CSE 458

Computer Animation


Project #3: Head.

Assignment Details:

  • What to do:
    • Model a head from reference using polygon and/or subdivision modeling tools.
    • (Optional) Model the ear if you would like some extra credit, you need hook this up (merge vertices, edges,...) to the real mesh, not just combine objects (hooking the ear up in the mesh is tricky - ask the staff for tips). Please spend time making the head look good rather than making the ear...
    • Consult the anatomy reference below, and other reference materials, for help with the structure of heads.  It is important to use the muscle and bone structures as a guide in order to maintain a clean mesh (even if you are not attempting a photo-realistic representation of a head). You will be graded on the cleanliness of your mesh! Sites such as www.TurboSquid.com are good for examples of mesh layouts.

Reference text and tutorials:


    • \\Preproduction\production\REFERENCE - large reference repository on our network


Tips from a pro (Zhi)

    • What I like to do before I start modeling is print an image of the person and then just pen in the edge loops that I think will be needed for the 3D version.  This prep work makes it much easier during the 3D stage because you already have a good idea of where to place things.
    • Use the Convert to SubD function as a error checking tool. Converting to SubD requires that your mesh is almost perfect and error free.  If there are any problems, it will not convert.  You can then check the script editor to see what the error messages are.  (usually it's a non-manifold issue.  Go to maya help to find out what non-manifold means.)
    • You will be using  the extrude edge tool a lot for this project.  Make sure when you are undoing the most recent extrude that you undo enough times.  A lot of times you get stacked faces/edges/vertices because people only undo until they don't see the extruded face. Instead, they should be undoing until before the extrude tool was even activated.
    • START EARLY!!!  Besides the amount of time it takes to create a head, you will be running into problems on this project.  Nonmanifold geometry, edges extruding in the wrong direction, normals not pointing the right way, and exploding computers are just a few examples of things that you'll be facing.  So give yourself a lot of leeway and extra time to get this project complete.


         One unsmoothed maya file of the head

         Three renders from a smoothed version of the head. Images should be 800px by 600px PNGs and the heads should be well sized in the frame. The images should be from the front, view, and side.

         The turn-in procedures are to be done as usual.


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University of Washington, Seattle - 2006