I hope this isn't a common question; this is my first post so hopefully this makes sense.

I'm working on a personal project and I want to create an animation that will include a lot of different human faces. The faces won't be photorealistic, instead I want them to be sort of low poly and slightly stylized. My issue is, I've never worked with humanoid models before.. I've generally stuck with hard surface/general 3D modeling. Nothing as complex as a human character. Thankfully I really only need the faces and shoulders, not the full body.

I know I could just go online and watch a tutorial on how to model a human face, but I wasn't sure if there was potentially a way to streamline it a little bit. I'm totally okay with modeling a human face, I do want to learn more of what goes into it, but I might need quite a few different faces for the project.

My question really, is if there's a way to model a face and then make features interchangeable or procedurally generated. Features like - hair, skin color, eye color, maybe some extra smaller features like freckles but I really don't need anything extensive or highly detailed as the faces are not going to be shown for any longer than a second before another face replaces it.

I know this is a lot to ask for, especially since this is an ambitious project of mine, but I wanted to pick the brain of more experienced artists! So really any thoughts or ideas or suggestions are very welcome and appreciated.

  • $\begingroup$ Hey, you could have a look at unreals metahuman creator: unrealengine.com/en-US/metahuman $\endgroup$
    – Phönix 64
    Jun 9 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ Checkout Makehuman. $\endgroup$
    – Leander
    Jun 9 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ You can model your base-bust geometry and create shapekeys for variations. Then use geo-nodes or python to randomly drive the shapes. $\endgroup$
    – Leander
    Jun 9 at 18:49
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe you will enjoy this: youtube.com/watch?v=-QoLorR9qpY $\endgroup$ Jun 9 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ MB-Lab is an add-on for Blender that also lets you create humans. Hair styles (hair particles) you can create on a hair cap and exchange them or use the new hair curves which are extra objects in Blender 3.4. There is the USC - HairSalon dataset with 343 hair styles (the link seems to be down at the moment :-( but I still have a copy ;-)). Skin and eye colors can be changed with textures or just a few shader nodes. $\endgroup$
    – Blunder
    Jun 9 at 22:36

1 Answer 1


Actually this is not all that much to ask.

In MPFB (which is an addon for blender) you can model humans. This creates shape keys, which can then for example be animated.

See https://youtu.be/9jmTdhVjAsI for an intro to mpfb.

If the existing UI functionality is not enough, most of the functionality is exposed in APIs which can be called from a script of your own.


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