Anatomy WIP

This is my first post here and I wanted to share my progress in learning the human anatomy. I’ve postponed this study for way too long. Started the project about a year ago but it was put on the shelf after a while. Its on full going mode now! Yey! :slight_smile: When I started it was supposed to be a simple evening crunch idea to sculpt a skull, then dynamesh got the better of me and now it has become too interesting an endeavor for me to stop and jump onto something else! None of the pieces are final yet as the goal is to up the realism as much as I can. Many hours have been spent in studying and trying understanding/figure out each part, and is still something thats ongoing, but I just keep on learning more and more, so thats good, although its quite overwhelming! lol!

Any feedback and critic welcome!

more to come…








zygomatic bone

hard palate in articulation with palatine bone and vomer

ethmoid bone and the nasal cavity

sphenoid bone

Wow very nice detailed work great job. I have studied anatomy but not until I wanted to start modeling did I truly appreciate all the details that I didn’t pay attention to when I was learning, and it was not until some recent research did I realize the skull is so complex.
Thank you for showing this. I have been moving around the body myself and I know there is a ton of work in the skull. This is a great reference source. Did you create the sutures by sculpting them in and then cut through the mesh to separate them? Also did you do the separations in Zbrush?
I am not sure of the best method to separate the parts at this point and your insight would really help. I know its a lot of work but this is looking great and the time you have spent on this project is well worth it. I will be watching your thread closely great job.

#Daniel Biggers Thank you for your comment! :slight_smile: I still have to do the upper and lower extremities, but doing the muscles proved to be too tempting so I’ve started with that for now :slight_smile:
The skull is extremely complex indeed. Every little crevice and shape has its purpose and is always there for a reason.
That together with the infinite small or more dramatic variations in form just makes it mindbuggling to grasp, like a never-ending stream of information to jump into! (=

Regarding your questions:
Step 1. I started with a one piece mesh as in the image below and separated the sections that were to become the different bones into individual polygroups using the SelectLasso brush,
to display each respective part, and then GroupVisible in the polygroups palette.
This is what it looked like:

Step 2. Dynamesh the part you want to start working with.

Step 3. Most parts will get quite messy when dynameshed so in this step you have to clean it up by sculpting and smoothing and re-dynameshing and if you want z-remesh.

Step 4. In this step you separate, in this example, each side of the maxilla by turning off symmetry and then with the SelectRect brush hide one side. Then under Tool>Geometry>Modify Topology click Del Hidden.
Now with that one part duplicate it and then mirror, merge them together and under Tool>Geometry>Polygroups click Auto Groups.

With the parietals and frontal bone and maybe some other bones I would instead use Tool>Geometry>EdgeLoop>Panel Loops with a thickness of 0.02 and Elevation at -100 and then Group Visible.

The sutures I started doing as late as possible. I used the move brush mainly for this. For example with the lambdoid suture I would have the occipital bone and parietals as one subtool, each with their own polygroups assigned.
It was a sort of try and adjust as you went along. The density of the meshes had to be high enough for the deformation. So starting with the even borders you’ll have to do a lot of moving using this method.
I was thinking about the sutures all the way from the beginning but realized early on but realized they would just be an obstacle if those jaggedy edges were there from early on,
since theres been so much adjustments made and I knew I would be doing a lot more of those before I was satisfied with the overall shape of the skull. But yea, this step was quite fun.
I did screen-grab the sagittal/coronal and lambdoidal suture views and in photoshop try to sketch out something I was fairly pleased with before doing it in zbrush. Heres an image from that process:

Hope this helped answer your questions :slight_smile: Feel always free to ask anything else regarding it, I’ll be happy to help! :slight_smile:

Thank you so much for that. I was trying to wrap my head around the best way to do it like masking and using the slice curve brush with a whole bunch of extra work.
I am glad to see you came up with a better way that works. When I get back to the skull I will be checking in with you for accuracy if you don’t mind. The bit about how you did the suture
details at the end is very helpful as well. Did you have trouble getting the pieces lined up back together, it seems like after dynameshing and sculpting they would be off by a bit, I assume
you had the other subtools on in transparency mode to keep them from getting to far off. Is that correct?
Thank you again.

Nice Work!
Great attention to detail, and a good resource for some of the internal structures of the skull.

#Daniel Biggers Your welcome! Well as in the case with sutures I would have both parietals and the occipital in the same sub-tool, but with individual polygroups assigned as in the picture.
That way you can use the move brush to nudge the suture to each side and it moves the mesh of both parts together, that way they remain fitted together,
and if you want to just adjust one side then turn up Mask By Polygroups to 100, you find it under in the Brush menu and under Auto Masking.
I had the polycount for the those bones around 300-500k per part when I did the sutures so dynameshing didn’t really affect their shape or position of borders.
Nothing else was moved around except the geometry at the sutures.

Hope that answered your question :slight_smile:

Feel free to ask more =)

Thank you sadicus ! =) There are still a lot to be adjusted on it, like the articulation between the ethmoid and sphenoid, but I guess its details that will only interest people that really want to know more in depth about those structures.
I wish I could get to see all the parts separated from one single skull, that would’ve been an invaluable resource of reference. My dad actually owned a real skull that he bought in Germany in the early 70’s,
unfortunately my mom managed to drop it on the concrete floor of their basement while cleaning, shattering it into “thousands of pieces” she said, and through it all away in “secret” so he wouldn’t get upset! Think it took years until he noticed o_o All now to my great dismay! lol

Hi You,

very cool model - in the bottom view, the zygomatic flies out alot… i’m just saying to myself.
will do some shadowboxes based on your model - very cool…

Zmith[21] Thank you for you comment! :slight_smile: Yea, I know, theres quite a gap in between there, although thats something that varies among individuals. There are still many corrections and additions to be made. But I’m glad if it can inspire and/or help!

Hey, are you still working on this project??? I would love to see updates if you have any. You did such a great job with this piece I want to see more.

Excellent work, just an amazing amount of detailed work. well done!

Amazing work. I especially appreciate this piece because I was recently diagnosed with TMJ Dysfunction or TMD. After doing research you realize it isn’t a dysfunction in just the Mandible, but the whole skull structures and neck joints! It’s simply fascinating. I would love it if you shared the ZTool at some point for research purposes!

Sorry for the absence guys! And thank you for the kind comments Hybryd75 and MonGo1337.
I will post more pictures of the process so far very shortly Daniel Biggers! ;]

I will definitely share the ztool at some point. There are still areas of it that I don’t feel satisfied with and waiting to grasp the structure/form of, so will wait until I have it nailed down to my satisfaction.

I feel for you MonGo1337. Living with chronic pain is not easy, I hope you find a way to solve it. I did’t know about TMD until your post here and did read through what was on wiki about it.
Let me know how its going for you with that. I have also been coping with chronic ache/pain every day now for 10 years, with the diagnose Ankylosing spondylitis, and its no fun experience at all,
and of what I read TMD seem quite similar to it in nature.

Hello fellow zbrushers and anatomy enthusiasts!

So, every time I’m about to post here I end up not doing it, as I always when preparing the images find something with the model that I just “cannot leave unattended” (“Naaaaah wait, gotz to correct that! …and this…and that… how didn’t I see that before???” same story every time ö_ö ).
So now I’m posting anyway! This is a wip after all. :slight_smile: There is a mountain of things that needs more tlc, or to be corrected, and I get tired just thinking about it.
Any feedback is very welcome, and if you have any input on things that I should/could think about as I continue, since there are most definitely tons of things I haven’t realized are wrong or have yet to figure out.

Since my first post I have now tweaked the shape of the skull a little, made it slightly unsymmetrical, although everything needs to go through a lot of desymmetrization, but thats something I’m leaving for when I have it fully nailed down, especially in the case of the skull :slight_smile:

Of the limbs I have only done the upper arm and the radius/ulna and scaphoideum. The rest, including the lower extremities, are just roughly blocked in at this stage to see what proportions I’m aiming towards.
I’m sure the proportions will be changed as this quest continues.

So far there has been a lot of time spent tweaking different parts, especially the rib cage which has undergone plenty of iterations, and needs more attention yet.
On the skull I still have left most of the paranasal sinuses to sculpt in. Also the area where the ethmoid/maxilla/lacrimale/inferior nasal concha interacts I still have more enlightenment to acquire!

Thanks for droppin’ by! :smiley:


Columna vertebralis

Cervical verterbae

C1 - C7

Thoracic vertebrae

Lumbar vertebrae


Intrinsic Muscles of the back/neck


These are really beautiful…

Great Job so far! I really think this kind of detail should be seen on THE TOP ROW!!!
You have my vote :slight_smile:

I know how much work goes into this type of project and you are doing awesome!
This is some of the best detailed work I have seen in regards to anatomy.
I unfortunately haven’t been able to have any time on Zbrush in 2 months :frowning: , but I am glad to see you have
been working on this. I was starting to wonder since it has been awhile since we saw any images posted.
I had some issues too with the ribcage, where I tried several different ways including Zspheres and shadow box.
The way that worked for me best was that I grabbed a sphere dragged it into the shape that would form the cavity
of space under all the ribs. I think I Zremeshed it and divided it up some, then masked out all the places where the ribs
would go and did an extrude from the mask, then zremeshed the extruded ribs once I had them close to what I wanted to work with. This helped me keep that flat area of the ribs contouring to the cavity shape inside.

Keep it up, and thank you for posting your work.

awesome work man! thanks a lot for sharing these very helpful references! :slight_smile:
I struggle a lot with the pelvis so thanks for sharing the views of the sacrum! :slight_smile:

I need to look at these a lot. Fine works here!