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Making of Tom Waits by Babak Bina, Canada

making of tom waits

Hi, my name is Babak Bina and I am a 3D artist currently working at Trixter Canada. When I decided to do a celebrity likeness I already knew it was going to be a challenge to do. After this is done I feel it was THE most challenging thing I have done so far in CG. Doing human portraits is difficult because our eyes are so trained in detecting the flaws in a portrait, but a celebrity portrait is even harder since everybody has a reference to compare the model to. I decided to do one of my favourite musicians and I wanted to do an older character and Tom Waits stood out as the best choice.

He is usually photographed under extreme lighting situations and his face appears very different in every photograph because of this. So, first off I started with collecting references that I felt had a similar look from different angles to begin my sculpting.


I started with a base mesh that I have used before for another model, with a good topology so I did not have to worry about the topology after the sculpting phase.

base mesh

Initially I wanted to put him in an environment and I wanted to match him and the environment to a photograph of him by Jay Blakesberg. You can see that photo in the reference images I have used.


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