Would like some advice on character anatomy
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  1. #1
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    Would like some advice on character anatomy

    HI everyone,

    I posted these as part of a recent work thread in the Finally Finished forum, but as I always hear, the anatomies of my characters don't live up to my environments or the quality of the renderings themselves. My main problem, from a practical point of view, is that I do not see these problems nearly as readily as I see perspective issues in an environment painting and the end result is having a blind-spot for some elements of anatomy. What I'd like to do is have some of you wizards on ConceptArt help me to identify the weaknesses in the anatomy of the renderings below (please feel free to create overlays of line corrections as guidance) so that I can compare them to my references and open my eyes a bit. The images below are all from imagination and do not have any direct photo-reference.









    Thanks

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    Last edited by Lord Edwin; April 29th, 2009 at 08:15 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Everything you posted looks OK anatomically to me--certainly acceptable in terms of getting the design across.

    If I had one sweeping critique to offer it would be that none of the pieces you posted show much (or any) contrapposto. The girl in the fur collar's sort of got her weight shifted to one hip a little, but every other figure's pose seems completely static. Some more dramatic (within reason) poses might help to sell your ideas a little better.

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  4. #3
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    Same. I don't see anything glaringly wrong with the anatomy here. But having said that remember that your figures tend towards the plumper side (which is cool if you ask me) and less sophisticated viewers don't like that. That factor combined with your faces which are okay but lack a little oomph might make people respond negatively to what are actually ok pieces. You can pick that up by studying standard modes of facial beauty and bringing them into your work.

    Just don't take it to heart and remember to take everything you hear on CA with a grain of salt. Everyone's a critic here. Personally I like your original costume designs and figure style.

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  6. #4
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    Thank you both. As someone still trying to find his way into a professional role, it's easy to get bogged down by worrying about the most nagging criticisms. I'll keep all of the advice in mind.

    Giacomo: Having more movement/energy in my poses is something I'm always trying to do (and don't always succeed with), but you're right - they can go much further without being outright action scenes. I'll keep at it.

    Atreides: I do like to give my figures a more real-world shape and weight. I've never been a big fan of sticking to the conventional, 'thin' template for female figures (and for that matter, the over-muscular male). I find it removes them from the reality of the worlds I am trying to illustrate and is sometimes distracting.

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    First of all, it's AMAZING that you can whip these up without reference material.
    I agree that your anatomy seems very strong and believable.

    You have a consistent and impressive style. The sitting swordswoman's body, hands and feet are especially wonderful.

    I'd describe the body types as "normal human female" which is nice to see. People criticizing your anatomy might just be looking for "idealized human female" anatomy or "idealized female face."

    I agree that the poses and facial expressions seem a little low on energy. I get the impression that these women are a little bored, a little irritated, a little tired or a little lazy.

    In the third picture (tutu woman), I think her ear is too high on her head.

    Swordwoman's face somehow seems inconsistent with the rest of the painting. maybe her face is too large or maybe the angle seems odd. I can't quite put my finger on it.

    My crits are pretty nitpicky considering how impressive your artistic skills are. I hope you find some of my comments helpful.

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  8. #6
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    Nice finishes.
    Nothing major that I can see. (Double check though)
    Just horizontal check. Especially the last one's head, and her left arm
    could probably be too straight?

    I love the expression of the first one.
    Nice.

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    Work on face stuff. The proportion of the features and placement (particularly in the eyes) seems very off. There are many proportion tricks having to do with facial features that you can look up (center of eyes relating to the corners of the mouth, placement of the eyes at the center of the face, eyes being one eye-width apart, ears fitting between the tip of the nose and the top of the eyes, etc). The rest, however, seems great!

    Also, I love that you're using a very normal, non-idealized body type for your females! Very modest, refreshing, and striking.

    - O

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  10. #8
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    Hrm, one thing I noticed . . . maybe you shouldn't have them all looking at the viewer . . . especially the one in profile. It's kind of disconcerting and speaks more of portraiture than concept. A character who is consumed in the world around them and not conscious of the viewer is typically more compelling.

    - O

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  11. #9
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    I think your anatomy's very well done. You're getting the sense of realism down very nicely and it's a welcome break from the idealized characters. There are some minor errors, like the first one's arm being a teense too long (at least, in my eyes), but overall you're doing good.

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  12. #10
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    Very good concepts on these overall. This is solid work.

    Anatomy crits:

    1st picture - The neck area is a little fuzzy. How her hood is connecting to her costume near her clavicle doesn't seem quite right — you should feel a pull on the top of her costume near the base of her neck from the two sides of the hood based on how it seems to be connecting. Also, the neck itself does not seem to have a solid mass. The muscle pulling from behind the ear would be showing against the skin with her head turned like that. Some minor placement issues with the eyes on the skull, but nothing too bad.

    2nd picture - Great rendering of the cloth going over her knees. It's very convincing. There are again some minor issues with the face/neck area — particularly, the neck does not appear to be centred between her shoulders. Look at your line of buttons going up her front in comparison to where the neck is aligning. Also, her nearest breast appears to be smaller than the one furthest from us.

    3rd picture - This is the strongest of your images, in my opinion. Your anatomy here is very well done and there are no glaring issues. Again, though, watch your necks — there is more going on in a human neck than just a cylinder.

    4th picture - Her arms appear to be just a tad short. Also, there is something a little strange about how her ears are emerging from the skull. Placement of the mouth is slightly off. Neck anatomy again...


    This is pretty nitpicky stuff, though. These are great images and well-rendered. Job well done, mate.

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    hey, i think the rendering on these is amazing. and the general body proportions and anatomy are perfectly servicable. the biggest problem i can see on first glance, is the placing of facial features, and sizes of facial features. most of the eyes arent placed symmetrically or the same size.

    i spotted this because i do the same.

    i found that flipping the image horizontally every so often makes these errors jump out, and i find myself going "how the hell did i miss that?!" i think you get used to seeing something, and you convince yourself its correct from one angle. also, someone else might correct me on this, but i think there's a certain bias depending on which hand you draw with.

    sounds like a really obvious tip, but until i actually starting doing it, i didnt realise how useful it could be!

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  14. #12
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    Anatomy

    Since you asked:

    • First image there is something going on with the hands? Missing knuckles maybe?


    • Second image appears to a have several problems:

    Bone structure of face uneven
    Right shoulder around collar bone appears swollen
    Left breast appears much larger than the right one
    Left hand has six fingers? Ring finger is too long.


    • Third image:

    Yes the ear is too high and should be brought down at least half it's length
    Attention to length of fingers
    Should show broader curve in back of chest under right arm as well as above above right hip
    I agree with ModurnDae_OZEL about the character being more conscious about the world around them unless you applied a more expressive pose

    • Everything is in place with the last character


    Sometimes visualizing your subjects anatomy (or even sketching them) nude before detailing clothing provides insight as to the flow of their clothing.
    Versatile concepts and style. I like your "Durer" style signature.

    Ask Maurice.Org


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  15. #13
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    Thank you everyone for your insights. There are a number of ideas I hadn't thought of in a long while with regards to facial features placement - time to get back in the habit.

    Some particular comments:

    Psibug - thanks for your pointers. I noticed the high ear on the 'tutu' girl as well.

    ModernDae - great tips. Perhaps my goals in ensuring some real-world qualities in my overall figures have translated into a bit of stubbornness in believing anything can look right even when it doesn't.

    sharpe - I'll take the time to study shoulder/neck/face adjoining areas a little more carefully. I do tend to simplify the neck. Regarding pciture #2, the line of buttons is intentionally off-centre (2:1 ratio of widths on either side of the button line) so that may be throwing the interpretation off. However, if that's the case, I could do a better job of making that fact clear.

    pocko - thanks for reminding me of this. I do it with my environments as a composition aid, but usually forget to with characters.

    ask maurice - regarding the 2nd image, I noticed the swollen shoulder area too after many look-overs and something not seeming right. Thanks for all of the specific points.

    *goes to workover those faces...*

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