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The following is an excerpt from Face It: A Visual Reference for Multi-ethnic Facial Modeling by Patricia Beckmann Wells. Face It provides you with the resources that you need to ensure an accurate character model. By examining the skulls of people of different ages, ethnicities, and geographical areas, authors Patricia Beckmann-Wells and Scott Wells showcase the intricacies of the human head and face, and show you how to apply that to your models. Here, Patricia begins with a basic human skull 3D tutorial.

The first tutorial is designed to get you thinking about bones, specifically the major bony landmark forms of the skull that lie under all the soft tissue and how they differ amongst diverse populations. In this tutorial we are going to build a basic skull. At the end of the tutorial you will be directed to the resources to repeat this process for three more variants of the human skull. These are intended to be useful for you to refer back to in the future when observing different facial features.

It is important to remember that there is no definitive set of facial characteristics that represent any population in their entirety. The majority of individuals you will observe may have some combination of features unique to themselves. These examples begin to give you tools for comparison, not absolute definitions.

When trying to identify characteristic differences related to ancestral populations, consider the following features:

-Relative robustness—gracile qualities of the cranium.

Front views of Aboriginal, African male, African American male, Asian male, Asian robust male.

-Nasal root: the bridge of the nose—does it insert high or low into the brow and what is the angle of the nasal bone in profile?

American Indian female, African American female, Asian female, European female.

-Interocular distance: basically, how wide the eyes are set, but also how far apart the medial edge of the left orbital opening is from the right (tear duct to tear duct in basic terms).

Interocular distance, left to right: African American Male, African Male, Asian Male, European Male.

-Relative squareness/roundness of the orbital cavities.

Front view: Aboriginal, African and Asian skulls.

-Sweep of the zygomatic bones—are they sweeping backward away from the front plane of the face or staying primarily in the plane of the face?

View looking down: Asian, African, Caucasian.

-Prognathism—basically how far forward are the upper and lower jaws relative to the rest of the skull? This can also involve the relative forward angle of the front teeth. In profile this would be the basic tilt of the face between the forehead and jaw.

Side view: African American Male, Aboriginal Male, European Female, American Indian Female.

-Supraorbital Tori—prominence of the brows —Asian male, African American male, Aboriginal male.

Aboriginal Male, Asian Male (Robust), African American Female, American Indian Female.

Excerpt from Face It: A Visual Reference for Multi-ethnic Facial Modeling by Patricia Beckmann Wells © 2013 Taylor & Francis Group. All Rights Reserved. Face It can be bought on AmazonBN.com, or your favorite online retailer.

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