Head Topology_Research and Design

After researching a lot about Retopology and sculpting in Mudbox online, I also talked to some people in the class who had already started their head model before I had. Nearly everyone I had talked to told me that starting in Maya was was too difficult and that sculpting your head in Mudbox first then transporting it to Maya was the better option!

So, before I could go any further in this project I had to get my older sister to take reference pictures of my head.

My cringe worthy reference photos- apologies to your eyes dear viewer

So, I opened up Mudbox and began the process! Starting with a completely new software I had never used before was daunting but I felt calmer after watching this tutorial below.

Warning: Once you hear his voice, you will never be able to say “Foamy brush” the same way.

The Sculpting begins.

I worked very intuitively in my sculpting process, taking special care to not over work the polygon mesh. I also worked at level 1 for as long as I possibly could to avoid adding too many polygons. I only upped the subdivision levels when it came to the mouth and eyes. Only then did I realize that it was A LOT easier to work with the mesh haha! I also started to play about with the falloff options which greatly improved my process of sculpting the mouth and softer areas of the face.

My focus in the sculpting process was not on going into too much detail, but instead, on getting as much of a likeness in the simple details of the face such as the profile and curve of the brows without messing with the mesh too much.

The main tools I used were:

Grab and Wax Brush– used liberally for the beginning stages of shaping the head and main profile

Foamy brush – for adding finer details such as the eye lids, nostrils and eye brow hair (I also at some points attempted to use the knife tool but felt it was was too strong for just adding simple curves and natural dips in the skin)

Smooth brush – This helped me smooth down any part of the mesh which was started to look jagged or out of place

Pinch tool – extremely handy for areas of the face such as the bridge of the nose and edges of the lips

Bulge tool –  kinda similar to wax brush so I used this for adding volume to the areas around the cheeks to make the cheek bones extrude a little

I had originally planned on going with an open eye expression for my face topology and sculpture, however, while working in Mudbox I decided to go with my artistic flow which quite liked the serene expression forming with closed eyes. So, I quickly took some  more reference photos of myself with my eyes closed to refer to when designing my sculpture.

Finished products:

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Final Retopology:

Faces in total : 8,008

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Helpful additional reading:

These articles below were life changing for understanding the key areas of sculpting and retopology!



helpful for making the eyes:


helpful for making the lips:






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