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Body of Evidence

So, I've started an informal study of Human Anatomy. I know that sounds like I'm harvesting body parts, but this is something new.

See, it's useful as an artist to have some idea how the underlying structure of a person affects their form. Our contours aren't random, after all. But when you're creating a figure from your imagination, it's easy to forget that.

I've always had a problem with health classes, though. Any sort of discussion of how the human body works inevitably makes me ill. So, that's a challenge I've largely dealt with through avoidance and denial. Which, incidentally, is the best way to handle any situation -- don't ever let anyone tell you differently, or you're doin' it wrong.

I figure the next step to try after denial fails is to throw money at a problem, so that's what I'm doing.

We start with this video, wherein Zack Petroc shows his approach to simplifying and appying said knowledge in a digital sculpture. Good stuff, to be sure, but I should fill in my background a bit before I watch it again.

I've found a guy out in Slovakia who takes high-res, well lit photos of people from all angles, in useful poses to model from. He's figured out that most 3D animators need this, and is filling the niche with a subscription website. I'm signed up for a year now, and my hard drive is brimming with handy reference pics.

What I really need is an ecorché class. This involves the following:
  • The purpose and shape of bone is explained in great detail. You sculpt that bone in clay, and place it where it belongs in the skeleton.
  • The skeleton is completed.
  • The purpose and shape of a muscle is explained in great detail. You sculpt that muscle, and attach it to the skeleton(accurately to how nature does it, if nature used clay).
  • The human musculature is completed.
  • ...I'm not sure if tendons or skin are actually dealt with or not. But you should be fine without those.
This doesn't seem to be offered very commonly, though. I did find a class which meets weekly, about an hour from my house. Wrote them to ask if it's not too late to sign up for their next session, but I suspect it is (as that starts in five days).

I actually kind of hope it's full. I'll be better able to afford the next session (in March, I guess -- this one runs 10 weeks), and not having a class Sunday morning will let me leave for Northern California consdierably earlier.

Ordered a copy of Visualizing Muscles: A New Ecorché Approach to Surface Anatomy, because I think when someone paints another person's skin to look as though they have no skin, this is a work to be supported! I do question it's usefulness, though, as skin tends to bunch up in ways muscles don't. But it'll be perfect to hand the guy at the tatoo parlor to work from.

What else?

I went out of my way to avoid catching the Horrible Dead People Show when it was in town, but I figure I should buy their DVD now. Or the book of photos. Only, when I checked their site to see what that'd cost, I discovered it waited for me. They're still in town, still peeled of skin, and they'll be around for a few weeks longer. Better still, I can bundle that admission with an IMAX presentation of "the Human Body"! Now, somewhere in all that (without a layer of abstraction to hide behind like I've got with the rest of these), throwing up is pretty much inevitable. May have to buy lunch more than once, and that can't be cheap. Should be a good time, though. Anyone care to join me?

-----

edit:
I was totally going to feature this link somewhere in there! Not sure how I missed that. Everyone click here and play with the interactive drawings.

  Now!

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
technomonkey
Jan. 4th, 2005 07:13 am (UTC)
Horrible Dead People Show
I think my class is taking a field trip a week from Friday to see that. Not sure what time, but you could time your trip for compatibility, and we could throw up together!
self
Jan. 4th, 2005 02:36 pm (UTC)
Rock on. It'll be even better with a proper tourguide!

You doin' the IMAX?
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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