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CGMaster Academy – Character Facial Sculpting

CGMaster Academy – Character Facial Sculpting with Dmitrij LeppeeCharacter Facial Sculpting


Character Facial Sculpting with Dmitrij Leppee : A 10-week course in which students will learn the anatomy of the head and what makes the portrait tell a story and makes it “alive”

Learn to sculpt the human face

During this course, students will learn what makes the face look as it does—the underlying structures of the skull, muscles, fat tissue, and other structures such as glands which create and affect the forms of the face. Without a basemesh, but starting from scratch to get a better understanding of all the layers laid on top of each other. Once that knowledge is established, we will go deeper into what makes the portrait alive and tell a story.


LECTURE TYPE: Pre-recorded

FEEDBACK: Individual recordings

DURATION: 10 weeks

MATERIALS: Zbrush, a graphics tablet with a digital pen — no mice allowed 🙂

SKILLS LEVEL: Intermediate

PREREQUISITES: Intermediate sculpting or drawing knowledge. Course Pre-req: Intro to Production Modeling, Zbrush for Concept & Iteration, and Anatomy for Production


The more you know, the better.

Week 1 | Skeleton

Introduction | Going over anatomical references of the skull and neck bones, and explaining the benefits of learning what is “under the hood”

Week 2 | Cartilage, Eyes, and Glands

Further examining anatomical references of cartilage, eyes, glands

Week 3 | Head & Neck Muscles and Fat Compartments

Adding muscles to the scene, and fat tissue

Week 4 | Skin

Building a generic face by laying the skin layer on top of the previously created layers

Week 5 | Portrait

To get a better understanding of portrait sculpting, one portrait won’t cut it, so we will create a new one.

Week 6 | Retopology

Retopology of the bust and projecting back the details onto the new topology mesh. Clean topology will enable more efficient detailing, and later posing and expressions.

Week 7 | Refinements and Detailing

Final touches and tweaks of the portrait

Week 8 | Polypaint

Polypainting the color map

Week 9 | Hair

Sculpting the hair (or fibermesh or xgen)

Week 10 | Expression Sculpting and Pose — The Final Image

For this lesson, retopology will have a big impact, as the head will be much easier to pose. Rendering different passes in Zbrush and bringing them into Photoshop for compositing into a final image.

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