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Sculpting the Planes of the Head

a fundamental guide to mastering the head with John Brown


Successful head sculpture begins with understanding where the vertical/horizontal planes and facets are, and the fundamental relationship the features have with them. In this tutorial, figurative artist and educator John Brown breaks down the life-size male head into a series of planes and facets, establishes the facial feature land marks, discusses depth, creating shadows and shares valuable techniques for sculpting the best head possible. John also demonstrates how to use templates, translate a 2D drawing to 3D, symmetry tricks, how to model a hard surface, and create a light-weight full-scale armature. As supplementary featurettes, we visit 3DScanLA and demonstrate the process of creating a digital model through Photogrammetry scanning, how to import into ZBrush, and the basics of cleaning up scanned data to create a 3D print ready model.

Duration: 3h 30m

Format: HD 1920x1080

John Brown

Character / Creature Designer Sculptor

With over forty film and television credits, John Brown’s skills as a sculptor placed him in the top live-action special make-up FX houses in Hollywood. Credits include Alien Resurrection, Species 2, George of the Jungle, Jumanji, X-Files, Mars Attacks, Bless The Child, Monkeybone, The Cell, Spy Kids, Scary Movie 2, Planet of the Apes and a host of others. John is also a bronze figurative artist whose sculptures reside in private collections throughout the United States.

  • In this new set of lessons from one of America’s leading figurative sculpting tutors – John Browns approach on how to sculpt the planes of the human male head is carefully and methodically explained. John’s teachings deliver a pragmatic set of simple to understand lessons that help ground the sculptor in the critical importance of learning the fundamentals of this art. It is these fundamentals that our creative team here at Weta Workshop value as the underpinning of our sculpting process – whether we are sculpting a hyper realistic figure or a more fantastical alien creature. Johns insistence that, all good work must be underpinned by a thorough understanding of structure and form, is also the cornerstone of our creative process .

    - Richard Taylor
    Co-Owner and Creative Director Weta Workshop