I want to make some photos of someone who does not really exist, but I don't know where should I start.

Initially I wanted to make a 3D head model by FaceGen Modeller and take renders of that to use in Photoshop, but even FaceGen can't make photos as realistic as I want. Is there any program that generates super-realistic heads in various camera angles?

What would you do if you were me?

  • I'd suggest if you want photo-realism, generating a face isn't the best approach. What's the best, most realistic CGI face you've ever seen in a big budget movie? Think Avatar or Beowulf - worked on by teams of top specialists with the world's best software and hardware - and they still don't quite look photo realistic. I don't know exactly what you're trying to do, but I'd suggest looking low-tech, using real photos of real people e.g. stock photography or hiring a friend/wannabe model. (Or, get as good as/better than the best in the world at Zbrush, Cinema4d or Maya & Mudbox really fast!) Aug 5 '12 at 21:53

Not exactly the answer you are looking for (different angles), but an example of something that can be done with overlapping pictures. When I read your question I instantly thought of "the average face", an experiment that used photos overlay to generate population's averages: http://www.faceresearch.org/demos/average

enter image description here

This site lets you play around with some pre-determined photos, but you could try something similar (not sure which software would be better for this, any ideas?). Problem is, unless you have pictures of different people in different angles, and overlay the same ones... you will only get frontal pics. But it's a plan B (or C) to consider.

  • 1
    +1 nice idea! :) If it really needed to be a face that doesn't exist, someone could get a couple of friends or cheap part-time models to pose for an hour for photos at a range of angles under the same lighting, then overlay the photos as required. Not easy, but seems much easier and cheaper than aiming for photo-realistic CGI or digital painting Aug 5 '12 at 22:01

Even Hollywood hasn't quite perfected it, though they're getting close. So, I suppose that's one option...use the technology that $100 million films have for creating photo-realistic renderings.

Granted, you don't have to ANIMATE a head shot, so perhaps you can get by with a slightly smaller budget.

Beyond that, since this is for a still, you might be able to get away with an 'OK' 3D model combined with a highly talented digital portrait artist who can enhance the 'wireframe'.

  • Pretty sure those $100 million dollar movies are still made with combinations of stuff like after effects, maya, cinema4d, etc. Not really some magic software, much of it part of the same suites we use, just stuff that takes years of work and training to master.
    – Eric
    Aug 12 '13 at 13:48
  • @user1803405 they tend to use proprietary software and hardware made for the needs of the particular film--not that amazing stuff can't be done with consumer-grade equipment, of course.
    – DA01
    Aug 12 '13 at 15:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.