Realistic Human Skull: Clay to 3D Render

For this project, my goal was to recreate a realistic human skull. By using the clay skull I’d created for the Proko Portrait Sculpting Course with oil-based Monster Clay and transforming it into a final 3D render.

I took 175 photogrammetry images to scan the clay sculpture. Then processed them using RealityCapture. I used ZBrush was used to clean up and refine the 3D model. I unwrapped the UVs in Blender. All the textures were hand-painted in Substance Painter.

Final rendering and animation were done in the real-time rendering software Marmoset Toolbag 4.

You can find a video detailing my approach to the process below.

Video – Breakdown Reel of Taking Clay to 3D Render

I removed my original clay teeth entirely and digitally sculpted new ones from scratch to replace them.

Photogrammetry using 175 photos taken with a Lumix G9 Digital Camera. Processing via RealityCapture. Finally, Zbrush for clean up.

I find immense satisfaction in the process of taking traditional medium work and pushing it further using digital techniques. However, the photogrammetry results did require a huge amount of refinement. Even when employing a much more powerful camera (previously I used a smartphone for this technique). Therefore, this is certainly an area I’m keen to explore and streamline. Overall though, pretty happy with the results.

My intention is to return to this project and create face and neck muscles to create a digital écorché.