Potted Neanderthal

I’m honestly not quite sure what happened here. Caveman was the latest topic for drawergeeks and this idea just sort of came to me while I was in the shower. I also listened to Devin Townsend while making this, so maybe that has something to do with it. Who knows. Anyway, lots of progress stuff when you click on the orange “more”.

 Here’s the sketch that started it all. Big, off kilter lips, herkin’ brows, caveman goodness abounds.

Next I started modeling him. I figured his head was kinda squarish, a block head even, so I started with yon monolith and pulled a nose out.

I sunk in some eye sockets here, pulled out a lobe there, and before you know it, he’s starting to look like something.

At first I thought about doing his brows and lips as separate pieces, but then I thought, what the hey, I’m gonna try and model those puppies right out of the head.

Then I added some more detailing and finished up the head model.

Here’s the final body model. Awww, who wants a big cavey hug?



click here for a short quicktime of the model rotating around iffin you want.

Next came the lighting. I took a series of different explosure photographs of a light probe in a friend’s art studio so that I could use the interesting lighting of his space as the basis for the lighting of the caveman.



Here’s the light probe sitting where the caveman will eventually go. See how it captures all the lighting going on the room? Sweet beans huh?

And here’s the caveman, with his favorite beverage apparently, with the lighting based on the light probe.

To get him to match the focus and depth of field of the photo better, I rendered out a depth map of him, and used that as an alpha channel selection in photoshop to blur his bits that are farther away from the camera.

Here’s a zoom in of his head after the blurring and some film grain has been added in.

And here’s the final render again. Click it for a bigger version.

Blog Comments

Bryan’s got 3D skills coming out of his cave. My brontosaurus sized compliments to you.

Easy on the liquid fert there cavey…it’ll give ya gas.

I like how your 3D art fits in so well with your drawings – you have an identifiable voice, no matter what medium.

I also like how well the caveman fits into the photograph – I assumed the whole thing was modeled until I looked at the making-of stuff. Really well done.

Hey, thanks Jim, Yance and Tyson. FYI, you all shave your heads, and tonite I shaved mine! Sweet, four shaved head posters!

Awesome awesome Bryan. It’s always so interesting to me to see your process as well. The slight blurring I didn’t even notice at first, but it’s amazing what a difference your attention to detail makes 🙂

He`s cute! 🙂

Hey Sarah, thanks! My wife says I’m not a detail oriented person, but I’ll tell her you said different!

Thanks Cristina!

Are you messin’ with our shaved heads or what? I need proof, Mr. Shimmery Lock Model Boy. Don one of your high falootin model Ts and man up on that skindoo my brother.

Proof you want, proof you get.


NOOOOOO! Why did you shave your head?! Now you have conformed to society! lol

well, you see, it’s like this… I was thinking, “I bet I could save 15 bucks and cut my hair myself.”

So I started cutting, and that didn’t work out so good…

so I cut some more…

and that didn’t work so good.

So I figured I’d break out the old beard trimmer, and well, beard trimmers don’t work on hair so good, so it got pretty patchy.

My 5 year old daughter was watching me the whole time, while Mommy was watching TV downstairs. Finally she ran downstairs and said “Is it okay if Daddy is bald?”

well, i think you look smashing!

on a caveman note. WOW! i bow in the presence of your 3d rendering skills. just amazing.

Bryan, I suppose if your hair was all weird and you had no choice but to shave your head, then you have to do what you have to do. lol Besides I don`t think the university would allow wacky hair dos like the one you were about to end with if you didn`t shave your head! lol

I’ve been shaving my head for years, and, I love your work.

The comments are interesting. It’s funny that the shaved head may be viewed as conformity. When I first started shaving mine, I was one of the only white guys doing it and people thought I was part of the skin heads which is so far from my thing. I too must admit that I had a patchy thing happening but in my case it was an act of God or a result of the fall. I was not going to go around in public with a rim of hair on the sides and some patches on top. Anyway, the times they are a changin’. Not to pick on Christina but it cracked me up that you got her blessing only because you had no possible alternative left. We long time head shavers resemble her remarks! 😉

For the record. I think it looks grrrrrrrreeeeeaaaatttt! And no spagetti on the shirt. Impressive indeed.

Mike, thanks! I’m glad my head only looks partially potatoey.

Cristina, Yep, it was a process, but now I’m kinda liking it, my head feels like velvet, and everyone loves velvet!

Bert, thanks! Another head shaver added to the bald blogging club!

Jim, I think the conformity Cristina’s talking about is the fact that so many people posting here shave their heads! We’re our own little shaved head internet society. How appropriate for a site about wigs (breadwigs that is)!

ooooops! My brain is deminishing. I must be shaving too close.

Looks good – but now you need to bic it.

If nothing else, the smoother it is, the easier it is to put on beanies.

Hm…that picture looks like you are the star of a film that is a cross between THX1138 and Raising Arizona.

Just my kinda picture!

lol Yeah, I was talking about the people who shave their head here on the blog. But I get what you mean Jim. I was only joking around with Bryan. 🙂

Great use of IBL! He blends in so well. And your shaved head is so swell!

wow, the first poetic post on my blog, thanks Josh!

wells.. i am supposed to be doing an online test but couldnt get devin townsend music out of my head (pixillated).. so i was all like.. o0o0o ill just look at pictures of him online.. thats how i ended up here..
and i must sayyy… beautiful caveman! this makes me want to learn all those programs you used, because that is flippin awesome. and.. nice shaved haad… i would like to shave mine.. but im a girl and people will be like ‘gahhh britney spearsssss’

Rock on! Pixillated is an awesome tune. Thanks for the kind words.

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