Sorry for not providing more info, I just don't know where to start with this, would be cool to learn how to recreate this effect.

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


That cannot be done with any photo filtering effect. If you apply some polygon mesh filtering to a photo it cannot create polygons which are like perspective images of polygons on a 3D surface. That's because filters cannot guess the missing depth info.

It can be a drawing where the mesh lines are drawn with extreme care to create an illusion of 3D surface mesh. Human reasoning has in that case had the needed 3D knowledge.

I bet it's a 2D image of a manually colored version of real 3D surface mesh. As well it can be a manually colored version of 2D image of 3D surface mesh.

Creation of 3D meshes is possible in 3D programs. One can also buy them. If a 3D mesh is too dense (=made accurate for high res 3D purposes) one can decimate it to sparse enough for 2D art like this.

Manual drawing of 2D image lookalike of 3D mesh is possible in drawing programs such as Illustrator or Inkscape. Technically it's easy, but needs an extreme ability to see the needed paths right. I guess people who made images as metal or wood engravings, had that ability but nobody ever asked them to imitate computer style surface meshes.

Actual detailed creation process in 2D and 3D are beyond the scope of this answer, but I can show a shaded 3D model of a simple thing (much simpler than the head) and the surface mesh of it.

enter image description here

In Illustrator one could fill the areas in the mesh for ex. with the shape builder. The mesh is finally a bunch of lines. The apparent nodes in your image could be round arrowheads in illustrator.

  • Damn, didn't think this was that complicated, this is beyond my abilities to recreate unfortunately. Thank you for the provided information.
    – Giancarlo
    Mar 10, 2019 at 7:22
  • I agree with @user287001 - this looks like a low res poly sculpt, completed in any one of the major 3D DCC (Digital Content Creation) packages out there (Modo, Blender, Maya, 3DS, Cinema4D, Lightwave) working in poly mode. I don't think it was done in a sculpting-specific tool like Mudbox or zBrush - really looks like straight poly modeling to me. The base head was done with symmetry on, and the mane had symmetry off when it was sculpted. Mar 11, 2019 at 15:21

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