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[WIP] Bones to Skin

Rima
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Rima greentooth
I want to improve at characters, but I realised my knowledge just isn't solid enough on the underlying anatomy. I thought what I'd do was study and try to create something similar to this model, by Ryan Kingslien.



 If I go from bone to muscle, checking each one as I go, surely I'll solidify my knowledge, and then be able to make higher quality, more accurate models with fewer mistakes.

I don't think I need to go too overboard with it, though, I hope? I didn't sculpt or model each rib; just knowing where they are should be enough, I assume, though I'll remodel it if I decide that level of detail is needed. I'm trying to focus on the parts I know I'm weak at, or that will be exposed as a bony landmark, or have a big visible impact on a full body, such as the scapula and clavicle.
This is what I have so far.

The head doesn't seem proportionate. I aimed for just a rough head shape, but I don't think I scaled the torso right compared to it. Should fix that.

I'm not really sure about the rib cage; I've had difficulty getting the proportions right. I'm aiming for a female model here. I understand the angle is different from male to female; are there any other traits that are significantly different I'm overlooking? It feels off...

I have to add the clavicle, and then the legs. I might leave the hands and feet be and learn those separately. They're very particular and tricky.

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  • carvuliero
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    carvuliero hero character
    Your thing is a tad short If you base everything of the head/skull ribcage should be 1 3/4 heads pelvis 1 head and head to ribcage distance is 1/3 head and ribcage to pelvis 1/4 head so you should end up with roughly 4 heads from top of the head to pubic symphysis
    You will have much higher chance of success if you use some proportionate system

  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    Ahh, how did I miss that? I thought too much of their shapes without putting them into context with everything else. Thank you; I've tried adjusting accordingly. Although, looking at it now, I should fix the front's hollow; I forgot that part. I'll fix it before my next update.

    Going to redo the arm bones; they're sloppy. And probably detail the pelvis, just for the sake of my knowledge.
  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    Well, I added the rest of the bones, save the feet, hands and patella (I'll just sculpt that bit on). The pelvis is difficult, so right now I just made something simplistic. It might be too small? Looking again, the spine doesn't seem right between it and the ribs, either.

    But I think I learned a bit regarding the limbs. Next time I'm doing a skeleton-shape, I'll just sculpt the bones on the lower limbs together, now that I actually understand a bit better why they look the way they do in regards to the bony landmarks.

    Also I've just realised I accidentally set the head back too high; I'll fix that.

  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    In the end, I couldn't be satisfied with that the way it was. Just felt too...Un-thorough. So, I redid it again, trying to do it more bone-by bone. Even did the spine. But I had to adjust it using the transpose curve, so it's a bit off now. But it's generally more accurate, I think.

    I'm dissatisfied with the lower legs. Too rough, and I never get the fibula right. I'll revise that, and maybe the lower arms again, but I really want to do the muscles already, as several of them are a key weakness.

  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    Well, I started adding in the muscles. It's incredibly tedious like this, but I did want to understand them all, so I can't complain too much. I'm understanding how they layer over each other a bit better. The ends of various parts around the shoulder and arm....The teres minor, the tricep, etc, are quite tricky. The serratus anterior is also quite particular. I wasn't aware of the higher parts of it before. They're not going to be visible, in all probability, but it's good to know. Got to finish the arm muscles, then I'll continue down. There's certainly some faults here and there to fix, too...

  • Krom
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    Krom polycounter lvl 13
    You started to add muscles on the unfinished skeleton. It's usually better to finish overall forms and then to add other layers.
    It also seems that while you're doing the right thing you're pushing yourself too hard and don't have a fun time. It's a sure way to get an artist block. 
    Try to make something small for fun. 

    PS I want also to add from my personal experience. When I started to learn anatomy these muscle models seemed overwhelming and confusing. But the more I was practicing, the easier they seemed. So again you don't need to torture yourself trying to recreate a human body 1 to 1 to get progress. It's better to finish something visually impressive as a validation of your skills. I'm struggling with it myself. lol
  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    ivilai said:
    You started to add muscles on the unfinished skeleton. It's usually better to finish overall forms and then add other layers.
    It also seems that while you're doing the right thing you're pushing yourself too hard and don't have a fun time. It's a sure way to get an artist block. 
    Try to make something small for fun. 

    Well, for me, it isn't fun if it's incorrect. I have fun making something that seems to be coming together into something approximating the target.

    As for it being unfinished, did you mean the hands, feet and head? I want to do those pieces a bit separately, since they're all quite particular in and of themselves. Or was there something else? If there's a big flaw I've not realised - which is quite possible - I'd like to know.
  • Krom
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    Krom polycounter lvl 13

    As for it being unfinished, did you mean the hands, feet and head?
    Yes. It's one of the main principles in art. You're supposed to work on a piece as on a single object. You can't have one part of the picture blank and another super detailed. The same applies to sculpture and design.
  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    ivilai said:

    As for it being unfinished, did you mean the hands, feet and head?
    Yes. It's one of the main principles in art. You're supposed to work on a piece as on a single object. You can't have one part of the picture blank and another super detailed. The same applies to sculpture and design.

    Well, this isn't much of a piece of art. It's just a study on my current particular focus. But I take your point.

    To that, this is today's modest progress.


    Comparing to my references....I can do a little better, I think. I'm about out of free time today for it, but I'll continue tomorrow. I haven't approached the mess that is the back of the head yet; comparing to references, it's quite particular, but I don't think I need to sculpt quite all of the details there, as they have literally zero impact on the final form. Then again, the Kingslien model I'm aiming to match the quality of in the end does include those, at least in rough triangulated form, so it would be a shame to miss them entirely.
  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    Did the rest of the skull. The jaw and teeth aren't great, but sufficient for this purpose. As long as I know they're there. I could probably detail the crazy looking underside of the skull a bit more, but it's not needed. I also practice masculinising the skull just for fun (on the right in the second image).

    I'll stick it on the body, then add the finger and feet bones, give it a look over, and resume the muscles unless, with fresh eyes, I see some huge issue.

  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    There we go. One complete skeleton.
    There's some faults, but it should be enough to resume work on the muscles. I ended up redoing the ribs, spine, arms and legs, so it's a skeleton of Theseus at the moment.

    I'll get back to it with the muscles for now.

  • Krom
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    Krom polycounter lvl 13
    It looks better. But you need to check major lengths and proportions. A lot of things are off. Where are the kneecaps? :) 
  • pxgeek
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    pxgeek keyframe
    I commend you for taking this route to learn anatomy as there are more efficient ways (like sculpting the naked form)... but more power to you for wanting to take a deep dive into the fundamentals.
    Since it seems your goal for this project is to learn in a more academic approach, have you made sure you're looking at real world skeletal references as you sculpt this? This will be crucial, as you're going to want everything to be in the right place since you will be building muscles on top of everything.
    An example would be the 7th cervical vertebra. It's one the more prominent landmarks of the neck and it sits above the shoulders (and not connected to any bones of the rib cage). You have yours all the way down well below the shoulders.

    Since it can be hard to know whats real-world and whats a model for images you find online, I would recommend the book "Artistic Anatomy" by Paul Richer. I lost mine, but iirc it has a bunch of diagrams for origin and insertion points for most (if not all) of the major muscles (even some of the superficial ones), and even diagrams for supination and pronation.
    Again, it's very academic, but it may be a good resource for you.

    Good luck!
  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    ivilai said:
    It looks better. But you need to check major lengths and proportions. A lot of things are off. Where are the kneecaps? :) 
    I'll double check them. Think it's my bad habit again of focusing too much on their shapes and not enough on the big picture. As for the kneecaps, they're probably the only bone I really can't be bothered with, as they're truly just a floating blob. I'll add them via sculpting when I do the leg muscles.
    pxgeek said:
    I commend you for taking this route to learn anatomy as there are more efficient ways (like sculpting the naked form)... but more power to you for wanting to take a deep dive into the fundamentals.
    Since it seems your goal for this project is to learn in a more academic approach, have you made sure you're looking at real world skeletal references as you sculpt this? This will be crucial, as you're going to want everything to be in the right place since you will be building muscles on top of everything.
    An example would be the 7th cervical vertebra. It's one the more prominent landmarks of the neck and it sits above the shoulders (and not connected to any bones of the rib cage). You have yours all the way down well below the shoulders.

    Since it can be hard to know whats real-world and whats a model for images you find online, I would recommend the book "Artistic Anatomy" by Paul Richer. I lost mine, but iirc it has a bunch of diagrams for origin and insertion points for most (if not all) of the major muscles (even some of the superficial ones), and even diagrams for supination and pronation.
    Again, it's very academic, but it may be a good resource for you.

    Good luck!
    It's true that it's not super efficient. I'm just stubborn; I feel like I need to know and understand it inside and out. I don't need medical level knowledge, but the best sculptors I've seen, in terms of anatomical accuracy, are the ones who've been able to rattle off exactly what each muscle is, where it comes from and what it does; their sculpts were good because they knew exactly what they were sculpting. I want to be able to understand that myself; to know exactly what I'm sculpting, not just what it should look like. Why it looks like that.

    I've been using several apps for reference, like Anatomy.app and Anatomy for The Artist, several photos of bones I found on a convenient website you can search them on, as well as various diagrams I've found online regarding various muscles. The spine is something I've decided to leave a bit rough and not too accurate; the model I've been referencing against as a guide for quality didn't detail it to perfect accuracy. But I will keep that in mind and correct it in sculpting at a later stage.

    I've just come back from a week off; must get back into it.

  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    I did a bit of adjustment on the proportions, then worked on the muscles a bit. But looking again now, I need to make more fixes on that; I truly must kill that habit of overlooking things due to rushing or focusing too much on one part.

    To the crotch should be about four heads, but the legs are too long now. I'll fix those before I do their muscles. I also did end up adding the patella; after getting a comment on it it kind of started bothering me that it wasn't there as a reference point.

    I started out using Zsketches to make the basic shapes, but scrapped them and redid it. As the reference model accounts for tendons, I wanted to, as well, and they just can't seem to get the resolution to hold those, so I'm using Zspheres just as Zspheres for now.

    I've also made a few errors on the back of the arm. I forgot to do the anconeus earlier, as it's such a small muscle, but I think it might actually be a useful point of reference, since it sits between the flexor carpi ulnaris and the extensorum carpi ulnaris, if I understood correctly. Forgetting that, I haven't allowed the space for it, so that whole part is wrong. Will redo that. I'm currently regretting merging my subtools, but I hate the mess in the subtool list when they're separate. My mistake, though.

    Anyway, I know what I need to revise. Also have triceps to add, of course. But I'm hoping it's not woefully inaccurate.

  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    More modifications. Fixed the proportions. I was eyeballing it a bit before, but I decided to use a stack of heads just to be sure. I also finished the arms. The triceps aren't detailed, but I can fix that later. What's important is I studied them and understand them better now.

    I started roughly adding in the muscles on the torso. I'm not really happy with the pectoral muscles right now, though. I'll modify them.

  • iam717
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    iam717 greentooth
    cool stuff if you did not already check, check this out and perhaps think about purchasing the material, if you can looks like a lot of effort went into it all and it is very helpful.  https://www.artstation.com/anatomy4sculptors

  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    iam717 said:
    cool stuff if you did not already check, check this out and perhaps think about purchasing the material, if you can looks like a lot of effort went into it all and it is very helpful.  https://www.artstation.com/anatomy4sculptors


    Yes, it's one of the books I reference from.
  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    I'm getting a bit frustrated. It just doesn't look right. I'm especially thinking, the back seems too thick, and the trapezius is off. Still need to fix the pecs, too. I feel like flaws I hadn't noticed in the skeleton, especially the ribs, are being exposed here. I think when I merge them all, I'll fix it at that point. Right now, I have the legs and feet and hands left, and the face.

  • 3dmaster88
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    Hey rima! I can make a series of tutorials on how to model the skeleton first, if you want it. And then move on to the body modeling, using two tools, 3ds max and zbrush, 3ds max would be for the assembly and zbrush for the organic modeling, bones and muscles. I write you thinking it was a reply to this post, so here goes again, not only want to help you, but all the community to enter to your post and wanted to find a solution to your same problem.
     What do you say? 
  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    Hmm....I think that would be quite off-topic, as this topic is for my own project, specifically, rather than this kind of project in general. I'm uncertain, but there's likely a subforum you could create that kind of topic in that it would be best suited to. Though, I do thank you for the consideration.
  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    I spent a few hours on the legs today.

    They're actually a section I'm a bit more familiar with, but it's been good to pay close attention to them. My knowledge of them has been general, but fault when it comes to getting them specifically accurate. That said, even as these are, they're not quite perfect. It might be worth revising the quadriceps femoris; I didn't really add the tendons properly. That could easily be sculpted, though. There's also a little detail I could stand to add on the gastrocnemius, and I need to correct the iliotibial tract. I accidentally smoothed it out at some point, and it's lots all that thickness it's meant to have. Also, looking again, I need to fix the adductor longus. It's too thin. Mind you, that area will end up covered with fat anyway.

    I still have the feet and hand muscles, and then the head. But I actually want to redo the torso muscles first; they're just not anywhere near good enough.

  • Krom
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    Krom polycounter lvl 13
    Nice progress. Arms are still too short. And hands too small.

  • nomzod
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    nomzod polycounter lvl 7
    pxgeek said:
    I commend you for taking this route to learn anatomy as there are more efficient ways...
    It's a little  exactly like setting out to be a rocket engineer, by making each individual piece of the space shuttle by hand

  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    nomzod said:
    pxgeek said:
    I commend you for taking this route to learn anatomy as there are more efficient ways...
    It's a little  exactly like setting out to be a rocket engineer, by making each individual piece of the space shuttle by hand


    Well, it's not as if this is ever going to be my go-to method of sculpting. It's just an exercise for the sake of learning.
  • zetheros
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    zetheros interpolator
    the skull could be 75-80% smaller and the hips are too wide (even for a woman), cool work I need to do this too
  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    I made a few more modifications following advice, and started blocking in the muscles of the face. Not quite right yet; more to do. Still not really happy with the torso. I tried doing it a similar way to the model I've been comparing to. For some reason, that one has the external oblique under the rectus abdominus; I assume it's in order to focus on those muscles' shape and location, so I tried to do the same, but I don't really like it. I think I'll just redo them once more. Not right yet!

  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    Well, I more or less did the last of the muscles. I added a bit of detail on some of them just for fun, but not all. Kind of just procrastinating, if I'm to be honest.

    I've merged them onto one subtool for now, for convenient editing; there were some things bothering me I really should've noticed earlier that didn't, which are a lot easier to modify this way, so I tried making some changes to make it more accurate to reference. Also, because the subtool list is just clunky as hell.

    There's....Still quite a significant gap in quality between the Kingslien model and mine. Mine's just not up to par...Which I suppose summarises my skills in general. But I did get a bit better from practicing, I think. I understand the serratus and external oblique better, though I don't know that I've done a great job modeling them. What I've been finding is that some things seem like they're far easier to model, and others are easier to straightforwardly sculpt.

    Looking at it now, I can see more errors, but some of them seem rather baked in at this point. I'd really like to just go ahead and sculpt it, and fix stuff while I'm at it. I'm quite sick of looking at it in this state. That will be quite the task, though; there's quite a lot that wants tweaking or outright fixing.

  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    The trouble with having modeled the muscles separately to memorise them is, dynameshing them together creates gaps. It's making it a bit of a hassle; I keep encountering sudden holes in the mesh even in places that shouldn't have them, or awkward nooks and crannies. I've done some damage while trying to fill and patch them, and messed up the arms. I'll need to do some serious revisions there. I'm not complete on the torso, either; need to do more on the abs, and add the fat pad on the belly, as well as the belly button, of course. I'll probably hide the abs in the end under some fat, as they're not that prominent. I also think, comparing to references, the neck muscles are too prominent. I'm not solid on the back, either. Having modeled it, it's a shame, but on most references, they're very well hidden under skin and fat. I don't think I've got it quite right, though; I'll need to modify it.

  • iam717
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    iam717 greentooth
    When i did the wildwest entry to learn this process, i just made the head straight out from a box/or/sphere but to patch holes i put "fillers" where i knew i was going to get holes, so i thought of it like layers of skin cause i knew if i put no geo there, i'd run into what you ran into, so i learned to do test "remeshings" under new save files to see what worked, i just put zspheres (both, the other is zsketch spheres <video link) they helped.  The general idea for me was to get the closest to "final" as i could so i could reuse these things later on and morph them a little to "generate" a new design form to save time.  These do take a while to make, so i commend the efforts.  Nothing else to add from me, just do what ya can, i can see progress so congrats on achieving this.
  • NikhilR
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    NikhilR polycounter
    Lovely work and progression! 
    It takes a lot of dedication to do this approach certainly and its very commendable!
    One program that I would recommend is Anatronica which would help you isolate muscle groups in real time. 

  • Rima
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    Rima greentooth
    Thank you. I should get back to this project, too. Or at least chip away a little bit.
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