I'm trying to create a side perspective view of a male face. I'm trying to achieve this without using an existing person as my goal here is to portray an artificial look, still retaining a realistic face. Just to clarify, I am not looking for any quick fixes, just ideas on how I can achieve this. If that means I need to learn a new skill, that is okay, I have the time for a steep learning curve. I just want to know if someone can put a name to what this would be called / the general idea of how it is done. I did some research on how to achieve this, but I have not been successful in finding much direction for a realistic look aside from drawing it.

I wish I could imagine a random face and draw it, but I'm afraid my skills are not quite there and this doesn't seem like the kind of skill that can be taught in the time it takes to learn how to use software, so I am looking for a software alternative.

I found a couple of examples of a similar end goal for the side view of a face, and a seemingly 3D software rendering of a human face as well, hoping that it helps get my point across.

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • The third image was made with a 3D program (99% sure). The lines you can see are the lines of the polygons the 3D Model consists off.
    – SitiSchu
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 7:40
  • If you're not planning to learn to 3d model it yourself or paint it in Photoshop, you're probably going to have to buy a stock photo. Like: Photo 1 or Photo 2
    – Joonas
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 7:51
  • Drawing realistic faces has much to do with light and shadow. If you know how to draw a face with pen and paper or paint you just have to use whatever tools you're comfortable with in either Photoshop or Illustrator (obviously it will be different tools / techniques per software). There's no solution to "generate" a face, you have to draw it yourself.
    – Luciano
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 8:07
  • It's unclear why you want to "generate" a face, as opposed to photographing one, drawing one, painting one, scanning a photo or image, using stock photos or illustrations. It's a little like asking how you can generate a song using a sound-editing program -- it's a broad a question with no reason given for your approach.
    – user8356
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 19:06
  • I am trying to generate a face because the goal of the design is to give the face an artificial look, and I am trying not to use others illustrations as I would like to make my own.
    – user72517
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 19:18

3 Answers 3


Luckily for you, there are some free options but you need to understand that achieving the specific look you are looking is a matter of actually working on that look.

First, the 3D model of the head

For PC there are a couple of options.

https://www.daz3d.com/ it is a big application but you have some basic male and female full bodies that you can tweak a bit, and export to another application.

http://www.makehuman.org/ it is another application where you export the 3D model

http://www.manuelbastioni.com/manuellab.php This should work on PC, MAC, and Linux because blender works on all platforms.

Step 2, the look

You need a rendering program to choose a type of lighting, and position of these lights, selecting the material, etc.

Daz itself can be modified a bit to generate some different looks, but it is a bit limited.

Blender is a much robust option. So you export the model from either of the 3 initial options and render it inside Blender.

Here you have a problem as I think you do not have a specific look. The first example you posted is simply a clay render with diffuse light. The second could be a backlight or a Fresnel render with no casting shadows. Both depend on the light and materials.

Adding efects

You then the export your final render to Photoshop and add the sparks and leafs, etc.


In Illustrator, Photoshop and other 2D image making software you must paint the face yourself. Of course you have a possiblity to cheat. You can take a photo or sevaral photos, combine and warp them to unrecognizable form and that way generate something which doesn't collect an army of solicitors demanding money from you.

Without relying on existing images you must have the talent and skill to paint it yourself. It's not at all trivial. You must at first be able to imagine it in detail and then output it as curves, colors, lights and shades.

3D sculpting software does not help at all, if you cannot imagine it in detail. But if you can, it gives to you a possiblity to have it seen from all wanted directions without repainting.

The demand of plausible faces is so high that 3D face generating software has appeared. They need a photo to start from. You can also input a list of parameters. They claim to be able to output properly modelled faces in minutes. I haven't used them, only seen the advertisements. Here's a couple of them:

Face Gen Modeller https://facegen.com/modeller.htm

Facial Studio http://www.di-o-matic.com/products/Software/FacialStudio/#page=overview

3D software have as add-ons face prototype libraries and also free face prototypes (=meshes) are available. They speed the process, but finally you must be able to sculpt it to have the details that fit together and create the wanted character.

Commercial face generating software and commercial face prototype libraries to general 3D modelling doesn't come out cheap.


You might draw a generic male profile line and auto adjust it with software to make different faces.

The profile path can be part of a blend, layer or group which works with another shape to make the back of the head.

If you started with several generic profiles and tweaked them randomly you may generate many unique profiles.

enter image description here

If you blend 2 different silhouettes with blending options set to specified steps these steps may look like unique individuals. If a script can be made to capture these inbetweens they can be used as "auto generated" faces, especially if you have many starting faces for the blends.

enter image description here

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