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Michael Koch created this realistically rendered female head as a personal project, in order to learn more about character modelling, and eventually about animation. An earlier image of her was featured on the cover of 3D Artist magazine, issue #30, which contained an article by Michael on facial animation in 3D Studio Max. This image was his submission to "ANIMAGO 3D AWARD 98," a German CGI Contest.

About The Artist:

Michael Koch is a freelance 3D artist and physics student located in Mainz, Germany. He has worked on games projects in the past and is looking for work doing video and film in the future. You can e-mail Michael at mindworx@geocities.com, or visit his web site at http://www.uni-mainz.de/~kochm002.

Behind The Scenes:

Michael created this model in 3D Studio MAX versions 1.2 and 2.0. For visual reference, he drew mostly from magazines and catalogues featuring attractive female models. He started modelling by drawing a spline curve of the silhouette of the head, and created patches to represent half of the head. He mirrored a copy of this to make the other side of the head, made more changes, and then subdivided the patches for refinements of the mouth, nostrils, and eye areas. The patch-based model was converted to polygons, to facilitate texturing and to be compatible with shape-animation plug-ins for Max which don't work with patch-based surfaces.

Michael painted texture maps from scratch in Photoshop for the color, shininess and bump of the model, and used spherical mapping around the head, blended into planar projection for the upper body and neck. In addition to the painted maps he added a procedural bump map to the skin texture, and added more variation to the surface by lighting it with "projector" lights casting patterned illumination.

Most of the hair was created with a particle hair plug-in, by Peter Watje, that was then in alpha testing. The eyebrows, eyelashes, hair strands and much of the main head hair was created with the plug-in, although some parts of the hair were added in photoshop afterwards, to conserve memory and save render time. At 1638x2250, the image still took about 8 hours to render on his computer with a Pentium Pro 233 processor. He plans on animating her in a role which might involve her speaking, and he might also create a body for her in the future.