A morning anatomy study from Bodies in Motion. Ballet seems to forge the most amazing physiques.
I am on a short visit to the West Coast and had an afternoon in Seattle to drop into Valve to show the latest developments on my Bodies in Motion project. It was great to get the website and images out in public for the first time. Over a few hours we had a random walk through the Bodies in Motion content and framed a spontaneous anatomy lecture around some of the amazing figures in the library (Mischief canvas below).
It was a brief but productive visit, they got a short anatomy refresher and I got to pick the brains of a very talented group of artists for useful feedback on the project. If you are interested in more on the Bodies in Motion project as it heads into beta testing, please sign up to the newsletter for announcements!
I’ve just finished six days of anatomy masterclasses for Industrial Light and Magic, London (yes, the Star Wars guys). This isn’t the first time I’ve been to ILM, in the past I’ve run workshops for both their San Francisco and Singapore offices, but this is the first time it was just a tube journey away (not a nine-hour flight). It is great having Industrial Light & Magic in London!
I recently completed a tutorial for 3dArtist magazine about the making of this facial anatomy ecorche. In the article I go through the steps used to create the digital sculpture in ZBrush and about the importance of understanding facial anatomy and why it helps improve portraiture. The tutorial is in issue 81 of the magazine.
Here is an écorché study of a drawing from the spectacular and controversial Viennese artist Egon Schiele. Schiele, long one of my favorites, is known for his hugely expressive figurative work – dynamic, contorted, deformed figures. Despite the effortless fluidity of his lines, the anatomy teacher in me can’t help but appreciate the underlying structure and coherence of his figure. My écorché study imposes plausible anatomical construction atop his piece and reveals that, despite his apparent looseness of his style, there is a deep understanding of anatomy at work. I can see this in all his drawings and paintings; every distorted, stylized figure actually fits together like an well-designed anatomical puzzle.
The Eaton-Houdon Écorché is my update of the classical anatomy figure by 18th Century sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon. His original l’Écorché sculpture, produced in 1767 during his time in Rome, has been used by artists studying anatomy for centuries. It is celebrated for its balance, gesture and proportions but, to the trained eye, has always contained a handful of anatomical inaccuracies. Combine this with an overall loss of detail resulting from centuries of re-casting and the piece was in need of both an accuracy update and a sharpening of details. The result is shown above.
I am just back from a three-day Facial Anatomy workshop at the legendary Valve Corporation. It was great to be back in Seattle for a return visit. As many of you know, Valve is an incredible company with a very unique studio environment, so it is always fun to work with them for a few days.
The Valve crew had just wrapped the 3rd Annual Dota2 International, a five-on-five tournament with a first prize of $1.4m (more than quite a few ‘traditional’ sporting championships), so there was a bit of a Dota theme running through the place. Donkey couriers greeted me in the lobby and then the impressive Aegis of Champions turned up later. If you are at all curious to see how videos games are rapidly becoming a spectator sport, watch one of the final games and check out the crowd on hand at Benaroya Hall in Seattle.
I am just back from a great visit to Ubisoft’s Toronto studio where I ran a two-day facial anatomy masterclass for throngs of their artists (animators, riggers, concept artists, and character artists), followed by a day of intense portraiture and facial expression sculpting in ZBrush for only the character artists. Over the three days we covered a lot of juicy facial anatomy stuff, all of which will be covered in my upcoming online course. So if you are interested in a deep understanding of portraiture check back soon (or join the newsletter for announcements).
I get a lot of requests to post more ZBrush timelapse sculpting sessions on my website, so here you go, straight from the Toronto workshop.
I am just back from giving an intense but enjoyable week of anatomy masterclasses to a talented group of artists at Sony’s Santa Monica studio. These are the guys and girls who have the enviable job of crafting the God of War franchise, a series of amazing games steeped in Greek mythology, a theme after my own heart.
Over four days I covered a ton of anatomy for the character artists, concepts artists, animators and riggers at the studio. But by late in the third day everyone was reaching saturation so we had a little fun trying to update my infamous Gallery Abominate with some of their work from God of War Ascension. The most interesting discovery from the week though: cervical ribs occur in approximately .2% of the population, and one artist on the course had this ‘neck rib’, making him officially a statistical outlier. Exciting stuff ;).
I recently contributed a four page masterclass to 3dArtist magazine. In it I outline the process of using écorché drawings to study anatomy. The articles gives a concise introduction to the material that I cover in-depth in my Anatomy for Artists course. If you are new to anatomy or are interested upgrading your anatomy skills, check it out.
I have been busy over the past months revising and updating Jean-Antoine Houdon’s classic L’Ecorché sculpture for the soon to be released iOS App of the same name. The app is a collaboration between myself and legendary character sculptor Michael Defeo. I will post more on the app, including some behind-the-scenes ‘making of’ videos, soon.
Until then, please check out the app’s Kickstarter project for more information.