topology as these lines right here, the lines of the face and how the face flows.
If you are not an artist, tag along and you will hopefully get the hang of it. To start with the eye, I like to start with a circle, have about 8 vertices. The other secret to getting a good face is to start small, start with a very few vertices, start with a blockhead and then work your way up. A lot of people like they try to start with this really high res face and it just doesn't work because there is just too many vertices to mess around with.
So here we have our first circle and I like to position it just like we would our iris. Then we can extrude this forward until it meets about to the middle of the eye. Now, we can begin with the eye shape. What we are actually making is the eye socket. I'm going to go ahead and scale these out a little bit, so they are easier to select. You can just start grabbing one, and following the outline. Now, you know why I scaled it out, so that it would be easy to grab. I'm looking over here and making sure that I'm grabbing the ones in the front, and actually if I'm getting confused, I can just Border Select and hide those.
So now I can't even select them. Now that I have the basic eye shape, notice there is more vertices around a smooth curve than there are around a straighter edge. I can select all of these and now I need to arrange them. They are arranged in this view, the front view, but now they need to be arranged in the side view. So now I just go around and I trust my drawing. I trust my artist. He is a really good artist and I know that he has worked out all these perspectives. Now, my background images are probably not going to be perfect and anytime you draw the same face twice, he is not going to be able to line it up perfectly.
But we take this front face because this area, the corner of the eye here corresponds to the corner of the eye here, and this corner of the eye corresponds to all the way back here. So what we are doing is we are taking this 2D, and we are stretching it in 3D space here. If you select a vertex and you only drag on the Green Arrow in this view, it doesn't change the location in this view over here.
So all I have to do is pull these vertices back to match the orientation here. Now, I have a great 3D eye socket. Select all, Extrude, drop by clicking and then S to scale them out, and now we do it again. Well, this time we've followed the outside of this outline. So we just grab and drop, right- click, select, grab, G and drop.
Then over here, we work in this view. Likewise in this view if I drag it this way, I don't affect the location in the other view. I can't capture quite all of the detail of this curve because I just don't simply have enough. So now we can select this Edge Loop again, Ctrl+E, Edge Loop Select, Extrude, Drop, Scale. Now, though we have the outside of the eye socket, the next line that we are going to follow is the eyebrow line, and that's going to be up here which conveniently is also the helmet line.
Now, remember what I said about no straight or parallel lines when you are modeling any kind of organic form. Always make sure that there is a line forming here. There is a line here. See that's almost too straight there? There we go. That's a little better. Also, in this view, make sure there is always a curve and continue on like this until we end up with this shape. And that's it. We are done with the eye and ready to move onto the mouth.
So now when we do the mouth, we are just going to take six vertices. We'll start with the lower lip and Ctrl- click once, two, three, four, five, six, and I don't want that edge there connecting the lower lip to the eye. That will look kind of weird. So now I have these six that I'm going to use to start to define the lip. I have defined it in this view. Now, I come over here and start to align them in 3D space.
So we are going to bring those up to the front. You can see that his lower lip juts out a little more. Then the next one is about the same distance backwards or forwards or whatever you want to call it. But then this one is way back here. So this is the lip line here and the lip line over here. All right. A little bit of adjusting there to follow the lines as best we can with the number of vertices that we have. Really this one should go down a little more. Okay, now we are going to take this lower lip, these three and just extrude downward and move it forward.
Notice these little gray lines here. So I'm just going to follow those, 1, 2, 3 and go ahead and extrude down, over back here. Now that I have done 3, I have to do a little adjustment. I don't know what the vertex is. That one got in the way. Good deal. It's starting to look pretty good. All ready, and then 3 more.
Notice I'm starting to run into this face line here and one more time down to the bottom. So now, we are starting to run into the edge of the chin. So what to do? Well, we want to trust our lines. Just like when you are flying, you got to trust your instruments sometimes. This line represents the front on view, not necessarily where the face starts to actually start to curve back.
There is a line right here where the face actually starts to curve around and then this is the outside edge. So right about here is right about here. So this is where we want to start to tuck the face backwards. Now, when you make a cube, you start with a plane and then what you have to do is take two of the edges and extrude them. But now notice I'm over here in this view, grab them back, take one of these edges, extrude just the vertex, and then with that vertex selected, select 1, 2, and 3 more to make the edge of the box.
So now, I have started to make a little box. Now, I can take this box and extrude it back to make the underside of the chin. His chin goes dramatically up. We definitely have a Jay Leno chin action going on here. But now this one defines the outside edge. That's the lowest point that we are going to be able to see in our character. The rest of this is up underneath. When you are underneath the chin comes down a little bit and we can stitch too if we get off and extrude downwards and then make these four faces, 1, 2, 3, 4.
Now, the front of the face, the topology, kind of goes like this because you have the whole chin action going on. So your chin kind of looks like that. That's your chin line. The cheek line goes the other way and it starts to go like that. That's the topology of the human face. That's the way we can start to get the chin action going on.
At the same time get that tuck that happens right under the lips. So now we can just start with the top lip and select these four vertices here and extrude them upwards. Now, underneath the nose, it's pretty flat, except there is a hard edge there that allows us to pull our lips up. So there needs to be a little bit of an edge there, so you can bump that. I'm going to go ahead and do 2 there and now we have the same kind of a box problem where we need to make a box for the nose.
He has got a very boxy nose. So if we just take these three and extrude them in this direction, we now can take them to face just those two in the front if you will, move them up a little bit and extrude upwards to make the bridge of his nose. Now, we have created a right angle, if you can see that. So what we need to do is make our box. So we'll extrude upwards with just that just vertex and then connect these four vertices to make the side of the box.
Now, the face line, you have your nostril. But for now, we are good to go. The nose actually gets wider towards the nib of your nose, and then it gets shallower and then it gets wider again and it's pretty complicated, a little air passage there. But we are going to go ahead and extrude this upwards. In the front here as you can see it's getting wider. So we are going to do that. So we get a little bulb of a nose and then it gets a little narrower and then up towards the bridge of the nose.
Shift+Select both of those and grab and it gets wider up here. Now, we can see it looks good over here, but looks terrible here. There we go, and we keep filling in and extruding until you get something that looks like this. Now, there is a couple of things going on here. Notice the cheek line and how I followed the mandible up just by extruding those few faces to make it empty shell like that.
Then when we merge in the eye and we go stitch the eye to the cheek, we have our completed mesh after we apply our Mirror Modifier. That's how you do a face. We can go ahead and render this using our cameras and our lights. We'll activate those layers, and we have our low-poly face. Once we apply our Subsurf Modifier and now when we do the render, we have a nice little mask of Captain Knowledge. Let's go over to the Subsurf Modifier while we are at it.
There is a couple of different levels that you can set based on the power of your computer. In 3D View, you set the number of levels here and adding more and more levels adds more and more detailed fine mesh. However, I kind of find that gets to be really dense and really confusing. Crank that down a little bit, but then when you render, you can crank up the resolution and have a finer and finer mesh. If I rendered with this Level 1 pressing F12, pretty blocky.
Cranking it up to Level 2 is better, but I can still see some of the gradients. Level 3 is pretty darn good. So Level 4 is great. Optimal Draw just simplifies the 3D View and only shows you the basic edge loops and you want to use that if you are working still in Edit Mode, or if you have a lower powered computer. The Subsurf should be applied after the Mirror, so that the basic mesh is mirrored, and then the entire mesh is sub-surfed.
Last, but not least, we've got to add on the ears.
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