Anatomy of Facial Expression

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Create realistic expressions that inspire real emotions

smile face muscle anatomy of facial expression anatomy for sculptors

Visual artists
are visual thinkers

Often the most challenging area of human anatomy to master. Since people intuitively recognize badly faked expressions. 

Anatomy of Facial Expression teaches all the primary facial anatomy and muscles. And the movement and collaboration of them to create realistic expressions.

3D and live models

The visual references in Anatomy of Facial Expression include pictures of live models, portrait photos overlaid with 3D renderings of facial muscles.

And photogrammetry scans of neutral and expressed faces, as well as 3D models of skull structures.

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Judith Beheading Holofernes Caravaggio
Caravaggio Judith Beheading Holofernes by Michelangelo close up
The Last Day of Pompei by Carl Brullov
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Learning how to understand anatomy

Real emotions are hard to fake. We need to learn the subtle visual nuances that make us connect with a character’s inner world. 

Anatomy of Facial Expression lets you understand the anatomy behind the delicate facial movements and provides you with the language to convey them.

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Rembrandt Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple web

The essential
part is how it looks

When it comes to anatomy for artists, the visual aspect is what matters the most.

It doesn’t mean being superficial – visual references are simply more directly applicable to creating visual artworks.

rage facial muscles anatomy of facial expression anatomy for sculptors

F.A.C.S.

Facial Action Coding System by Paul Ekman. We’ve listed the FACS codes along with their corresponding visual images for a quick reference.

For all visual artists

We shape the knowledge in an empowering way for all kinds of visual artists. Regardless of whether you’re in digital art, CGI, VFX, character design, 2D or 3D, traditional art, etc., you’ll find Anatomy of Facial Expression helpful.

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Industry expert
experiences and uses

Jason Martin Id software

Jason Martin

Character Art Director

- Id Software

The approach to this through the sculptor’s eye is unique and second to none.

The clean breakdown of forms and dimensions, as well as the understanding of 3d space, is very practical and easy to digest

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Frederic Daoust

Senior Character Artist

- Epic Games

Anatomy for Sculptors books are my go to references for whenever I’m sculpting a character.

The books have all the information I need as a sculptor and are super well organized to easily find whatever area of the body I am working on…

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Erick Sosa

Senior Character Artist

- Marvel’s "What if?"

All I can say about this amazing book and the rest of the series is this: Do yourself a favor, and get these books, I have been in the toys and collectibles industries for three decades, never have I seen a book with better anatomy reference…

We got two more books, each about their own topic of expertise

Understanding the Human Figure

Form of the Head and Neck