The Headshot plug-in (opens in new tab) for Reallusion’s Character Creator (opens in new tab) allows users to generate 3D animated digital humans from one photo, and the SkinGen (opens in new tab) tool provides the most intuitive way to generate realistic skin details. SkinGen not only makes up for the photo resolution, but introduces more handy tools to inspire artists’ creativity.
In this article, Peter Alexander, digital freelancer, uses Character Creator, Headshot and the newest SkinGen tool to produce a likeness and caricature of Jack Nicholson with the goal of showcasing the latest features Reallusion has to offer.
Download a free trial of Headshot plug-in here (opens in new tab), and learn how to easily create a fully animatable 3D caricature model from just a single photo.
Finding a reference
My process starts with finding a suitable photo or likeness of the subject I intend to portray. In this case, I found a photo of a wax sculpture of Jack Nicholson. In the past, I have used reference photos of masks and resin busts. An exact photo is not necessarily required, but I would recommend loading a number of reference photos in an app called PureRef.
Initiating Headshot and matching source image
With the photo ready to go, I initiated Headshot. Once the photo is loaded, which takes about a minute, the goal is to block in the shape of the face so that it matches the source photo as much as possible so that it can be projected as a texture onto the 3D model. This can be repeated as much as possible until you get a good base texture to work with.
Fixing the skin flaws and adding details with SkinGen
After I get a solid projection, I load up SkinGen. There are many, many features in SkinGen that go far beyond the boundaries of this project. For my needs, I will be using it to blend out some of the flaws in the projection and add some realism using the effect layering system. The first thing I do is go to the Full Skin area and select an option that best matches the characteristics of my subject.
I choose the ‘Male Old’ skin set, which loads a series of layers for each body part (Head, Torso, Legs, etc.). I toggle off many of the layers as they are not suitable for this particular subject. One of the things I do is add a Face Decal and dragged it to the bottom most layer. I often do this to blend with the Skin Base, which in this case is the Headshot projection. I also add eyebrows, which can be accessed through the ‘Makeup’ area.
The combined effects are subtle, but that is what I want – a balance between Headshot and SkinGen, not one completely overriding the other.
Tweaking the existing hair content in ZBrush
I then apply a Marketplace hair style and modify it in ZBrush to so that it better suits my needs for the Jack Nicholson caricature.
Caricaturing the character - Jack Torrance from The Shining
The final steps involve exaggerating various features until it better resembles a caricaturized version of the subject. This includes increasing the size and proportions of the head, shrinking and adjusting the proportions of the body, and perhaps most importantly adding a signature expression. The version of Jack Nicholson I ended up referencing for the caricature ended up being ’Jack Torrance’ from The Shining.
You can download a free trial of Reallusion’s Headshot plug-in (opens in new tab), and learn more details about how to make good use of this tool from these tutorials (opens in new tab).