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You can use software like FaceGen to do fantasy races. All you need to do is add a single morph difference from the average human head to your average Gnome (or whatever). Then you get all of the human range of variations, but based on your new fantasy race model. FaceGen now supports this additional morph step internally, although I still like to do this step in 3ds Max under my control. Here is a gnome head done this way. By basing it on the average human head from FaceGen, we were able to complete the modeling live with the director sitting next to us.

O Step 12: Morph targets and rigging

FaceGen comes with a basic set of morph targets for all the emotions, possible human facial expressions, and phonemes—the range that most humans are capable of. In this picture, you see that our model has teeth and a tongue. You are also free to add as many additional facial components as you like. These will change to fit whatever head you generate. Similarly, you can embed special objects just for rigging if you want. These will undergo the same solid deformation that FaceGen is applying to the head.

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A head above head creation

Step 13: Mesh smoothing

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