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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    An anatomy Question in regards to Nipple Placement

    Hey guys,
    So I've been reading a lot of Hogarth's Dynamic Figure Drawing (don't jump all over me just yet. I've learned that guy gets ripped apart like wrapping paper for some reason). It's been helping me greatly in regards to creating characters without references but I'm having some trouble with the torso.
    Hogarth proposes that the nipple will always be located at a 45 degree angle down from the pit of the neck (it is shown at the end of this tutorial

    This doesn't really make sense to me. As the body turns so too does the nipple and we see less of the chest. Wouldn't the angle have to shrink in order to stay proportional to the turn? The same goes for the when the torso leans forwards and backwards. I'm fairly certain the logic is wrong.
    My question is, How do I locate the nipple on the chest? After studying a few Loomis schematics of the human body and my own; I think it's reasonable to say that there is a line that can be drawn from the naval to the edge of the collar bone where the humerus (upper arm bone) is joined. On this line that runs from the naval to humerus, the nipple will always be located no matter what angle the body is viewed from (unless it's from the rear, wise-ass). The height of the nipple on this line is dependent on the foreshortening of the torso (whether it's leaning backwards or forewards).
    Here's the Loomis drawing I was looking at. http://drawninblack.globalmindflow.n.../02/loomis.jpg

    Does anyone have any other solutions for locating the nipple or corner of the pec on the human figure?


    Edit: I understand that the collarbone moves freely from the torso.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Ottawa, Canada
    Thanked 1,447 Times in 748 Posts
    Well, the 90 degree rule is good, but it only appears that way when viewed from perfectly straight on. The relationship will stay at about 90 degrees no matter what angle you look at it from, but will appear to be a different angle based on perspective.

    More importantly, you need to realize that the nipple will in different places on different people and at different times. For example, the nipple on a woman will vary depending on her breasts--if they are small the nipples may be similar to that of a man, but if they are saggy they will be lower down, or if they are perky they may be outwards more. The nipple is a part of the skin, so moves with the skin. Stand in front of a mirror, and lift one of your arms over your head. The nipple will move up.

    I don't rely on any perfect rule that I follow every time. The nipple is something that you can generally just estimate its location most of the time and it will look fine. It becomes easier with practice. If it is hard now, try finding a few photos of topless men and women and copying them, noting where the nipples are, and try to figure out why they are where they are.

    "Complacency is the womb of mediocrity. " -- Jason Manley

    "If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." -- Bruce Lee

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    w/in walking distance
    Thanked 49 Times in 39 Posts
    Can you not look in a mirror and see where your nipples are placed? Everybody is different, except identical twins. There is no truely definable place for this part. I would look at some skin mags and see how the pro's picture it. I haven't done many women but depending on how you draw the breast, perky, pear shape, or sagging, YOU put the nipple where you would play with it. Thats what I do. And it works.

    Edit: Well, damn! I should start reading all posts.

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  7. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Thanked 2,593 Times in 1,617 Posts
    90-degree rule is arbitrary.

    A better guideline is: the nipple line is about 1 head's height down from the chin in standing figure. The nipples themselves lie on the lines connecting the shoulder arcs and the navel.

    (Shoulder arc is the bony part of the shoulder made from collarbone end and the shoulder blade's protrusion, the deltoid muscle "hangs" from it. It is an immobile point connected to the collarbone. Your guess was excellent, you just missed the real point a little.)

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