Personally I’m not one for selfies but this was a fun little project I sculpted recently for the designers at ManVsMachine. Their client thought a bronze (though it ended more like copper) ‘couple selfie’ would be a cute, tongue-in-cheek Valentine’s day ad. It had to be realistic but read as funny. Getting down to the sculpting, it was actually an interesting exercise in pushing the facial expressions (especially the lips) to borderline caricature, but keeping the portraits grounded in a sort of sculptural realism. My favourite part – them smashing their cheeks together – cartoony but suits the vain couple nicely.
I’ve just recorded and uploaded an extended version of my recent Creative AI talk. This talk summarises the last two years of my exploration into combining AI with my interests in photography, drawing and sculpture. The talk gives a good synopsis of the amazing creative potential of these tools. This is the first time I’ve shared the work in public, as I now feel it is mature enough that I am comfortable showing the results of my explorations. There are many more experiments and works-in-progress to be shared in the coming weeks and months, and of course mark 18-23 June in your calendar for a visit to my exhibition of this work at Somerset House, London (admission is free).
Please find the lecture here:
On Thursday, March 28, I will be giving a talk at London’s CreativeAI meetup at Somerset House previewing the last two years of my experiments using AI and machine learning to create figurative artwork. People close to me know I have been working on this, unannounced, for quite a while and I am excited to show the work for the first time in public. The second speaker, Andrew Brock, will also be showing some mind-blowing work done while interning at Google’s DeepMind last year. The evening promises to be a visual feast!
The talks are open to the public, but spaces go quickly, so register now. Also for your calendar, my work will be shown in its entirely at an exhibition at Somerset House from 20-23 June. More information will be coming in the next couple weeks.
CreativeAI @ Somerset House: REGISTER HERE
Enrollment is now open for the Spring sessions of my anatomy and digital figure sculpting courses starting in April 2019. These in-depth courses are designed to teach the skills every figurative artist needs to produce inspiring, professional level work. The courses have been taught to artists and studios around the world, including Pixar, Industrial Light & Magic, Disney, Sony, Warner Bros, Ubisoft, Blizzard, EA and many others. If you are looking for an intensive course to level up your figurative art skills, consider one of these:
The most comprehensive online course covering artistic anatomy. No prerequisites are necessary, just a sincere interest in learning about the wonderful machine that is the human body! more…
An intense ten-week course in the tools and techniques of digital figure sculpture. This course is recommended for students with a firm grounding in anatomy (the Anatomy for Artists course is recommended) as well as an intermediate knowledge of ZBrush. more…
The companion course to Anatomy for Artists, this course explore the anatomy of the face in-depth. It covers the construction of the skull, features, facial fat, musculature, expressions, and the Facial Action Coding system (FACS). Every great figure needs a great face, this course teaches you the anatomy you need to build it. more…
Somerset House, home of Scott’s London courses
I’ve just finished an intensive, one-day Essential Anatomy session with the talented artists from Framestore, London. Sixty artists and I convened in the Somerset House screening room for a day covering critical lessons from both human and comparative anatomy. I don’t often run anatomy courses this short (most are a minimum of two days), so it was a challenge to distill the essential lessons from many years of teaching anatomy into a format the could deliver the maximum amount of useful information in a single day course.
Here’s a jumble of head studies from yesterday. I was drawing from the Quickdraw page at BodiesinMotion.photo – 16 frames, zoomed into just the heads, randomly composed on the page as they appeared.
Here’s a timelapse of the sessions:
Homo naledi reconstruction, v2
A producer friend recently asked if I had time to put together a quick sculpt for a pitch he was giving to a potential client. The request was for a concept of what the extinct homonid species Homo naledi would have looked like in life. I happened to have a relatively free day and was excited to do some digital sculpting so I said I would give it a try.
First, who or what were Homo naledi? It turn out they are fairly recent relatives of modern humans (ca. 250,000 year ago) – discovered in 2013, to great acclaim, by a pair of cavers fumbling around in a South African cave system. The species appears to be a interesting mix of human and primate characteristics – hands and feet very near our own but with shoulders and pelvises closer to our primate ancestors. We know they were short of stature, possibly standing barely five feet tall, and had small skulls exhibiting primitive features including reduced cranial capacity (half of a modern human), robust orbital tori, reduced/absent chin, but with small teeth and gentle canines.
Taking these few data points and a handful of images of the incomplete skulls of homo Naledi, I put together a couple versions. The first, below, pushes the facial characteristics more towards primate, but with the spark of intelligence one would expect of the genus Homo. The second, and my preferred version (above), leans toward a more human interpretation of facial characteristics. It includes a quick torso study for context and posture, as well as what I imagine to be a mass of matted, dirty hair. A timelapse of the sculpting process coming soon.
Homo Naledi portrait study, v1
A portrait study from last Friday. I have been seeing so many interesting faces on the street lately it has inspired me to start working through a new series of portraits. Of course I am also outlining the content for my upcoming Digital Portrait Sculpting course, so faces are on my mind right now. There are a couple of higher resolution images below.
I’ve recently returned to London after a busy couple weeks on the West Coast – this trip taking me back to Blizzard Entertainment and Pixar for anatomy talks and workshops. I’ve been to both studios a number of times in recent years, but this visit was for something new – the inaugural sessions of my Comparative Anatomy for Artists course.
What is comparative anatomy? Simply, it is the study of animal anatomy. More accurately though, it is the study of the relationships between the homologous anatomical structures of different animal species. For example, how a horse’s humerus (upper arm bone) differs from a human’s, and how that differs from a mole rat’s, or elephant’s, or dolphin’s in structure, function, and appearance (unbelievably yes, a dolphin has a humerus, as well as forearm, hand, and finger bones, all hidden in its front flipper!). There is a treasure trove of fascinating and bewildering adaptations that have taken place in the natural world to fit the general “animal vertebrate body plan” to many different environments and ecosystems. This course explores these amazing adaptations and how we apply this knowledge artistically to create, imagine, sculpt, draw, and animate better animals and creatures.
My Comparative Anatomy for Artist course will be running in London in the Spring of 2018, dates to be announced (sign up to the mailing list for news). If you are a games/visual effects/animation studio interested in an onsite workshop, please get in touch.
The Eaton-Houdon Ecorche is a contemporary anatomy figure based on the classic L’Écorché, the 18th century anatomy study by French neoclassical sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon. The original écorché figure was used for centuries in art academies and ateliers around the world to teach students anatomy and cast drawing.
This version, produced in collaboration with Michael Defeo, corrects a handful of lingering anatomical mistakes while retaining the gesture, pose, and naturalism that made the original a favorite of mine and of other artists through the centuries. Here it is produced at eighteen inches, an ideal size for desktop reference and study. Each figure is hand cast in museum-quality resin with removable magnetic arms.
Available at: EATON.london
After a busy start to the summer, I am finding time to develop sequences from our most recent Bodies in Motion photoshoot (BiM VI). Here are a few of the first images. I am falling in love with the flow of fabric and the shapes it makes when directed by graceful movement. Sequences going up soon at www.bodiesinmotion.photo
Another morning drawing session from the BiM Scan library.