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Review: Headshot Plugin for Reallusion's Character Creator 3

Headshot for CC3. Quite possibly the best 3D Avatar
I've made of myself in any 3D application.
Creating a realistic 3D human avatar is a whole lot easier with Reallusion's new Headshot Plugin for Character Creator 3. The plugin is an AI powered extension that can generate 3D digital humans from one photo. Which sounds like an amazing proposition but, in practice, if you're trying to achieve a specific likeness to an actual person, Headshot will give you an excellent base to work from.



Headshot has two modes, Auto and Pro.

Auto Mode

Auto is well worth a try if you have an ideal photo of a front facing person that is properly lit and posed to Headshot's optimum requirements. It's also the only mode that will take a crack at generating a hair model.

I grabbed an image of Harrison Ford, dragged it into Headshot without changing any of the default settings (other than specifying 'male' and selecting an 'old male' setting) and this is what I got on auto mode:

Headshot of Harrison Ford on Auto mode.
As you can see the face texture and shape is not too bad. I'm not sure I'd recognize it right away as Harrison Ford without the reference photo but it's a really good result.

The hair on the other hand. That's probably what is throwing the likeness out the most. Despite the AI aspect of Headshot, it doesn't really create very convincing 3D hair models. Although I haven't used the plugin a whole lot, I've never had any success with getting the hair looking anything close to what I can see in the initial photo.

Using the Shape Adjustment feature of the
Headshot plugin.
Once you have your initial headshot, the plugin includes tools that let you manually reshape all areas of the head and face simply by clicking and dragging the mouse around on the features you want to modify.

Unfortunately Headshot itself doesn't have any tools to reshape the hair.

The best option is to delete the hair model and replace it with your closest match of hair that you can get from your existing library, content store, or, if you really know what you're doing, sculpt yourself.

After a little bit of playing around tweaking the face shape and, finding the closest hair to the photo I had in my own library, below is what I ended up with. Not too bad a likeness for about an hour of tweaking etc.

My final Harrison Ford Avatar. Not too bad for about an hour
of tweaking settings and finding a suitable hair replacement.

Pro Mode

If you want a lot more control creating your avatars, and much higher quality textures, then Pro mode is the way to go. Note that you can't switch between modes once you've started so choose wisely.

Pro mode uses basically the same process but hair is not generated and you have a few extra tools at your disposal.

Photo re-projecting allows you to line up your 3D model's
features more closely with your source photo.
One especially nice tool is the Photo Re-projection tool that lets you overlay your original photo on your model, allowing you to line up features much more easily.

The opacity of the photo can be adjusted as needed making comparison to the model a breeze.

You also have access to a lot more face blend masks, including the ability to edit or create your own.

As mentioned, hair is not generated in pro mode so you'll need to add your own hair models.

Once you have your character created you can save it and export it to iClone - or other app - just like any other CC3 character model.

Don't Forget the Power of CC3

Headshot may be centered around creating realistic humans but don't forget the full power of CC3.

Once you have your realistic avatar you can do almost anything with it. Apply different body types, morph the face into a complete caricature... there really is no end to what you can do.

---o ---o--- o---

Overall, I really like Headshot for CC3. It's very easy to learn the basics, and even the Pro mode is not so advanced that it couldn't be useful to those of us who aren't as adept at editing textures and playing with settings labelled with words that may as well be written in an unknown alien language.

It's one of the most useful additions to CC3 you can buy if you want to create 3D Avatars of real people in the least amount of time.

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