May 242018
 

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

Mar 022018
 

digital portrait study - Pavel, by Scott Eaton, Zbrush

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.
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Jan 032018
 

Pixar Animation Studios front entrance gate

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.

blizzard dedicated to entertainment plaque.

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.

Scott Eaton running comparative anatomy workshop at PixarWith the giant Luxo Jr sculpture outside Pixar’s lobby

contrast in styles - orcs versus cartoonsOrc v. the Incredibles, a battle of campus art

Oct 032017
 

Houdon Ecorche Sculpture 2.0 - Desktop anatomy reference

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.

Multiple views of the Houdon Ecorche v2
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

 

Desktop Anatomy figure - Eaton Houdon Ecorcheclick for larger

Jul 272017
 

Ballet dancer in green dress 2click for larger

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

Ballet dancer in green dress

Ballerina photography at Bodies in Motion

Jan 042017
 

ecorche anatomy drawing of a flying kick from the Bodies in Motion library. more info at BodiesinMotion.photoclick for larger

Anatomy study from Bodies in Motion.

The Summer session of my Anatomy for Artists online course is coming up on June 23rd. In this course I cover ALL the anatomy that goes into making an ecorche drawing like the one above. In fact, ecorche drawings are the primary exercises for the eight week course and by the end you will almost certainly have levelled-up enough to create a detailed ecorche study like this one. If you have an interest in improving as a figurative artist, join me for an intense but fun 8 weeks of sutdy this summer!

Dec 092016
 

Demo sculpts from my Facial Anatomy workshop at Blizzard and UnbisoftThe growing collection of demo sculpts

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.

Sculpture in the Blizzard Atrium dark magic at work here, me thinks a levitation spell or something

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.

Sculpting facial expressions in ZBrush during Scott Eaton's Facial Anatomy workshop sculpting expressions

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.

Drawing from Bodies in Motion, head and neck studieshead studies from Bodies in Motion

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Nov 072016
 

Digital Portrait Sculpting - Scott Eaton at Ubisoft Quebecdemo sculpt from the Ubisoft workshop

I am recently back from a week-long workshop at Ubisoft’s Quebec studio focused on portraiture and facial anatomy. The week broke down into three days of facial anatomy lecture for twenty of their artists (animators, riggers, concept artist, character artists) and then finished with an intensive two-day portrait sculpting session in ZBrush with just the character artists.

Scott teaching facial anatomy and portrait sculpting at Ubisoftartists sculpting away, and me, the shadowy figure in the corner
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