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

Yuri

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

Tiago Rios

Character Artist

– Santa Monica Studio

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

Erick Sosa review photo

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…

Yuri Alexander​ review photo

Yuri Alexander​

Sr. Staff Character Artist

– Sony Bend

Anatomy for sculptors is the clearest and most comprehensive anatomy reference material that I have seen…

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

Understanding the Human Figure

Form of the Head and Neck

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.

tiago-rios-crop-scorpion
Erick Sosa review photo

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. My understanding was expanded greatly just by perusing through the books. 
 
These books explain the ever complicated human anatomy in such a simple way that even a child can understand the intricacies of the human body. I literally have all three books sitting on my desk for study and reference. 
 

This book does a remarkable job helping us understand, see and feel the human anatomy from this perspective. There can’t be an endgame book about shapes and forms but this one should definitely be part of anyone’s early development.

erick-sosa-venom

Yuri Alexander

Sr. Staff Character Artist

– Sony Bend

Anatomy for sculptors is the clearest and most comprehensive anatomy reference material that I have seen.

Their topological drawings, anatomy diagrams, and kinesiology examples do a better job of simplifying and breaking down the human body into understandable forms than any other resource available.

I use their work as reference to help clarify anatomy on every human I sculpt.

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Hey, Anatomy For Sculptors team here

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