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:
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
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.
A morning drawing session from the BiM Scan library. Amazing reference for artists:
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!