Modeling Realistic Characters with Blender
An advanced-level curriculum teaching the ins and outs of modeling impressive, realistic characters from scratch with Blender.
This course delves deep into the art of character creation, inspired by the great character work from Blur Studios, Digic Pictures, and artists like Baldasseroni and Grassetti. You know, the kind of digital characters that make you think twice as to whether not it’s a photo. If character float your boat, this course is right up your alley. If you follow and apply this curriculum, by the end of the six-week schedule you’ll have a realistic character model that you can be proud of!
Watch this brief video to see what this course is all about!
Week 1 - Sculpting, Sculpting, Sculpting
Familiarize yourself with Blender’s Sculpt Mode, brushes, and various other sculpting tools. The point is to be very comfortable with Blender’s sculpting tools by the end of the week.
Week 2 - The Human Body
Understand how to shape an anatomically correct human body. The detail level should be between 50-75% including defined musculature while excluding surface details like wrinkles and pores.
Week 3 - Character Blocking
Block out all accessories for your character like clothing, armor, hair, etc.
Week 4 - Workflow & Retopology
Understand what makes a character model friendly to the production pipeline as well as Blender’s detailing workflow.
Week 5 - Detailing & Polish
Explore various techniques for adding high-frequency detail to your model’s surface.
Week 6 - Presentation
Learn and apply the importance of quality presentation for your models.
This course was originally created as a CG Cookie Workshop where registrants spent 6 focused weeks with the curriculum and 1-on-1 time with the instructor. We’re now inducting the curriculum into the CGC education library! Homework assignments exist as exercises and streams aren’t live but recorded from the workshop. So when you hear/see the word “workshop”, “homework”, or “livestreams” you know where that’s coming from
This course delves deep into the art of character creation, inspired by the great character work from Blur Studios, Digic Pictures, and artists like Baldasseroni and Grassetti. You know, the kind of digital characters that make you think twice as to whether not it’s a photo. If character float your boat, this course is right up your alley.
This course is organized into 6 weeks of curriculum. Students are expected to have at least an intermediate knowledge of Blender’s interface and modeling tools, as taught in the Blender Basics course and Introduction to Modeling Flow.
If you follow and apply this curriculum, by the end of the six-week schedule you’ll have a realistic character model that you can be proud of!
What level of skill is best for this workshop? Due to the complexity of 3D creation, it’s very difficult to teach beginners and advanced users with the same curriculum. Therefore, students will benefit most from this workshop if they come into it with at least an intermediate knowledge of 3D modeling with Blender.
Prerequisites? This is a higher level of education with more emphasis on workflow and artistry rather than the tools. Therefore the student will get the most out of the workshop if they’ve watched the courses listed below and are well-versed in Blender’s modeling tools.
- Mesh Modeling Fundamentals
- Modeling with Modifiers
- Fundamentals of Digital Sculpting
- Introduction to Hard Surface Modeling
- Introduction to Character Modeling
Examples of student work:
Lesson Questions and Answers
Ask a question and get an answer!Submit your Question
Is there a need for sculpting on a graphic tablet or is it possible for me to just sculpt with mouse?
I have this same question :p
It’s possible to sculpt with a mouse. But it’s kinda like writing with your feet
I was watching the Week 1 Live stream.
I know it’s an older video, but it kind irks me to not be able to say that I think the flame looked appropriate, it won’t look like fire until a shader is introduced. It’s the right shape. That’s what matters.
Also, it looks like a pepper. Not a witches hat.
Haha I can understand how that would be irking. But thanks for affirming the flame shape!
I took this course and it was AWESOME! There was talk about doing a similar one, but with cartoonish style characters. Is that still in the works?
Thanks coconutmonkey! Indeed it’s still my plan to do a stylized/cartoonish character workshop. I’m deep into our new FPS game character course at the moment. But it’s good to hear the interest is still there!
Is it a problem mainly on my side or file download is ultra slow? Less than 10 KB/s. I tried to download something from another website and the speed was fast.
It seems to be alright now. I’m downloading between 1-2 MB seconds.
The downloads are all served from Amazon S3, so it can be region dependent sometimes.
Hi, this course looks awesome and I’m thinking of getting my membership again to do this. I was wondering if any of the course files are necessary. If they aren’t ill get a basic membership. Thanks.
Kent can answer this better than I, but all of the techniques and workflows taught are applicable to most any workflows. That and applying them to your own models (rather than recreating exactly what is shown) is always a great way to test your skills and put what you’ve learned into practice.
I agree that applying the techniques to your own model is best, rather than trying to recreate exactly what’s demonstrated. But as far as source files go, you may find it useful to explore the final character model and also there’s a collection of male and female reference photos.
Download any course files here.
- Project Source Files pt 1( 289.9 MB )
- Project Source Files pt 2( 377 MB )
- Project Source Files pt 3( 801.3 MB )
- Introduction: HD Video( 31.9 MB )
- Week 1 Kickoff - HD Video( 20.8 MB )
- Approaching an Object for Sculpting: HD Video( 49 MB )
- Sculpting a Jack O’ Lantern I (TIMELAPSE): HD Video( 113.6 MB )
- Sculpting a Jack O’ Lantern II (TIMELAPSE): HD Video( 136.6 MB )
- Fallen Log (TIMELAPSE): HD Video( 149.2 MB )
- Candle Livestream: HD Video( 451.1 MB )
- Week 2 Kickoff: HD Video( 36.3 MB )
- Collecting Reference: HD Video( 68.7 MB )
- Starting Gesturally: HD Video( 261.7 MB )
- Gestural Block-In (TIMELAPSE): HD Video( 209.8 MB )
- Week 2 Livestream: HD Video( 685.9 MB )
- Week 3 Kickoff: HD Video( 25.5 MB )
- Overview of Blocking Character Accessories: HD Video( 143.1 MB )
- Blocking Fabric with Cloth Simulation: HD Video( 256 MB )
- Week 3 Livestream: HD Video( 755.3 MB )
- Week 4 Kickoff: HD Video( 37.6 MB )
- What is Production-Friendly?: HD Video( 39.6 MB )
- Gauntlet Guard (TIMELAPSE): HD Video( 98.8 MB )
- Gauntlet Sleeve (TIMELAPSE): HD Video( 230.4 MB )
- Gauntlet Straps (TIMELAPSE): HD Video( 86.5 MB )
- Week 4 Livestream: HD Video( 852.7 MB )
- Week 5 Kickoff: HD Video( 26.5 MB )
- Salvaging Detail: HD Video( 87.3 MB )
- Detailing Skin: HD Video( 203.2 MB )
- Detailing Armor: HD Video( 149.3 MB )
- Detailing Fabric: HD Video( 162 MB )
- Week 5 Livestream: HD Video( 7671.8 MB )
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