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CGMA – Sculpting Anatomy from Animal to Creature

CGMA – Sculpting Anatomy from Animal to CreatureSculpting Anatomy


Sculpting Anatomy from Animal to Creature : A 10-week course using anatomy foundations and design principles to model animals and create creatures.

Understand creature anatomy

In this course, students will create their own animal anatomy study in ZBrush. They will learn how to construct a model from the inside out, starting by building the skeletal system and adding muscles and skin later on. This course will also focus on portfolio by covering how to light and render a beautiful study in Maya and Photoshop. In the second part of the course, students will jump from the study to the creation process by learning how to build up their own creatures. They will create the anatomy of their own dragon and discover the workflows to sculpt details and paint accurate skin colors in ZBrush.


LECTURE TYPE: Pre-recorded

FEEDBACK: Individual recordings

DURATION: 10 weeks

MATERIALS: Zbrush, Maya, & Photoshop (or equivalent software)

SKILLS LEVEL: Intermediate

PREREQUISITES: Knowledge of ZBrush and digital sculpting strongly recommended; basic knowledge of Maya and ZBrush is required; basic knowledge of Photoshop strongly recommended; course pre-reqs include Anatomy for Production


The more you know, the better.

Week 1 | Introduction to Animal Anatomy: Understanding the Principle of Motion

Hierarchy of animal anatomy | Motion: skeleton, muscles, articulation, direction | Basic understanding of design: carnivore vs. herbivore | From design to study | Anatomy study and paint-over in Photoshop

Week 2 | Anatomy of the Skull: Understanding the Notion Behind Bones

Introduction to animal face anatomy | Description of the face | Skull sculpting

Week 3 | The Center of Everything: Understanding the Spinal Column and Rib Cage

Basic understanding of the body structure and connection | Deeper understanding of the anatomy of the spine | From the scapula to the fingers | Standing on the legs | Creating the base of our animal in ZBrush

Week 4| Pull to Motion: Understanding the Function of a Muscle

Understanding the role of a muscle | Description of the head anatomy | The spinal column muscles | ZBrush sculpting

Week 5 | From the Écorché to the Living Creature: the Fat and the Skin

Fat presence on the body | The skin’s appearance | The écorché in ZBrush | Understanding the anatomy of fur

Week 6 | Between Study and Art: the Motion in Action

Put motion into practice | The photographic look of an animal anatomy study | The clay material | Create a pose in ZBrush | Setting up our studio in 3D

Week 7 | From Study to Creation: How to Translate Anatomy From one Species to Another

Interpreting anatomy | Introduction to the dragon project | Creating the base in ZBrush

Week 8 | More Limbs: What Does it Take to Be a Dragon?

Dragon skeleton draw-over | Study from Avatar’s creatures | Building our dragon’s écorché in ZBrush | Adding the wings

Week 9 | The Beauty Behind the Details: How to Create High-Detailed Sculpts

Creating details in ZBrush | Using Photoshop to create details | Posing our dragons

Week 10 | From Study to Production: Putting a Model Into a Production Environment

Understanding production needs | Colorize your creature | From 3D to illustration

Watch the Introduction Video : 



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