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This is the first model I've ever made of a human, and I think it ended up pretty well, but there's something about it that bothers me, and I can't pinpoint what it is.

She doesnt looks right to me, she looks dead. Her face feels average. I have seen some models that look amazing (as in, really hot) despite the fact that their proportions are all weird.

Do you think I should try to make her "uglier" so she looks human?
Is the model too realistic, should I make her more cartoony?
Or is it only the basic texture? The lack of gloss?
Maybe when I'm done texturizing she will feel alive.

What would you do? My goal was trying to make just a good looking female, for practice, nothing in particular.
Its a good start, but you started expecting it to look like a beautiful woman too early, all of the elements are there and they are fairly proportional but you still have more work before it looks like you want it.

This is the moment when you start to look at references, find a random pretty woman online and start trying to make her look like it, otherwise you will just have a generic looking starting model for a human. Beauty is hard to pin down, its has to do with very distinct features people look for, look up what makes woman beautiful and use that as a guideline.

For one you cant really expect to have a good looking woman without hair, at least you are not at the skill level where that is possible. Her eyebrows are just painted on and super generic, look up pictures and draw the hair strands, right now looks like someone used a marker to put them on, a guy no less since they are vague and have no form. Most of the facial features are very blobby with no real definition, again this is where references will help you bring uniqueness. Her lip color is a bit bland imo, the shape of the mouth is boring. Her jaw is super wide and undefined as it gets closed to the chin. Her ears are far too flat on the head. Her neck is too wide as it comes into the torso. She needs skin pores and random details that will add to her uniqueness, but you did say you still need to finish texturing, try to use reference for the skin as well. All of this even if you were focusing on the head are part of what would make her look beautiful and unique so don't skimp on it.

If you show a side angle i might be able to say more but i think you have more than enough to go on for now, i hope it helps, Its looking good you just need to keep on practicing and use references for the facial elements, like find a picture of an actress whos eyes you like and try to recreate them and then find the same for the nose, mouth, etc. Best of luck.
Try using a real person that you consider a good looking female to base off of. She doesn't look dead to me, I think you only see it that way cause it's a computer model. Kinda looks like Cara Delevingne to me.
Hey thanks! Great advice! Of course I think the hair, better eyebrows, skin, lip color, and all that, will help, all textures are temporary, just to get the feeling of the model. I'm also not super worried about the ears, since hair usually covers them anyways but it's a good point. It's just so much work for nothing, you know?

>>Using references
Hardest fucking thing in the world. Specially with Zbrush.

I tried, but it never quite looked like the picture (you could be right, maybe now is the moment, before, I was trying to make it look like the reference from zero, without having the basic human form)

That's flattering! I DID tried using her as reference! Turns out she has a very very manly jaw, (as a lot of models) as the first version of this looked androgynous as fuck and everyone told me to smooth out her jaw (even now, it seems)
As a reference she was way out of my league.

>>Dat jaw
Just keep practicing it will all become second nature, the earlier you develop good habits the better it is in the long run. Also for things like this try to not work on it for too long, put it down for another day, i guarantee than when you come back to it you will see many things you can fix/improve upon.
The chin is too short to be that wide. Ears too small. Eyes are creepy. Hardly defined cheeks, lips, or areas surrounding the eyes.

Look at this image, notice the sharpness of the detail on the main features - the lips, and eyes.

You can use reference on zbrush on a similar way to more traditional softwares if you twitch the spotlight settings but i don't think that's what the other guy meant... i think he meant to just look at references, understand the shapes, sculpt, repeat.

There are not shortcuts there for anyone. Just observation and practice.
In my experience there are several ways to practice though...

1. Repeating the same model over and over and over and over. (useful to have some reference here)

2. Sculpting several different stuff to test new techniques and brushes

3. Working on a bigger project every now and then.

As for sculpting advice i would suggest you to think on therms of shapes. Don't go for detail too early. Block the most important shapes with the less amount of detail possible. Those would be your basic shapes.
Then go for the secondary shapes and finally go for detail.

Also, if you look at more reference you would notice that imperfections, however slightly, are essential for a realistic human being so once you block your basic shapes you should think about breaking the symmetry.

Humans are really difficult because we interact with others every day.

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