Sunday 20 July 2014

Lattice deform 3D: Modern man + chimp = H. rhodesiensis

This post is meant to showcase the use of Blender's Lattice Modifier on the facial reconstruction of hominid ancestors.

As we do not have soft tissue tables for them, we had to use the skull of a modern human specimen and a chimpanzee and deform them alongside the soft tissue - although the latter stays in another layer.

Final image with details made on Sculpt Mode

The goal was to create a model resembling a computer tomography. It is meant to be hairless, without a defined color and promoting the study of form.

Deforming a chimp skull until it be converted in almost a man skull
Initially we were going to deform the head of a modern man, but instead we took advantage of the situation and tried a new approach; a few days earlier I had performed the deformation of a chimpanzee's skull using as a reference the skull of a man. We expected the result to be an individual very different from us humans, but what we saw was amazing: it looked like an average human being, or at least the caricature of a human being.

The man, the chimp and the result of the final deformation.
In view of this result I figured it would be a good idea to perform the deformation of the head of a modern man and a chimpanzee and in the end merge the two as a result of anatomical conformation.
At left the model made by MM Gerasimov

In the book The Face Finder written by the Russian master of forensic facial reconstruction MM Gerasimov, there was already talk that the structure of Homo rhodesiensis had characteristics of modern humans and apes.

In the end the two models joined in a single deformed mesh and I made minor adjustments. The result of our study was fairly consistent with that reached by MM Gerasimov.

Thanks to the Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University (KUPRI) for the CT-Scan of the chimp. Thanks to the Osirix developers for the DICOM file of modern human. Thanks to Dr. Moacir Elias Santos for the 3D scanned skull of a H. rhodesiensis.  Thanks to Claudio Marques Sampaio for the help with English translation.

Homo Rhodesiensis after received the retopo of the mesh with Bsurface in Blender allowing the application of facial expressions.

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