Reflection ♯9: Zbrush Summit 2016 – Anatomy tools

I found a very interesting talk in Youtube (LINK) about anatomy modelling as part of the 2016 Zbrush summit that took place from September 30th – October 2nd at Gnomon School facilities in Los Angeles.
In it, Andrew Cawrse, founder of Anatomy tools, goes over his brilliant professional career trajectory as modeller in the Film industry working on films like Star Wars or Avatar explaining what it took to get there, how was the technology on that period and the incredible improvement that Zbrush brought to the model development in the industry.
After several years on film industry, having great opportunities of improvement, he decided to follow his own dream and founded AnatomyTools (2003), a company that tries to create the best anatomy physical desktop models available to give artists reliable sources of reference together with anatomy sources and courses to improve the comprehension and results of artist’s works. His human anatomy figures had a great success and then, he started to give courses to famous companies like Epic, Blizzard, Valve or Pixar. Nowadays, they are starting to work on more than twenty anatomy animal models.

After this, He starts what I consider the most interesting part in the talk that is the tips and advices on anatomy and 3D modelling that usually people do wrong.

First, the use of a correct Field of View (FOW) is necessary when sculpting in programs like Zbrush due to the distortion and deformation it cause in the final product. So he recommends an angle of view of 28 on Zbrush equivalent to the angle of view of humans (70-80 mm). He also recommends restudying all the muscle connections to the bones and sculpting from a living model as the optimal reference.

Second, He goes throw several mistakes made by artists like make cross-eyed characters (the model should look at a distant point at 10-15ft), The non-linearity of the muscles shapes “there are not horizontal lines in the nature” and the need of mastering the proportions of the skull, the ribcage, the hipbone and the scapula because they determine the shape of the rest of the body.

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The most interesting tip is the use of a modified Leonardo Davinci’s magic measurement technique consisting on taking the measurement of the width of the head (five eyelid width) and using it to track several important anatomy points no matter the position of the model. You then can use this measurement on Zbrush as unit of measurement and quickly determine the correct proportions of the model having a very quick, reliable and useful tool to assess your work.

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From the Question and Answer, it was interesting the tip about working on Zbrush in low resolution as far as you can to save time smoothing the model and the reference of Carlos Huante as a good artist that mixes different animal’s anatomy to create new creatures.

Carlos Huante’s work:

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In my opinion the part where he talks about his career trajectory was interesting as a reference of what to do to be promoted inside the film industry and also, even after achieve such goal, be able to consider changing job being brave and trying to success following your own dream it is also inspirational. It is also interesting to know about the anatomy physical desktop models they offer and the type of references some professionals use to make its own work. Regarding the utility of this talk in my own work, I will use the techniques and tips explained on it in my future work to improve them and have my character’s proportion right using a very reliable tool to assess my models.


Pixologic (n.d.) Official ZBrush Summit 2016 Presentation – Anatomy Tools [Online video]. Available from: < > [Accessed 03/12/2016]. (n.d.) [Online]. Available from: < > [Accessed 03/12/2016].

ZBrush Summit (n.d.) ZBrush Summit 2016 [Online]. ZBrush Summit. Available from: < > [Accessed 03/12/2016].

Carlos Huante Art (n.d.) Artwork [Online]. Carlos Huante Art. Available from: < > [Accessed 03/12/2016].


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