Écorché Reference Tool

The Écorché Reference Tool contains multiple anatomy reference models. These 3D models and images provide you with anatomically accurate visual references that are easy to understand.

The models and images feature multiple useful views with color-coded muscle diagrams, block-outs, bony landmarks, tips and tricks, and etc. And is being updated with more content.

3D Anatomy for the Artist

Why does the artist need anatomy references in 3D? Whether you create 3D or 2D artworks, understanding anatomy from various angles will make you more flexible in your work, and our Anatomy Écorché Reference Tool will help you achieve it.

You might think it makes perfect sense to use two-dimensional anatomy references if you’re a 2D artist. But that’s wrong! This way, you will limit your creativity to reproducing the same angles and poses that someone else has already thought up for you.

As for the 3D artists, if you don’t have a real sense of the body volumes, you are at risk of creating models or sculptures that are anatomically awkward. Good 3D anatomy knowledge will give you more confidence as an artist.

Muscle Anatomy Reference Model – L’écorché combattant

The base 3D model in the Anatomy for Sculptors Écorché Reference Tool is the 1845 sculpture L’écorché combattant by Jacques-Eugène Caudron. It is an excellent source for muscle anatomy reference, and we’ve further enhanced it in various ways to bring it to the 21st century.

Écorché or a muscle man

An écorché depicts a flayed man with all its muscles visible. The term comes from French, where it means skinned. This kind of sculpture most often shows the human male figure and allows studying the arrangement and shape of muscles, veins, and joints.

At the end of the 18th and throughout the 19th century, écorchés became compulsory tools in artistic training. Also, today, you will find the famous Houdon’s écorché in almost every art school. But even though Houdon’s muscle man is the most widely known, it is not the most informative écorché. Its pose is very static and does not show much variety in muscle tension.

Ecorche 3D model with a muscle color-code

We’ve based our ecorche 3D model on the 1845 sculpture L’écorché combattant by Jacques-Eugène Caudron. The naturally expressive posture of this amazing écorché showcases muscle flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, supination, pronation, etc.

We further enhanced the model with a color-code option and also created block-out versions for this écorché to make it easier to discern and understand the form of each muscle. This makes our model of L’écorché combattant an excellent aid in anatomy studies for artists.

Muscle anatomy art – surface forms and block-outs

It’s one thing to understand human anatomy, but it’s an entirely different thing to know how to shape the surface forms of muscles. Organic forms are often complex and confusing. So in our Écorché Reference Tool, we try to make things more simple by breaking the human body down into basic shapes. You can see this in the block-out versions of the model.

Male Anatomy Reference Model – 3D Models for Head, Torso, Arms, and Legs

Due to its high level of detail, the 3D model of L’écorché combattant is an excellent digital reference for the male anatomy. To achieve greater clarity of individual details, we’ve also created separate 3D models for the head as well as the upper and lower limbs of the muscle man.

Head 3D model

An isolated 3D model of the head and neck allows you to study this region’s muscles and bony landmarks from any angle. Other body parts – like the elevated left arm from the full écorché – won’t be getting in the way.

Facial muscle anatomy

An isolated 3D model of the head and neck allows you to study this region’s muscles and bony landmarks from any angle. Other body parts – like the elevated left arm from the full écorché – won’t be getting in the way.

3D arm muscle model

The Anatomy for Sculptors 3D viewer features four different models of muscle man arms. While the original écorche only has a left arm that is bent and a straightened right arm, we’ve also prepared their mirror images – a straightened left arm and a bent right arm to be used as a convenient anatomy reference.

It is much handier to rotate and examine each arm individually. In addition, all the medial parts of the straightened arm become visible from all angles, without the torso blocking the view.

3D leg muscle model

Likewise, there are two mirror-image models for both the bent leg and the straightened leg of the écorché. We’ve added the Iliotibial tract and Bicipital tendon to the model’s legs and some connective tissue to its feet – easily observable in the separate 3D models.

Torso anatomy for artists

The anatomy of the torso is not always the easiest thing to understand for artists because all the different components of the thorax and pelvis are closely connected. The full-body model of the écorché is perfect for exploring all the anatomical landmarks and connections of the torso.

In addition to the original model, explore the bony landmarks écorché. This way, you will better understand the attachments for each of the torso muscles and this region as a whole.

Anatomy for Sculptors Écorché Reference Tool options

There are multiple options available for the Anatomy for Sculptors Écorché Reference Tool. You can view the full-body écorché model in the following views:

  • Muscle color-code view;
  • Bony landmarks view;
  • Block-out view

There are separate models available for the following body parts:

  • 3D model for the head and neck;
  • Four 3D models for the arms – both flexed and relaxed;
  • Four 3D models for the legs – both flexed and relaxed

Several ways to explore the human anatomy:

  • 3D models;
  • 2D images;
  • Media folders

You can toggle between high and low definition for any of the 3D models at any time to either improve quality or loading speed.

L'ecorche app accessible worldwide

The Anatomy for Sculptors Écorché Reference Tool app and the L’ecorche combattant model are available worldwide for free. It’s accessible online from any device.

Anatomical Figure is More Than Just Muscles

Even though L’écorché combattant is an amazing aid for artists to better understand human anatomy, the human figure is made up of more than just muscles and bones. Check out the bestselling Anatomy for Sculptors book series to learn more.

Understanding the Human Figure will help you to create realistic forms of the human body – from head to toe. Anatomy of Facial Expression will make it easy to understand and create realistic facial expressions. The Form of the Head and Neck will reveal that muscles are just a minor aspect in the form of the face.

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