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Before: enter image description here

http://cdn1.digitalartsonline.co.uk/cmsdata/slideshow/3513552/DAT_004.jpg

After:

enter image description here

https://m1.behance.net/rendition/modules/113025095/disp/9db2282a74ec5c6e7f48aeb0f9421e3f.jpg

Does anyone have ideas on how I would do this?

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    $\begingroup$ If this is possible its way outside the scope of something that could be answered here. In the image you provided it looks like each triangle was positioned by hand. The details around the nose and ears are more detailed than the hair or cheeks as an example. That isn't something that could be automated without some really advanced image recognition. However if you simply are looking to automatically color an existing mesh thats probably doable. $\endgroup$ Jun 7, 2017 at 22:53

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You'll still have to place the geometry by hand, but I've put together a simple material that will automatically set the colors for you. For this example I've used a triangulated, subdivided plane. Its not a bad result, but it does look a bit dry and grid like.

enter image description here

In order for this to work each triangle should be its own object with its its origin at its center. To do this quickly you could create your triangles as a single mesh object and then in edit mode press crtl+e and choose "edge split". You would then need to press p -> "separate by loose parts", after which you would exit edit mode and do a ctrlaltshiftc -> "set origin to geometry".

Input image: enter image description here

Output:

enter image description here

Update: Here's what my sample looks like after applying @3pointedit's suggestion

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ In addition to this I would drive a displacement of the geometry (vertically) with the source image then unsubdivide based on angle. $\endgroup$
    – 3pointedit
    Jun 7, 2017 at 23:59
  • $\begingroup$ @3pointedit Thats a really clever idea $\endgroup$ Jun 8, 2017 at 0:13
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah I accidentally did it a while ago, have a look twitter.com/3pointedit/status/733176875804057600 $\endgroup$
    – 3pointedit
    Jun 8, 2017 at 11:51

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