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Sculpting The Planes of the Head | In-Depth Tutorial

Sculpting The Planes of the Head | In-Depth Tutorial

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In this tutorial, we will be taking an in-depth look at sculpting the head.

The human head is one of the most difficult things to sculpt. I've seen artists go years without fully grasping the most fundamental concepts needed to work from the ground up. Instead playing around in the mud until something starts to feel right.

Well, that's no way to work, so in this tutorial, I will be demystifying the head by breaking it down into its primary forms. I will take you step by step through close to 20 different stages of developing the head to build one stage at a time on top of one another until we have a finished bust.

Covered in this In-Depth Tutorial

  • Learn how to sculpt the planes of the head, information that will be transferable to all your work moving forward.
  • Learn how to sculpt the head, eyes, nose, lips, ears, neck, and more.
  • Learn how to transition from hard planar shapes into softer, more organic forms.
  • Learn particular rhythms of the face to make it appear more masculine or feminine.
  • Learn how to create simple eyebrows, eyelashes, and paint to make your bust come alive.

Files Included:

  • Step-by-step, real-time video tutorial going through the stages of creating the planes of the head.
  • 17 Step by Step Female Heads starting from a sphere to a completed planar bust. (ZTL)
  • 13 Step by Step Male Heads starting from a sphere to a completed planar bust. (ZTL)
  • 3 Organic Female Heads (ZTL)
  • 2 Organic Male Head (ZTL)
  • 1 Final Stylized Female Planar Head (ZTL & OBJ)
  • 1 Final Stylized Male Planar Head (ZTL & OBJ)
  • 1 Final Realistic Male Planar Head (ZTL & OBJ)
  • Images of the stages of creating a planar head as shown in the video tutorial + final renders of the two planar heads.


1. Is this tutorial beginner-friendly?

Yes, even if you only know how to navigate in ZBrush everything is explained step by step. 

2. Will you cover how to make a female, realistic, or other head as well?

Because the planes of the head are exactly the same for all of these, you will be able to apply these concepts to any head moving forward with a better understanding of how every shape interacts and works together towards a cohesive result. Male, female, stylized, anatomically accurate, and everything in between. This tutorial also covers masculine and feminine rhythms, as well as anatomical proportions of the face. With all of this information, you should be able to move forward confidently to sculpting any head.

3. Which head are you sculpting in this tutorial?

I create the more masculine head featured in the images above, while referencing the more feminine model throughout the tutorial. Discussing differences between the two while pointing out anatomical norms to look for.

4. Why is sculpting the head so difficult?

There are many different reasons, but primarily for two major issues.

The first is that the head is incredibly complex. It is the most difficult part of the human body to get correct. Every facial feature affects the rest of head, all working together to create a cohesive whole. It's also the single thing people want to sculpt the most, typically attempting it too early in their career without a proper foundation of knowledge (what this tutorial provides). Thus hurting their confidence and making it difficult to progress without really knowing what they did wrong.

The second is that humans are very good at telling when something in the face is incorrect. We have spent our entire lives looking at people. And when something small is off, even for a stylized character, it can feel uncanny, silly, or just look plain awful.

5. Where can I get your brushes, etc?

Follygon's Brushes

ModMesh: Heads + ModMesh: Bodies

Sculpting The Planes of the Head | In-Depth Tutorial

Sculpting a Stylized Female Head in ZBrush

6. What software is used in this Tutorial?

This tutorial uses ZBrush to instruct, however, the information and ideas here will be transferable to any 3D software and even traditional real-world mediums.

7. How long is the video tutorial?

2 Hours and 50 Minutes

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Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
Robert William Chambers
Amazing tutorial

I've learned quite a bit from this tutorial and my sculpts now have an attractive form compared to when I tried to sculpt with only guesswork. The only thing I would recommend adding is a realistic female head in the files for the Final Planar Heads, as they are useful to 3D print and use as a reference, and perhaps a male version with the proportions of the Stylized Female head.