Website will go down for approximately 15 minutes for a planned upgrade at 10pm Eastern Time tonight. We're switching the video host!

Anthropometry and Observation

Fundamentals, Theory, Practical


A 4-hour class laying the groundwork necessary to properly study facial anatomy. We cover the following:


  • What Anthropometry is and why study it.
  • The Most Important Measurements to Create a Successful Head.
  • Reading the Planes of the Face.
  • The Different Anatomical Layers of the Face.
  • Importance of Shapes vs Anatomy.
  • Tips to Find Great References Prior to Sculpting.


This class is the natural beginning to our classes on anatomy and should be watched first.

Access this content with a paid membership.



  1. Kofo Okesola says:

    Hi Laura, great session. I have one question… What’s your workflow for setting these sort of base measurements when you’re starting out a new sculpt, i find zbrush’s measurement system confusing to work with.

    1. Hey Kofo, when starting a new sculpt it’s pretty simple, assuming we’re starting from a default sphere. The default spheres are all already scaled to the optimal object size, which is 2 zbrush units across. What this means is that we only have to set the Export Scale value (and NOT scale the whole sphere!) to whichever value we need it to be so that our transpose line winds up giving us measurements that make sense for us. I usually go for an Export Scale of 7.5 by convention for heads, and an export scale of 90 for full characters.

  2. Aldis Igaunis says:

    Hi Laura, I have question about likeness sculpting and i could be absolutely wrong about it. At about 2:50 you’re trying to fix jawline and the reference you have has slightly higher camera angle than your zbrush sculpt. For example in your sculpt angle nostrils are clearly visible and nostrils in reference are hardly visible at all? Would that angle difference could be the reason why the jawline in sculpt has slightly different angle than that in reference(prior to fixing the jaw in zbrush)?

    1. Hey Aldis,
      it’s been a while since I recorded that so it’s hard to get the train of thought back as far as that’s concerned, but in relation to the nostrils, they’re way too visible on my sculpt from that angle. The front of the nose probably needs to be lowered.

  3. Nuno says:

    Hello there, first of all, great lecture! thank for that!
    Secondly tried to find that “Facial Anatomy Overview” handout but cant find that lecture on the site. Also cant find it on the handouts page. Really curious about it 😀
    Is it still up on the site?
    Thank you!

    1. Hey Nuno! Thanks for the kind comment! I’ve made this class a while ago, what’s the timestamp where I mention that?

      1. Nuno says:

        Heyy Laura! You mention it around 06:05. Thank you

        1. Oh yeah sorry for the confusion there. “Facial Anatomy Overview” was the previous name for this particular class. It’s not a handout, the handout of this class is the .ztl sketch of the female head with purple hair. Hope that clears up the confusion!

          1. Nuno says:

            Yes it does, thank you!

  4. Valentin Wathelet says:

    Hello, is it be possible to get the psd file ” overall_anatomy” you used in the video, please ?

    1. Hey Valentin, there’s images in there I don’t own the copyright to so I don’t think it’s safe for me to distribute it. Sorry.

      1. Valentin Wathelet says:

        Hey Laura ! Oh yeah, I totally understand, no worries, thanks for your reply !

  5. Brandt Baars says:

    So few comments as I have been watching through these classes.

    So you mentioned you like teaching and find it interesting and there is something in game design where it is like what you mentioned regarding people cannot tell you what is exactly wrong with the face and they give you little details.

    In game design you want to build up the fundamental very basic aspects of your game or the main game loop as people call it before proceeding on. For Mario this would be move, jump, basic obstacals, maybe enemies to smush. Just the very basic form of your game to see if its fun.

    The issue you run into later. Because the issue you run into later if you don’t check these aspects first and you add more and more complexity and something is wrong with your core game loop, people know something feels bad but they can’t point out what exactly.

    also so I am just doing sculpting I can 3d box model, but I can’t draw, I always wanted to do art and thought maybe I could do this I decided to really be able to get a “good” not perfect but a good head before moving on to the body since I felt on a normal scale that’s probably the hardest part to get down. Am I learning this the wrong way do you think?

    1. Hey Brandt. Your comment about needing to get the game loop down first is on point. I’ve been part of some projects where the project ramps up so quickly that the devs don’t have time to build and refine that core loop first before the rest of the dev team starts developping things and yeah, it leads to a gameplay mess. Regarding your question, I think that as long as you keep sculpting and feel that you’re learning at a satisfying pace, I don’t think it matters whether you work on heads or bodies or anything else for that matter. What you learn sculpting bodies will influence the next heads you sculpt and vice-versa. Just keep practicing!

      1. Brandt Baars says:

        I just finished watching this good stuff! So is this the basic planar form you were talking about?

        I don’t typically use generalized reference images (been following tutorials atm) but I am learning anatomy because I think it will greatly help but my general goal will probably be more characterized fantasy types. Not sure if I am doing myself a injustice by following tutorials right now I plan to try and follow along with your course as it was recommended to me for faces.

        But I want to be able to understand how everything should look and where things should go. Before trying to move onto doing something of my own. Mistake or not thoughts would be appreciated.


    are there any summary notes for this lesson??

  7. Engin Hergul says:

    Are there any link This Antrophometri book?

      1. Engin Hergul says:

        thank you

Leave a comment