SQUARE ENIX – Modelling the Head


Modelling an ideal head is going to be hard for this project, not only is the head realistic but it is also stylised which means I have to try to match the style perfectly in order for my character to fit into this game world.

In order to make the head, I am going to work completely in ZBrush, this is a method people either like or don’t like. I personally like it whilst my tutor Andy Love hates the idea but its more about your personal choice, I start high poly and then work my way down to a low poly whilst some start from a low poly model and head on upwards.

In order to create the face, I will be using references from both the game and real people as it is important to places all the needed facial muscles and features correctly onto the mesh.

I also want to stay away from the Uncanny valley which is when something looks naturally eery due to it looking too realistic but at the same time you can see that its not real.  I had previously made a post on this subject during my project two but here is an example of the uncanny valley from medal of honor.

Fig 1: Uncanny valley: MoH Warfighter

You can tell its not real but it has this realistic feel to it all the same which is why it has been dubbed “The creepy wives club”.


Facial Reference


Some good reference that I found comes from the website selwy where I previously found some of the clothing brushes for ZBrush. Here I found some examples of muscle over a skull in 3D space so you could see if from all angles, though as I continue to do 3D I have started to memories certain places of facial structures which also aids me.


Fig 2: Skull and base muscle structure

I also used a number of real life facial references in order to see how facial shapes can differ, it can be hard to get a good profile image though but I have found one that was useful which can be seen in Fig 3.


Fig 3: Human Face Profile

and the most important reference for this project is in fact the facial sculpt from the Final Fantasy 15 title as that is what I need my character to look like.


Fig 4: Noctis from Final Fantasy 15


Fig 5: Cor from Final Fantasy 15

ZBrush Modelling


I start off with dynamesh wax sphere, this is just a simple sphere with dynamesh already attached at 128 resolution (changes how many polygons it will use, higher means more) and it also has the ZBrush skin material attached by default.


Fig 6: Blocking in the Head shape

My main tools for this are pretty much the same as when I sculpt the clothes but minus the special clothing brushes. I used the “Move” brush in order to shape the sphere quickly into a basic head shape.


Fig 7: Sculpting Basic Features

I start using the “ClayBuildup” brush to start getting some of the main facial features down such as the eye sockets, the nose and where the ears are going to be. I begin indenting in the cheeks and creating the cheek bones too.


Fig 8: Defining More Shapes

Using the “DamStandard” brush I start to create deeper detail such as the mouth and the nostrils, I use the “TrimDynamic” brush to get some harder edges shapes whilst I still sculpt the block elements which will be smoothed later. I filled in some of the cheek bones and started to form the chin


Fig 9: Smoothing shapes

Here is where I started smoothing some features, I have now added more skin over the indent of the cheek, the eyes have basic eye lids and the nose has been further refined. The mouth has started to take a more organic look.


Fig 10: getting worse?

It would appear as if my characters face has gotten worse, and it is true, I have had to move some of the facial features around since they didn’t match the proportions of the final fantasy characters.


Fig 11: Size Test

I decided to test the face against the pain protagonist’s head just to see if it was similar in size, which it was. This is good, its not the same as the protagonists head but its in a similar shape and size which is ideal, differences are what makes each character unique so I wont modify it any more to look like the main character.

head on body

Fig 12: Head on the body

I added some temporary eyes into the eye sockets and flattened the surface to imitate the pupil.


Fig 13: Side of the head

The head may seem a little small but this is because the hair is not created yet which is the next step I want to take.

I want to further improve this head when I can but for now this will work as a base for the hair and the body.





Christopher Alley, 2012. MoH: Warfighter – The Creepy Wives Club [online video]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLNeg7CJBME   [Accessed 3 May 2016].

IamMio, [n.d]. Final Fantasy XV – Key Info (characters) [online]. Available at: http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/final-fantasy-xv/articles/240705/title/final-fantasy-xv-key-info-characters  [Accessed 3 May 2016].

Jamie Fox, 2016. A2 MILK™ – UNCANNY VALLEY  [online]. Available at: https://jamieplus.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/a2-milk-uncanny-valley/  [Accessed 3 May 2016].

Josiah Brooks, 2015. Jazza 01 Neutral [online]. Available at: https://jazzastudios.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Jazza_01_Neutral.jpg  [Accessed 3 May 2016].

selwy, 2009. Models for free [online]. Available at: http://www.selwy.com/2009/face-to-face/  %5BAccessed 3 May 2016].

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