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Timelapse: Modeling a Human Head in Blender with BMesh


Working also with NURBS and T-Splines concepts such as N-Gons is very familiar to me when it comes to locally subdivide the mes for detailing. Blendercookie made this timelapsed movie demonstrating the workflow BMesh will bring to you, which eliminates many old school mesh clean up tasks when subdividing faces or edges by hand.

Blendercookie writes:

I spent a couple hours the other day testing out the development version of BMesh for Blender by modeling a human head. There are a few quirks here and there but overall it's wonderful! The NGon support for non-destructive mesh modeling is fantastic.

The model is far from finished but it was a good way to test BMesh.

Music by Enzo Carlino.


  1. Amazing modelling, whether Bmesh or not! I'm starting to wonder whether I should download a Bmesh dev version to get up-to-date just like I did with Cycles, I'm just a bit scared that I won't know where to start or what the new keyboard shorts might be... very tempted, off to download a copy now :)

    • It really isn't that different. Some menus changed a bit (especially the X-Key delete popup menu), but essentially all the tools you are familiar with are still there. Most changes are under the hood, in the code, but transparent to the user. You can still keep your old workflow, only now you have more freedom and some additional tools at your disposal (try the K key for the greatly improved cut tool!).

  2. 50 mintues in, crashed once, but yeah, seems very good - not found any real world tutorials which would be nice - most are just demos like I expected - it's early days I guess. I've been modelling with blender for so long with it's restrictions, hard to get my head around having more to play with, if you know what I mean. The Knife tool seems realy cool - can't remember the last time I used the 'K' key. Wonder if it's now possible to follow some modelling tutorials on modo, max etc - have to have a look around and see. :)

    • You're discovering the same thing that I did while making the above timelapse. The Bmesh system is far less restrictive but because of this I had to reevaluate a lot of the ways I am use to modeling. You can see this particularly when I was modeling the ear, I had to do it a couple different times because I wasn't use to the new tools. Of course, Bmesh does not force you to change any of your modeling habits, but it opens to the doors to let you model less destructive, which is exactly what I was trying to do in the video. 

      And yes, the new knife tool is awesome!

        • Okay.... near as I can tell, you're saying there is a program called "MakeHuman", and are comparing it against Jon's timelapse video; but it's still unclear whether this was intended as a favorable vs unfavorable comparison.  Maybe Bart can figure it out.  " This our (comma), make one in 'MakeHuman' " is as best I can decipher the intent.

      • I think he was trying to say something such as "[This], or you could make one in MakeHuman."  The implication is something like "You could do it the hard way like this, or you could just use a premade one in MakeHuman."  At least that's my understanding.

  3. What is truly epic about this mix of video and music, is how the music amps up right as the first eye takes shape.  Couldn't have picked a better way of saying "THIS is what Bmesh can do!"

    • Dimetrii, I'm well aware of your skill level and proficiency in Blender, so I doubt you are flaming. 
      I for one don't care about the face either, but I like the new workflows that might come from this. I like seeing how Jonathan is exploring modeling with Bmesh.
      Could you elaborate a bit on what you mean? What is a shit result, the face or workflow? What are softimage and zbrush doing what blender isn't?

      • Dimetrii Dimetrii on

        I'm talking about tools in Blender. Tools do not work well. The program falls.  The basic tools are not completed yet. (for example: Knife).

        • The new Bmesh knife tool actually looks worlds ahead of where the old knife functionality was, and since I haven't used Bmesh yet I will clarify that this is just from my initial impressions of the various SVN videos.  I will evaluate it for myself when Bmesh makes it into the trunk though.  For a hasty box-modelling timelapse done freehand from memory without reference pictures and by an artist who was still learning the workflow of the new mesh system, this looked like a very good showing for the new tools and mesh recode.

          • Dimetrii Dimetrii on

            Of course...instrumet cool. working not properly. In the process of cutting a hole in the object a hole appear. How work CTRL-R, no understand. !!!!!!

      • Exactly.  My blender learning experience is rather painful and frustrating as hell, as well but that doesn't mean I will forget blender's limitations. 
        I dunno where do people read or infer, that blender will be used to compete with high priced softwares. 

        Some people just cant read about and live with limitations of blender.

  4. Br.Kurt Van Kuren on

    The best way right now, in my humble opinion, would be to create the generic human in Makehuman, export it as a Wavefront object  to Blender/BMesh, and finish the details on the subsurface.  The best reason to use Makehuman first is that the model is all quads, and the proportions are medically accurate.  But...most of us want fantasy or heroic characters, and that's not what Makehuman was intended for.  So if you want a flaring Nordic nose for a woman, or a muscled jaw on a man, this BMesh approach would be best for fine detailing. 

    • I agree, but if you want a mesh to play with and dont have the tme to modell a fantasy character makehuman is a great  i think. But ofc. it would be great to be able to make cool fantasy characters as well just as easley hope im making sense here. :P 

  5. hmm...nice timelapse really with the bmesh...I've found bmesh with ngons quite handy in precise modelling like some shape details in automotive where I can now use less amount of polygons and with tris, quads or more vertices to get exact shape/shading. Also cut tool is very handy while modelling. With head modeling from scratch I'm wondering if it would be simplier to quick do it in sculpt mode and then do retopology with bsurfaces. Just a free suggestion...or use Makehuman as mentioned above.
    btw. it's funny to watch the video and post here while I'm in ubuntu pure instalator waiting for complete the instalation:) yeah, open source is the way:)

    • I have to admit that the tipping point for me to make the jump to modelling completely in 2.6 will be when both Bmesh and Re-Mesh are in the trunk.  Just the combination of those two alone, I can see some great potential uses for them if they interact the way I think they will.  It's a given that Bmesh is a must for the basic topology, but the addition of Re-Mesh to this will really put it over the top for me in a big way.

  6. Very good head box-modelling, i am very impressed , even more by seeing Bmesh being used there.
    Congratulations for your talent.

  7. Playing around with some build on graphicall, i found the Bmesh knife to be truly excellent in comparison to the 2.61 knife (that was worse than the 2.49 knife in term of controls).

    And if Bmesh opens the way to better modelling tools, can't wait to see what's going to happen next for the modelling side of Blender once the code is getting officially into trunk (hopefully 2.64)

    • Dimetrii Dimetrii on

      This is a good tools, but they do not work as well good as in other programs. 
      Now completely abandon the other programs I can not. 

      • shitismyfavoriteword on

        You have a shitty sentence construction and grammar. Sorry. It's likely that your English comprehension is shitty as well. Sorry. 
        Maybe next time, if you read more and comprehend better, the blender documentation and read about limitations, you won't complain that much and resort to use words like "shit" when unprovoked.

        • Dimetrii Dimetrii on

          Go ahead, tell me what's the limitations there. I have problems with english - not my mother tongue. But you're good - able to read and write in english, but perhaps that's all you can.
          You find everything satisfying. You only read documentations. Everithing is so neat and cool on the picture or video. But have you ever held this instrument or any other, or just know of them from the documentations?

          • If that is what you want to believe.  As for the rest of us... well, I can't speak for the others, but as for myself, I have used the majority of the blender toolset since version 2.48 when I first switched over.  And unlike some people I could mention, I actually managed to submit a READABLE bug report for a bug I discovered in one of the features in release 2.59, and the developers patched it inside of a day. 

            Repeating for emphasis:  One. Single. Day. 

            THAT is what you call SERVICE.  The big expensive companies have never done that for me.  The developers at Blender have.  The pace of development since the middle of the 2.5 development cycle has been absolutely blistering. 

            But if you want to believe the rest of us have only seen "the pictures or the videos", then I won't waste any more time trying to convince you otherwise.  You have made your mind up, such as it is.

      •  Crashes in blender? Buggy tools? Really? Maya and Max crash like hell.. When I work in Maya (especially maya) and Max I save my work every 10 minutes, just in case if these "shit" apps crash. The good thing with blender is that the tools and bugs are fixed quickly, you're not left at the mercy of some corporate "shit" heads.

        By the way, if english is not your first language, there are more important words to learn than "shit".

  8. Aniruddha Hardikar on

    I downloaded bmesh right away after watching this. Bmesh is fantastic. It certainly felt lose to being ready for release. I wouldn't be surprised if it replaces the knife tool in blender in the next couple of releases.

    The old tools aren't bad, they are just a little more work if you are not familiar with the basics of polygon modeling. Dimetrii's point is invalid, the result has nothing to do with the tools here. If you know how to model, you can make a great model by just plotting vertices in empty space. I have used 3ds max for years (since version 4), and sometimes Maya or XSI as well. I have no doubt in my mind saying that blender is right up there with these two, and in many cases, more efficient. The inclusion of Bmesh will push blender much ahead in the race.

      • The problem here is, those sentences are difficult to follow.  I think we might find it easier to understand the trouble that the new tool is causing for you, if you or a friend can make a video to demonstrate.  This kind of thing really needs to be seen in action, before we can fully comprehend what needs to be fixed.

      • Aniruddha Hardikar on

        The problems you're showing are not with blender but with Bmesh, and it's understandable because it isn't complete yet. That doesn't make 'blender' any less powerful. You don't have to start off by saying "shit result". 

        • At least "shit result" is coherent!  More so than "In the process of cutting a hole in an object a hole appear, how work CTRL-R" anyway!  Just kidding :o) 

    • I asked if he could make a couple videos demonstrating the problems so far, and after viewing them I agree... work is still needed.  But there's a reason the tools aren't in the trunk yet... if they were ready for it, they would be!  So as of right now, it appears the tools still have a couple months or so of debugging and refinement to do before merging them into the main program.  I'm not complaining though.  It's in the nature of free and open source programming for the community to see everything as it's being made, warts and all.

      • Aniruddha Hardikar on

        Precisely. Most of us are using blender because we simply cannot afford to have all zbrush, max, maya, XSI and modo on 3-4 workstations. Suggesting them as an alternative because a feature under development in blender isn't completely is just insipidly unfair.

    • Aniruddha Hardikar on

      I just checked your tutorial about creating an ocean. That was a good one. I have very recently switched to blender for all my CG work, and that tutorial cleared a lot of hurdles for me. Thanks! :)

  9. Lawrence D’Oliveiro on

    Just a note, “NURBS” is singular (Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline). So the plural would be “NURBSes”.

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