I have recently returned from a great week of lecture and workshop at Ubisoft Montreal (legendary for their work on the Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and Prince of Persia series). The topic for the week was Portraiture and Facial Anatomy and we covered a huge amount of secret knowledge for constructing faces. If you are interested in going in-depth on ALL the important aspects of portraiture and facial anatomy for artists, then check out the workshop I run in London, OR stay tuned for the online course coming this Spring! Sign-up to the the newsletter to stay informed.
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.
Scott’s iPad Docking station, the Venus of Cupertino, is one of the ‘cultural picks of the month’ in the July issue of Wired UK.
The Venus of Cupertino will make her public debut at the London Design Festival on September 20-23. You can find her at Tent London, in the Old Truman Brewery. Stop by and say hi!
Here is a work-in-progress image from a collaboration with two old colleagues from my days at the MIT Media Lab. They are conceptual designers working on a project to visualize the effects of zero-gravity on human form. The exhibition will have many aspects but my contribution will be two life-sized 3d-printed heads showing the difference in form between a man raised on earth versus a man raised in space. The image above shows the man raised on earth. The next step is to reverse the effects of gravity and UV exposure, and then get these off to the 3d printer. More images coming soon…
OK, it may or may not be a quality movie but there are decent visual effects in there. The CGChannel website has an article talking about the visual effects behind Wrath of the Titans. I designed and sculpted the three Cyclops in the film and then nurtured them, like giant one-eyed children, through much of the post-production process. My design process is always firmly grounded in the plausibility of the anatomy I am creating and the cycloptic eyes proved an interesting challenge (with mixed success). Below are a couple images of the concept sculptures I create while working up the body types and personalities of the three Cyclops – the aged father and the two brothers.
© Copyright 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
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.
The next session of the Digital Figure Sculpture Course is getting ready to start on so I thought I would post this image from the culminating exercise and also talk a little bit more about the philosophy and goals of the course.
Simply, the goal of the course is to teach students how to create more naturalistic figure sculptures. Too often artists struggle to breathe life into their figures and are left scratching their heads as to what went wrong. There are many stages where things can go off track but most often it is inexperience with anatomy, planes, volumes, and proportions. Everyone wants to jump straight in and put muscles onto their sculptures but in their zealousness they forget the critical construction and proportions that hold things together. The course guides artists through the entire process.
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)!
As many of you already know, the second session of my online Digital Figure Sculpture course is underway. A group of artists are hard at work learning new techniques in ZBrush and studying hard to make great progress as figure sculptors. To give everybody a taste of the types of projects they are working on week-to-week, I have started a blog where I will post updates as the course progresses. If you have an interest in ZBrush and figure sculpture, check it out.
I am just back from a return trip to Lucasfilm, this time to their Singapore studio where I ran courses for their artists at ILM and Lucasfilm Feature Animation (the Rango guys). Over the week I ran two intensive anatomy courses for 30 of their artists (morning and afternoon sessions). The group was divided almost down the middle between modelers and riggers, though there was a stray animator and concept artist thrown in the mix well. The crew was great – obviously a very talented group of artists – and we were able to go in-depth into all the critical anatomy that applies to their work on feature film characters and creatures.
This trip reminded me a lot of the last time I visited Lucasfilm in San Francisco. Pretty much if you don’t like Star Wars, this is not the place to visit. It is everywhere and Yoda greats you at the entrance to both places (he has evolved in style a bit over the years). Luckily, I grew up with Star Wars and was a big fan (though, like most, lukewarm about the three prequels). The outstanding highlight of both visits is still the personal tour of Skywalker Ranch!
At Skywalker Ranch
The first trailer for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming War Horse was just released. The film looks beautiful and early buzz points to Oscar nominations. I was part of a very talented team at Framestore who completed all the visual effects work on the film in late Spring 2011. Spielberg placed considerable techincal and artistic challenges in front of us, but in the end I am very proud of the work we did on the film. Our fingerprints are all over the film (and trailer), but you will have to wait until next December for more on this!