Human Proportions Calculator

This tool provides a simple and fast way to know the proportions of an ideal and realistic human figure. It proposes an easy way for an artist to understand what the human body proportion sizes are.

If your human figure looks strange but can’t figure out where the problem is or it feels like something is wrong with the human proportions, this tool is made to help resolve these kinds of problems and to produce a realistic human form.

What are human body proportions?

Relative and Orthographic proportions

Human proportions can be measured in many ways. Eventually, all the proportions are relative in their sense. However, the word relative is used here with a very specific meaning. We can measure relative and Orthographic proportions, but what is the difference? 

Orthographic proportions (OP)

It is the proportional relationship between parts of the body or its elements in the so-called ”ideal world” where the ”perspective turned off” world exists without any perspective or lens distortion and where the proportions of an object’s look do not depend on the viewer.

This is called an orthographic perspective. This happens when all the rays are parallel and there is none of them that are in focus. It is a world where the road does not narrow in distance and objects further away are not smaller than those that are closer to the viewer.

Orthographic proportions are the ones that are mostly used in 3D modeling and sculpting. Making these proportions that we are most interested in. Our current measures exactly these Orthographic Proportions.

Relative Proportions (RP)

Relative proportions are the same as Orthographic Proportions but are affected by deformations of the perspective or lens distortions. This is how an object is perceived in real life by the lens of the human eye. It’s mostly used in 2D art. 

Why 8HU?

The 8-head canon or 8 head unit (Hu) ratio, where the height of the head is 1/8 of the total height of the figure or the height ratio of the human figure is 8 heads tall, was used in art as an idealized adult figure standard.

It originated in Classical Ancient Egypt and Greece and later during the Renaissance. One of the first who described 8 Hu Ratio as advisable for sculpting the human figure was Greek Sculptor – Lysippos (4th century BC).  Pliny notes a remark that Lysippos “commonly used to say” – that while other artists “made men as they really were, he made them as they appeared to be.”

Although this canon does not correspond to realistic proportions of a human being, it still gives a rather realistic impression to sculpture. This is probably because the image we receive throughout the eyes is different from the one that is processed in our brains.

Often when looking at regular photos taken with the phone, despite optical distortions, people fail to notice that figures used to have short bodies and big heads but our brain seems to ignore this fact.

These kinds of images can not be uncritically used as a reference for sculpting. For the same reason in photography the best portraits are taken from a larger distance with the zoom to avoid the most distortions. This is why in the sculpting process it is advisable to use the Human proportion charts or Human Proportion Calculator to avoid such mistakes.

7.5 Hu

Realistic adult proportions are usually 6 – 7.5 Hu. The figures created by these measurements are more realistic and in some situations do not require an idealized 8 Hu approach. It can be used when the figure is not in close proximity to the lens so you don’t have to worry about the perspective or lens distortion. Also if it is the real sculpture and it is much larger than the life-size.

In ancient Greece, not all sculptures were made with idealized examples of 8 Hu. Famous sculptor Polykleitos preferred the 7 Hu Ratio. In the classical tradition, figures or portraits of people were never made in their natural sizes. To gain the most realistic look of the figure or bust, sculptors made the artwork 20% larger.

What does this human proportions calculator do?

By entering your desired height, you can see the rest of the body part respective sizes. And by using the 8 Hu or 7,5 Hu chart, it makes the perception of proportions easy.

However, you have to remember that these are the ideal and most commonly used human figure proportions. There are many situations where a specific person’s body type will not have the current Hu system in their human body ratio. 

There are many factors that affect it, just as simple as men and women have different proportions. Generally understanding how proportions are created, allows an artist to create a more realistic human figure.

The tool option

Change gender – Male or Female body proportions.

Zoom in to specific body parts – Full Body, Head, Foot, or Hand.

Change the type of human being: 

  • Newborn – 4 Hu
  • Infant – 5 Hu
  • Young Child – 5,5 Hu
  • Child – 6 Hu
  • Teenager – 7 Hu
  • Young Adult – 7,5 Hu
  • Adult – 8 Hu
  • Elderly – 7 Hu

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