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.
Enrollment is now open for the Winter sessions of my anatomy and digital figure sculpting courses starting in January 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 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.
I’m recently back to London after a long trip to the West Coast (LA, San Francisco). The first stop was Blizzard Entertainment for a four-day facial anatomy workshop. For the uninitiated Blizzard is the juggernaut game developer behind the hit franchises World of Warcraft (WoW), Overwatch, and Starcraft. From their fortress-like campus 100 miles south of LA in Irvine, CA, they run a digital empire built on monsters, magic, and well… fun.
My job was to level up the artists’ facial anatomy and portrait sculpting skills. The workshop broke down into two days of facial anatomy lecture and two days of portrait sculpting in ZBrush. The content will sound familiar to anyone who actually reads the posts on this website (and doesn’t just looking at the pictures, like most), because I ran a similar workshop for Ubisoft very recently. In fact, you’ll recognize one of the heads rendered above. I added a second head (my Blizzard demo sculpt) to the menagerie this time.
Even though we were studying facial anatomy the artists also got a chance to draw and study from the Bodies in Motion site. We drew from quite a few Motions, less for full-body poses but more for examples of skull structure and head/neck articulation and anatomy in dynamic poses. There were some great drawings from the room full of talented artists.
I recently finished a series of three facial anatomy workshops for the artists at Creative Assembly, the award winning, Sega-owned studio responsible for the long-running Total War franchise as well as titles like Alien Isolation and Halo Wars 2. Like most artists designing characters for games and visual effects the bar for creating realistic faces is exceptionally high and a functional understanding of the construction of the face is very important to achieving believably with the form and motion of the face. The goal of the workshops was to help the Creative Assembly artists develop a fluency with the anatomical forms and structures of the face so that they can work more quickly, accurately, and creatively, while avoiding the common mistakes many artists make in their portraiture.
The Winter session of Digital Figure Sculpture starts on June 27th. This course covers the critical foundation necessary to build naturalistic figures in ZBrush, including all the tools and techniques that I use day-to-day in my own figure sculpting – both on my art projects and on feature film characters.
Over ten weeks artists get a chance to hone their skills by completing numerous weekly figure studies and one detailed full-figure study. The course reinforces the importance of anatomy as the critical foundation for building realistic figures and shows practical construction techniques for applying this knowledge to figure sculpture. The goal is for every artist on the course to increase the realism and naturalism of their figurative work in ZBrush.
I am just back from a fantastic week of anatomy workshops with the character team at Rocksteady Studios, the creators of the wildly successful Batman: Arkham Asylum, and Batman: Arkham City games. Over five days we covered a lot of territory, going deep into human anatomy and portraiture, including some inside secrets on facial anatomy. While I was there, the Joker took home the “Character of the Year” award at the VGAs! Congratulations to the team at Rocksteady. I think there are a lot of people looking forward to what you do next (no pressure)!
Here are a selection of images from recent Portraiture & Facial Anatomy for Artists workshops held at Scott’s London studio. The gallery shows the progression of the facial reconstruction sculpting exercise over the three days of the course.
More details on upcoming workshops can be found on the Portraiture & Facial Anatomy course page.