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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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.

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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.

Companies with
our books in their
daily workspace

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Industry expert
experiences and uses

Arda Koyuncu​

Art Director

– Riot Games

I highly recommend incorporating this resource in your workflow even if your preferred medium is not sculpting…

Tiago Rios

Character Artist

– Santa Monica Studio

The book gives literally hundreds of easy tips for new and experienced sculptors interested…

Frederic Daoust

Sr. Character Artist

– Epic Games

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

Check out
all our books!

Understanding
the Human Figure

Form of the
Head and Neck

Arm and
Hand in motion

Yuri

Arda Koyuncu

Art Director

– Riot Games

Regardless of your skill level, there is always something to learn and better when it comes to anatomy. Whether you are sculpting a character yourself, or giving feedback to your teams, finding good visual reference can be challenging.

Anatomy for Sculptors books are a great reliable resource that will make this knowledge easy to understand and accessible. There are a wide range of breakdowns from simple, isolated forms to more complicated, from young to old, from human to animal anatomy. Not only do they make the process easier, they also provide new ways of looking at shapes, structure and flow.

I highly recommend incorporating this resource in your workflow even if your preferred medium is not sculpting.
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Tiago Rios

Tiago Rios

Character Artist

– Santa Monica Studio

The book gives literally hundreds of easy tips for new and experienced sculptors interested in pursuing their anatomy studies but not sure how to begin.

To me, the most helpful section was the head and legs, the head for its complexity and amount of very tiny muscles composing it; the legs for its shapes and silhouette. 

The book doesn`t only teach you the name of the muscles but more importantly shows you how the muscles interact to form the big forms.

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Frederic Daoust profile pic epic games

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. The way they simplify shapes to help modelers understand them in three dimensions is something I haven’t seen done that well in other anatomy references books and that I find particularly helpful. 

I highly recommend those books to anyone looking to learn anatomy or for any sculptor  to have on hand to quickly find specific anatomy references. 

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