Sculptris Practice – Making Heads

We started learning about a new program, Sculptris; it’s very similar to Mudbox in that you can take a “lump of clay” and shape it into… well, whatever you want. We started off just getting familiar with the tools, which are very intuitive for someone like me – I don’t have previous experience with Mudbox (except for the very brief testing we did many months ago) and this program is meant to be far more intuitive.

Upon opening the program, there are only a couple of tools to choose from making the task of figuring out what they all do less overwhelming. The interface is extremely clean and I really liked it.


Tony demonstrated how we could take the default sphere we’re given when opening the program and begin shaping it into a head. I had to fiddle with this quite a bit and I still think my initial attempts were a bit lacking in detail; the head was a lot more square than the almond-shape we were meant to aim for.

Having gone through a number of exercises now from the initial head research, to making our own 2D designs, to finally physically getting hands-on with plasticine, I do feel like I have a MUCH better understanding of how to get something of a facial structure. The contrast of when I worked in Mudbox back in December:


I think the difference between then and now is more obvious than I realised when looking back on this screen capture. I better shaped the nose and added stronger facial features to the Sculptris model. I just need to be much more careful about the starting shape I choose for the head and neck before moving on to the other features. Heads are something we’re meant to have a good familiarity with, after all, and I need to give more time/attention to setting up my character’s head before rushing on to the features.


I really liked how the nose turned out – I think it’s his best feature! I think the eyes worked out quite well, too. Tony showed us how we could add new spheres into the scene and then adjust them to be the eyes. However, there was a lot more work that needed doing to this model. I actually asked Marc (who is far more experienced with this kind of art skill) to show me a couple of pointers and help me improve my head even further. When in doubt, ask for help, because after an hour of pouring over the finer details at home I think the head is WAY more improved.

The model has also been uploaded to Sketchfab for full, 360º viewing pleasure!

I desperately needed to add a jawline and define the lips/chin. I’d made cheekbones, but I hadn’t done a brow, which is why his forehead looked really off. I didn’t give him enough of a neck, but instead had merged the head into the neck. Overall, the difference of having some patience and someone critiquing your work is staggering to me. Marc also suggested it might be better for me to use a reference photo next time, so I don’t have as much trouble with the finer features and forgetting key parts of the facial structure. I really agree with this idea and will definitely do it next time.


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