|Holy cow, lately I've gotten a lot of email about FREEDOM GUNDAM and how I did the head. I'm not in the habit of posting tutorials because generally what I do doesn't agree with the vast majority of people I've tried to give advice to. So basically, instead of telling you how it should be done, I'll just write out how I did it. You may take something from it, you may not. Understand also that there is more than one way to get through it and that this is just one of those ways.|
Also, I use LIGHTWAVE3D (8.5) -- so I really have no idea how this translates to MAX/MAYA/C4D/etc. For those users (and they are many) I can't help you much more than this.
Mkay, so by step (1) in the image below (you can click to expand it) I've laid out the super simple stuff that no-one generally has any problem making.. that is, the camera and face have been started and can be used as markers to continue. From here I make a spline cage of the rest of the helmet. This is done using the BEZIER tool in lightwave. By selecting it, the user is now able to use what is essentially the PEN tool in photoshop/freehand/illustrator, only now it's usable in 3d. Using the bezier tool, I create multiple bezier splines around what would be the edges of the helmet until half of the helmet as been basically outlined. This usually takes a bit of time, but for me is more useful than extruding edges and what-not. After a while you get used to it as well. Once the splines have been created and and welded together, I proceed to step (2) where I select adjacent splines and create a spline patch (Ctrl+F in lightwave then set your own values). I then proceed through the various steps, going around the helmet until I've created what it will generally be "shaped" like. The glaring problem in this is that there is now a concentrated point where the helmet will be pinched because this version of Lightwave has problems with points that have too many adjacent polygons (more than 4 to be exact). So after this it's up to me (or you) to fix. Afterward I lay down what will be the rest of the head in so far as vents and other things go. Following the basic shapes, I then re-examine what I've done and make changes to the mesh. Then do some microbeveling and adding details. In creating the helmet portion, I also tend to subpatch/freeze/multiply the polygons so that it appears smoother when rendered. Using the smoothing option in the surfaces section helps as well, but sometimes leaves strange artifacts during render time if used alone. Anyway, I'm sure you can figure out the rest of what's represented. I have to get back to work before I get fired for slacking.