Book Review: Anatomy for 3D Artists

Aug 05, 2016 at 08:51 pm by nickcharles

Anatomy for 3D Artists
Paperback: 288 pages
3DTotal Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-1909414242

I've recently been perusing a wonderful book from 3DTotal Publishing, titled Anatomy for 3D Artists. This book is a fantastic reference, specifically geared to the digital artist with very thorough coverage of creating the human form in 3D. Instruction is non-software specific, though there is occasional mention of tools and tips in specific programs, where appropriate.

The front and back cover of the book even fold out to reveal quick reference musculature diagrams.

The book starts with an excellent foreword from character artist Glauco Longhi, where he talks about the need for references, such as this book, and the importance of traditional art for digital artists. Thereafter, the book is basically divided into 6 sections.

With excellent contributions from comic artist and illustrator, Laura Braga, and concept artist and painter, Chris Legaspi, the book starts with a look at the basics of proportion, skeleton, muscle placement, and skin contours of both the male and female forms. This section is immediately followed by a 2D reference gallery, with sketches of the human form in different poses. These sketches are accompanied by excellent commentary from several contributing artists.

The third section of the book is where it goes into 3D modeling, with freelance modeler, Djordje Nagulov, covering the modeling of a 3D male form. Animator, Mario Anger, follows with instruction on sculpting a 3D female form. Instruction is very detailed throughout with plenty of pictures.

The fourth section is dedicated to three specific Master projects, presented by 3 different artists. The first is a male bodybuilder, from freelance digital sculptor, Arash Beshkooh. Second is a curvy female, presented by Jose Pericles. Lastly, digital sculptor Cesar Zambelli presents a slim female. All of these projects are thoroughly detailed with plenty of accompanying imagery.

The fifth section is on advanced topology, with character artist Daniel Peteuil guiding you through the process of cleaning up your mesh and making sure your 3D figure deforms well in pose and animation. And, of course, plenty more pictures. This section is tgen followed by a 3D reference gallery, with several artists providing detailed forms and commentary.

Anatomy for 3D Artists is honestly a book any digital artist should have available. Although geared to the digital artist, I think this book can also be an excellent reference for traditional artists as well. Though I have dabbled in 3D modeling/sculpting with programs like ZBrush and Mudbox, I also enjoy clay sculpting, and having this book as a reference for my clay work is invaluable. The book itself is beautifully designed and the printing is of very high quality. There are tons of pictures showing step-by-step instruction, as well as quick reference images. I highly recommend this wonderful book and encourage you to check this and other great books on the 3DTotal website. Special thanks to Melanie Smith for the review copy.


Anatomy for 3D Artists is priced at $39.52 (USD), which is an incredible bargain for the quality and content of this book.

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Nick C Sorbin

(Nick Charles) is a former Managing Editor for Renderosity's CG Industry News, where for over 9 years he also regularly contributed product reviews, artist interviews, and occasional commentary in addition to editing tasks and leading the writing staff.

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