You're blocking ads, which pay for BlenderNation. Read about other ways to support us.

Behold.. Johann van Grosso


Pablo Vazquez creates amazing silly and cute characters. But not today. Check out this badass dude Johann van Grosso (a bust only). Pablo describes the process of its creation and shares the .blend file under a Creative Commons license.

Pablo writes:

August 2009, right after being rejected from the Durian Project.
I applied as many others to be part of this amazing adventure the Blender Institute was starting, but gotta face it, my "portfolio" couldn't show more than a bunch of cute n' cartoony characters..

Also at that time I was finishing Venom's Lab!, so neither had time to create something specific for it, so decided to go blind and start modeling a human head from scratch, with no real photo references (bad move!).


About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. It has a warhammerish fantasy looks to it... (omg it's a priest of Sigmar right? :) )

    Two critics mainly...

    1/ The modelling is not bad, but could be better, but if it is a first try, I guess it will get better.
    Eyes are still big, it looks strange... :)

    Check the image I've linked, I think it is close enough to serve as a "reference photo".

    2/ The compositing gives a nice effect, but the dude looks frozen (like dead frozen). It has the look of a corpse found on a glacier after having spent a week in the dry cold wind.

  2. A word of advice Mister Pablo Vazques:

    Learn to spot the comments and crits, separate the ones from jealous personal competition, you are way up as many.

    The model is PERFECT ! and the FROZEN look makes it look just original, scary and mysterious. Great Work. Look all the crap we see on TV today, children series are many times not even good at animation neither at modeling.

    To Mister aws357: Lack of creativity in your comment. Frozen Glaciar character? Well that's not a mistake, dumb... he made it like that in purpose, it is not a problem. Every composition is different the photo you just linked is good but a total different story....yours look like he is in the middle of flames and hot me is the same cliche...his is very ORIGINAL.....So? A tuna sandwich is not the same as a turkey sandwich....RIGHT? Neither one is wrong...just different styles, ideas and levels of creativity.

    Pablo: Congratulation for this amazing piece of work, your imminent success will bring hidden discomfort among the less talented people in the world. Thanks for sharing the file....I will spend quite some time studding it.

  3. Pablo you might not of got chosen for the Durian Project but your work is still excellent to me and i bet alot of people wish they could do what you do in blender.

    Plus that new model is great.

    Yours tate

  4. Wow Pablo! thats a great work you completed keep it up and by the way for me it didn't look like a first time.

    Anyways thanks for sharing your work.

  5. @blenderguy2008 chill please. I was just giving my 2 cents worth of advice. I'm not in the industry, and don't plan to sabotage anything. I'm not part of a megacorporation or on the payroll of autodesk... -_-

    As I said, it's nice and could be even better... if...

    But I guess someone has to be the bigger man here and play nice.
    I hope it will be helpful for Pablo, that's all. :)

    *hug blenderguy2008*

    PS : that's Dr. aws357 :p

  6. Horay! Thought only having tooney characters in portofolio is a bit lame. Congrats for starting to change things a bit. He looks cool, reminds me a bit of John Locke from Lost show.

  7. I really dig the big eyes. They make your image more styalized then most of the stuff out there - makes it stand apart. It also gives the character a bit of an inhuman or a demonic feel. Good for the gritty feel I think you were after.

  8. Definitely over composited. Textures and modelling are ok, but the rest needs some improvements. Nevertheless the fact that you share your file is great, thank you very much!

  9. Gotta agree with blendnmix, the model looks better in the image below with no composites, the composite on the piece feels like your trying to hide it, like how bad illustrators will hide a hand or a foot rather than draw it.

    The actual model doesnt look bad, eyes are a little big but it's not so much the eyes but the area of skin surrounding them, too much bulk around the eye socket if you know what i mean.

    Also the shape of the skull is a little off, the forehead if your looking at in profile should start to curve back a little earlier looks very flat, and it seems to lack definition around the temple area. And the brow seems off too.

    "Learn to spot the comments and crits, separate the ones from jealous personal competition, you are way up as many.

    The model is PERFECT"

    Never listen to anyone who says your work is perfect. Any artist in any medium should seek out constructive criticism and ignore such comments.

  10. Pablo never do advertise your work mixed with past failures...that leads to the enrichment of jealousy among the opposition. Most want to keep you in the darkness even unconsciously trying to mix the present with past failures. It happens at every level, Hollywood stars, Industry etc etc. Trust me on this one.

    About the word "PERFECT" is literally oriented to the technology available now. Neither playstation models, Disney models are perfect...simply no one can simulate a human at the point to not knowing if it is a picture or a computer graphic. Plus if you work out a model out of your fantasy mind that makes it more unreal....that's what audience want to see...things they don't see in the real world.

    Your model is "PERFECT"....changing this or changing that is simple personal opinion and taste.

    En la vida al crecer profesionalmente a pasos agigantados como lo haces tu, siempre creara la critica mundial, generalmente para mantenerte alejado como posible competidor. Mi unico consejo es simplemente trata the entender los comentarios que te sean fructiferos....habran muchos que son solo basura.


  11. Blenderguy2008, i dont want to get dragged into a discussion about this, but constructive criticism is essential to improving as an artist, if you want to ignore it go ahead. Nobody is trying to bring pablo down, its the opposite, trying to make him better. And trying to make people who give constructive criticism look bad is downright rude. Artist's help other artists by giving them constructive criticism, you are doing the opposite. I apologise for sounding condescending, but you have a lot of growing up to do. Your paranoid about competition and success. This is about art.

  12. """"""I apologise for sounding condescending, but you have a lot of growing up to do.""""""""

    Well when things are true....the fish dies by his mouth. Reviewing my work....who said it is not competition? You? That was silly and funny at the same time. the good crits....not all are valid...simply as that my boy! A survival thing. Being original is the key at some level...

  13. Ok well whatever floats your boat dude. Good luck to you.
    I noticed another thing about the piece whilst trying to convince him

    The point of focus in this composition probably should be the characters left eye (our right), You should invest some time in learning about the rule of thirds and divine proportion. A composition like this is perfect for applying divine proportions to, and i know its seems a bit like an excessive detail in a portfolio but it can change how someone psycologically approaches an image in a positive way which is definitely something worth thinking about in your portfolio.

    Right now the point of focus is the chain on his collar due to it being sharper it also lies dead centre in the piece horizontally.

    Good luck with the portfolio, can't wait to see more realism, you will have a very nicely varied portfolio with a few more pieces.

  14. hey blenderguy(funny story, I made an interesting typo back there with the U, and almost left it intact but why be such an ass): really, you're trying to turn every constructive criticism into an attack. Constructive criticism does not mean "saying a good thing for every bad thing" or even being encouraging, the first one might just not be possible and the second one is totally optional. Constructive criticism means giving objective opinions about aspects that can be clearly corrected(whether you choose to correct them or not), as opposed to just bashing the work on purely subjective grounds(of course there will always be some subjectivity, but saying "the color balance is off" is more helpful that simply stating "it is ugly I don't like it").

    I don't think it is perfect, though it is certainly closer to perfect than most works out there. Technically speaking, it is very good(though the first image was a poor poor choice), but "artistically"(a very loose term, I know), I think it is not on par with Pablo's previous work, which is understandable since he is exploring a completely new genre, and I'm pretty sure that he'll grow into much more accomplished pieces. For a start, it is outstanding and mind blowing.

    Finalmente, yo también se castellano y voy a poner un párrafo solo para figurar: así que aguante Pablo, y no te doy consejo porque vos sos grande y si llegaste hasta donde llegaste siendo un pibe de cuanto, ¿21?, de seguro que tus instintos están apuntados en la dirección correcta. Y generalmente no hablo con estos términos, ya que soy Chileno, pero si te trato de huevón tal vez te enojes, aunque acá así le decimos a los amigos ;) Suerte tocayo.

  15. Understood....however I stay behind my points. Do not say that the sandwich is incorrect because it has cheese instead of ham....Make a quotation of "Personal Preference"

    second: Never submit crits starting with: "YOU SHOULD LEARN", that puts yourself in a master position and the other one as a beginner's one, when the truth clearly shows all the way around! Personal points, recommendations etc COOL....but when you state that something is incorrect, or assuming the person is lacking some specific skill then it looks more as a mediocre competition for life. Unless you are a teacher, a Master at somewhere...but actually I reviewed some work from a couple in here...and they sadly have a muchhhhhhhhhhh low level of quality and creativity of what this guy has I do not get the word: YOU SHOULD LEARN....because you might be talking to the master and you are the apprentice! Plus my word of advice to Pablo is to discern the good crits from the worthless ones. Actually there are good ones here, focused professionally and technically helping him to improve future work....the selection of crits is his job.

  16. Amazing!!!!!!!!

    Overcomposed? .... I like it, i think that more than a character animation this is a just a picture that uses the 4d to express better the mud of the moment.... that's a terrible storm and all motion blur and camera movement as the "over compositing" helps a lot to express the feeling of being there.

    I don't know what we will see when Durian gets finished, but I think that this piece of work is amazing and raises the level of what i think can be made with blender.

    Best regards!

    BTW: I like a lot your cartoonish style work

  17. I am not even going to attempt to pass any crits for the fact that I fear your funclub and might get lynched.

    @blenderguy2008 this attitude is not cool! Dude people have a right to critises any piece of art work out there even michangelo and leonardo have their crits. I have seen work on cgtalk of a much higher caliber than this get crits. don't kid yourself the are points to critise even on this work. aws357 took the time to actually say what he found wrong in the picture and I agree with him on those points. Why his crits triggered this bit of irrationality from you is beyond me. Been able to critise artwork is seen as a mark of been a good artist.

    @pablo much respect dude, the compositing, lighting and material work are super on this piece, I am not a fun of the face modeling as some of the anatomy is off but it is still a great work. thanks for sharing the blender so others like can me learn from it.

  18. @Tyrant Monkey:

    It seems you did bot read very well what I wrote: "It depends of how you focus your crits makes you a professional or a Hyena!

    May be some here "SHOULD LEARN to phrase crits"

    About worthless crits in CGTalk....well, Hyenas are in everywhere! You have not discovered anything my Monkey friend.

  19. Nice work, Pablo! I LOVE that you model cartoon characters and you do it very well. Don't get sucked into the 3d gaming subculture of dragons, gore, ugliness. You have your own unique style!!! and are very skilled with Blender as you know! Don't loose sight of what you have to contribute as an artist.

    Other South American artists like your friend Pable Lizardo and the Paper Project are quite talented, too. Don't CAVE!

  20. @blenderguy2008: I don't think Pablo needs fanboys and champion protectors, in fact I think they do him more harm than good.
    Pablo has done a great job with this character and was courageous enough to admit his mistakes and show us his initial fumbling and mistakes with the character. He was also brave enough to depart from his usual style and do something radically different. He doesn't lack creative courage, for sure. I think that this example of attitude is a great gift to community, greater than the gift of a good model.
    These things said, I agree with most of the criticism here. I think that the face texturing can and must improved. I also think that there has been too much post-processing, to the point that I am not certain whether the focus on the neck chain was accidental rather than artistic statement.
    Nevertheless, it is a very good piece of work, despite its flaws. If the fact that I find flaws makes me an hyena, so be it. Hyenas are fascinating creatures after all...

  21. I know what is like to break away from cartoon modeling and than into organic modeling.
    it's fun! beautiful work with the textures."nice job".

  22. Oh yeah, horrible move not using reference photos! Came out awful (but in a good way). Unless you mean that it took longer than it should have.

    The results may be better without references, since you weren't stuck trying to make it look more normal, average, boring and human.

    The good thing about compositing is, it's easy to turn off, unlike a flawed sculpting job or lack of artistic vision. Or it's easy to turn up, if it will be part of a project that needs it for other artists' messes.

    Love the facial expression. And the music.

  23. No, I''m not twisting in my grave, I'm pretty much alive and I'm actually glad to see someone's hard work and artistic growth acknowledged.
    Durian is above all a learning experience and Pablo fits in.
    Way to go Pablo!

  24. Yeah sure...! That's called feelings of guilt in psychology...very common in this world.....appears basically when someone dies or gets in top positions jobs, then Hyenas seems to no laugh anymore...ha ha ha! Time will heal !

  25. Well, lemme tell you one thing, little hooligan. I feel no guilt about showing a bit of tough love to an artist, because I am neither fan girl nor flatterer. I had my share of those and their honeyed poison held me back. It was the harsh criticism by someone that cared about my art and wanted to see me get better at it that helped me.
    As for your armchair psychology, take it and shove it back where it belongs. It certainly looks like something that comes out of this place.

Leave A Reply

To add a profile picture to your message, register your email address with To protect your email address, create an account on BlenderNation and log in when posting a message.