Dylan Gottlieb rendered this image, called "Portrait" in Alias|Wavefront's Alias Power Animator 8.5. Dylan originally created the woman as a character in a student film. His original film had to be completed in a ten weeks time frame, included modeling, texturing, animation, rendering, editing and sound effects. Dylan did "everything but the music" by himself.
After the film was completed, he decided to "clean up" his main character, and reworked the modeling and texturing produce this image.
Dylan has a Bachelor of Arts in Illustration from Rochester Institute of Technology, and is now earning his MFA, also at RIT. Dylan says he "wanted to be the best artist [he] could, before even touching a computer." He says that, after initially wanting to study animation, he has since "grown a love of modeling and painting textures." See Dylan Gottlieb's more recent work on his web site http://www.Dylan3d.com/.
The original version of the woman model for the film, was created using "the skin curves from the mouth to back of the head method." with the nose and eyes trimmed out and blended to the main surface. "This in my opinion is very sloppy" says Dylan.
To rebuild the model after the film was completed, Dylan projected lines onto the surface of the original model, and skinned [aka lofted] these new curves together from ear to ear. That, along with some heavy cv pushing and pulling... created a single surface head."
"My favorite though is texturing. I painted her completely in studiopaint 4.0. The model itself I think is simple and uninteresting. Create some really interesting color, bump and specular maps and it comes to life. Finally I added particle hair with collisions on, so they would not go through the hat, and particle fur for the collar." explains Dylan.
The image below is a wireframe view in Alias of the newly rebuilt head. The mouth interior has been hidden for clarity.