January 18, 2012


I recently updated my operating system, because the only things it was working with were my out of date software. My browser didn't work anymore, nor my email, nor parts of many websites. But it's not exaggerating to say one thing that pushed me to spend the money was my desire to test out Zygote Body, formerly Google Body Browser. It's a fully rotatable, searchable, zoomable, fadeable, and layered human body that you can search much like Google maps. Programs like this used to cost $6,000 , and they weren't usually this good. This costs nothing and it's fucking amazing. Even the fact that my old copy of Photoshop doesn't work anymore doesn't bug me because I have access to this amazing resource, and now I can share it with those of you who haven't been using it for months already.

In Zygote Body you can rotate the figure:use a slider to fade through several layers of muscles, or organs, or whatever, depending on the body system to choose:
You can select any muscle and it will identify it with a label, single it out, and from there you can still rotate it to see the muscle from any angle, allowing for an incredible level of understanding of where and how it fits into the rest of the body. No physical model could ever allow you to see the underside of every muscle while also allowing you to see that muscle in the context of the rest of the body, at the same time. It's incredible.

Even some organs are fadeable into different layers. Yes, that's the MOTHERFUCKING VENTRICLES OF A HEART, WHICH YOU CAN ROTATE AND LOOK AT FROM ANY ANGLE. HOLY FUCKING SHIT.

This is knowledge that Leonardo da Vinci spent his life trying to catalogue and STILL didn't get it all right, for FREE. This is a goddamned miracle, it's the sort of reason the internet should exist. There mere existence of something like this is like a gleaming trophy for hundreds of years of work by thousands of scientists all over the world. If they could have swallowed the idea that something like this would ever even exist they'd have cried and/or gone insane with joy, which is basically how I feel. If you don't spend hours just playing with this you have no soul, and if this doesn't become one of your most important resources you're a fool. This is the best tool I've ever reviewed, period.

But that's not all this week!

Illustrator Yuko Shimizu interviewed some other illustrators about illustrating!

Look at these amazing webcomics! They're so good just reading them is an education!

I love the different kinds of drape in the fabrics of the different pants in this drawing by friend of Comic Tools, Joe Lambert. I also love all the different shoes.

See you next week!


Amalgamated Biscuit said...

Ooh that is cool. If you could pose it I would use it all the time.

Vaguely related, what's your thinking about life drawing for cartoony artists? It seems to be generally accepted as essential, but I've seen some cartoonists/animators disagree.

Comic Tools said...

If you avoid drawing anything because you feel like you can't pull it off, you have the choice to fix that or live as an artistic cripple. That's the criteria I use in regards to whether someone needs to learn anatomy, or do life drawing, which, by the way, are two very different disciplines. If your work is very cartoony, to the extent that you never, ever draw details like the lines on the neck, someone flexing a muscle, lines on the back, or things like pants folding, then yeah, you might not need to draw from life much. But you still better have a solid idea of how your characters work in 3D, or they'll go off model the second you do an odd pose. Everyone doing Manga, or superhero stuff, or even cartoony characters with any anatomical features, had damned well better know their anatomy, because it sticks out like an embarrassing, inept thumb when they don't.

Amalgamated Biscuit said...

I thought you would say something a bit like that and I agree.

Being largely self taught (and of low attention span)I sometimes find it a struggle to not just go straight to "fun things" I like to draw. I Better be disciplined or it will just be men with quiffs on blank backgrounds for the rest of my years. :)

DanRobitzski said...

Wow. That's awesome.