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Applying Human Anatomy to a Furry Character

Naokishi

New Member
I must say that your tutorials are very interesting and useful :3 thanks for sharing :hugs:
 
These are great! Thanks so much for all this!

Have you thought of maybe doing differences in species, like muzzles, ears, tails, etc? Canine vs. feline vs. rodent, for example.

Honestly, no. That's not what this thread is about.
 
Genitals

Okay, so I know a lot of y'all have been waiting for this one, but because of the NSFW nature of the subject, I've been rather stumped as to how to go about posting it. Anyway, I've decided to just host it on FA proper.

http://www.furaffinity.net/view/3889127

 

Van Ishikawa

ZOMBIE KAEL LOVES YOU
thank you thank you thank you for addressing "Frontgina"
 

Jw

PINEAPPLE ACCOMPLISHED
One quick thing you might be planning on doing is talking about the head-to-body ratio. That helps for non-action poses a lot, which is what most starters are gonna try.

The human body is typically 7.5 head heights tall (8 head for royalty or superheroes in drawings, oddly enough). And, since most of us are drawing humanoid or anthro characters, I would stick close to that ideal. You've got a little more wiggle room with anthro characters, but I wouldn't make them shorter than 6.5 heads or taller than 8 heads, otherwise it gets too off-putting.

If you're working with canine non-anthros, the head to body would be something like ~3.5 heads long from snout to rump, a few more lengths for cats (~6), Horses (~5). Of course, this is a thread for anthro characters, but that might be helpful for a plausible length of the head for those anthros.



Nice tut thread, I wish you a lots of luck and success!
 
One quick thing you might be planning on doing is talking about the head-to-body ratio. That helps for non-action poses a lot, which is what most starters are gonna try.

The human body is typically 7.5 head heights tall (8 head for royalty or superheroes in drawings, oddly enough). And, since most of us are drawing humanoid or anthro characters, I would stick close to that ideal. You've got a little more wiggle room with anthro characters, but I wouldn't make them shorter than 6.5 heads or taller than 8 heads, otherwise it gets too off-putting.

If you're working with canine non-anthros, the head to body would be something like ~3.5 heads long from snout to rump, a few more lengths for cats (~6), Horses (~5). Of course, this is a thread for anthro characters, but that might be helpful for a plausible length of the head for those anthros.

There's an entire thread already on the subject. :)

http://forums.furaffinity.net/showthread.php?t=29749
 
Luckily, I have the advantage of blaming that goof on my noobitude.

EDIT: doesn't explain why I didn't see it in the stickies, though. Hahaha

Yeah, anything covered in the stickies, I won't really spend much time, if any, covering in here. This is more of a theoretical anatomy thread anyway, taking known fact and applying them to a fantasy creature. I started doing it because I totally overthink this stuff to the point of brain bleed, so it's fun for me, and informative for everyone else. XD
 

Neon_Infection

Get Out of Here S.T.A.L.K.E.R!
You have no idea how much this tutorial helped me. Thank you so much =D
 

Stratelier

Well-Known Member
Can I make a technical correction to one of the arguments about feet? Let's see, somewhere around this....
Humans have a natural curvature to our spines. It's curved this way for optimum balance and weight distribution.

In a plantigrade furry, nothing changes, except for the addition of a tail. Since he's already perfectly balanced, the tail (which is an extension of the spine) would be purely cosmetic.

But with this spine curvature in a digitigrade furry, he's totally off balance, and in danger of falling on his face, even with his tail held outward for balance.

http://i39.tinypic.com/qq4ozt.jpg

Because he's got the lower leg structure of a quadrupedal animal, he'd have to have the same spine curvature to keep himself balanced. With his spine arched outward, his centre of gravity is pushed back over his hips, rather than over his knees.

Even in this case, his tail would still likely be used for balance, and so it would also be more compact and dense than it might be normally.

A digitigrade furry's center of gravity doesn't strictly need to center over the knees or hips, but if it's intended to be a balanced pose then the center of gravity must be centered over the toes, the points which actually contact the ground. If this is the case then the posture is balanced, by definition, regardless of all other arguments.

And of course, just because a digitigrade furry has the lower legs resembling an animal's doesn't mandate him to have the spinal curvature of one. After all, animal spines are optimized for horizontal orientation, and the furry is vertically oriented. The only good references we have for vertically oriented spines are ... well, us homo sapiens.
 

Jw

PINEAPPLE ACCOMPLISHED
These are some interesting tutorials. I wish the college class i went to Drawing I focused more on this stuff.
You'll likely find "life studies" or "figure drawing" or something similar at your college-- that should definitely go into detail there.
 
Can I make a technical correction to one of the arguments about feet? Let's see, somewhere around this....


A digitigrade furry's center of gravity doesn't strictly need to center over the knees or hips, but if it's intended to be a balanced pose then the center of gravity must be centered over the toes, the points which actually contact the ground. If this is the case then the posture is balanced, by definition, regardless of all other arguments.

And of course, just because a digitigrade furry has the lower legs resembling an animal's doesn't mandate him to have the spinal curvature of one. After all, animal spines are optimized for horizontal orientation, and the furry is vertically oriented. The only good references we have for vertically oriented spines are ... well, us homo sapiens.

The design is still horribly flawed, though. It's all fine to have the centre of balance above the toes, but if the toes are forward of the hips, as they'll tend to be at that sort of stance, the character is off-balance all over again.

The problem with a digitigrade biped is that while they do exist in nature, they're not built like a mammal. They're birds and reptiles. While in both cases, the spine does have a forward arch, rather than a backward arch, the spine is also horizontal to maintain a centre of balance, and the arch is closer to the shoulder than the hips. Plain and simple, unless you're going for for a strictly anthro look, that structure does not work for a character.

I still stand by my original assessment that the digitigrade stance is awkward at best.
 

Stratelier

Well-Known Member
The design is still horribly flawed, though. It's all fine to have the centre of balance above the toes, but if the toes are forward of the hips, as they'll tend to be at that sort of stance, the character is off-balance all over again.
"Awkward" and "off-balance" are not, technically speaking, the same thing. But yes, an upright subject's center of mass tends to settle around the waist/hip area (insert obesity jokes here), so the hips are a useful guide as to where to place the toes. Visualize a straight line from the hip to the ground, and that's where the leg+foot starts and ends, regardless of digitigrade or plantigrade.

And of course, if the creature is standing upright, it's safe to assume their legs will be as fully straightened as possible, to reduce the amount of load the leg muscles must bear to maintain that posture.
 
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Ohh this was really good. I kinda wish you did more hands/feet though, I have a lot of trouble with those little suckers. Anyway great stuff, I think it's helped out a lot.
 

Smelge

Hey, Assbutt
"Awkward" and "off-balance" are not, technically speaking, the same thing. But yes, an upright subject's center of mass tends to settle around the waist/hip area (insert obesity jokes here), so the hips are a useful guide as to where to place the toes. Visualize a straight line from the hip to the ground, and that's where the leg+foot starts and ends, regardless of digitigrade or plantigrade.

And of course, if the creature is standing upright, it's safe to assume their legs will be as fully straightened as possible, to reduce the amount of load the leg muscles must bear to maintain that posture.

Are you taking into account tails?

If you assume a divergent evolution that allows animals to walk upright while remaining digitigrade, in theory, the tails would be used as a counterbalance of sorts. It wouldn't completely eliminate the problem, but it would reduce it. It's the same principal as dinosaurs. The ones with long necks also had long tails to counterbalance each other. Let's face it, most people draw tails far larger than they should really be, so it's fairly simple to just say the increased mass is to act as a counterbalance.

You know, any excuse not to have to draw regular feet because they are horrible to draw.
 

BCRE8TVE

Be creative!
I am in no way an artist, and never will be. However, I found this topic to be extremely useful by providing anatomical analysis of furry bone structure. I am a visual kind of person, and seeing it makes all the difference to me. Writing it down for my stories is a lot easier now that I see it in my head. For that, I'll have to thank you.

There are a few points I'd like to ask though. I have my dog lying here beside me (that lazy bum :p) and I can check on him most of the canine features. Let's talk about paws again. According to you, where would the claws be? We have nails, but the last bone in a canine paw is a claw rather than the tip of a finger. Would that mean that the claw should be sticking out up through where the nails should be, or pointing straight through the tip? I'm interested in this, because I want to make my furries as anatomically correct as possible, to be able to walk digitigrade and on all fours. When on all fours, should he walk on the palm, or on the base of his fingers? Where should the claws be? I'm asking because you seem to be the "resident expert" :p

As for the tail, could it be possible to say our large sacrum/sacral promontary (for some reaon, that sounds kind of sexual :p) is just the ex-tails compressed vertebrae? Thus, if you had a tail, that bone would be elongated and would not be so high and large? Unless it serves some kind of purpose, it just seems to me to be some kind of de-evolved residual tail doing nothing much.

Would you explain me a bit more about the arch of the back please? Because, as I said, having furries going from standing to all fours makes me a little confused as to how the back would work. Being digitigrade confuses the issue even more...

Then there's the cranium. Do you think the maw should be a jaw extended forward, or should the jaw be completely remoddeled to form a muzzle. The way I see it is that our faces are long due to the distance between the eyes and the maxillare? mandibula? (bottom jaw bone), to give space for our cheekbones and our noses. Since in animals the nose is an extension of the muzzle, wouldn't it be correct to assume a furrie's head would be smaller, as in the jaw would be placed higher on the cranium to fuse with the nose? I think a furrie's chin would come about level with the tip of our noses.

And last but not least, would you mind reading my story please? It's about a vet healing a child wolf-morph that has been shot by a policeman during his capture. I tried to cram in as many anatomical details, observations and notes as I could, but I don't know if it's good. Pwease?
http://www.furaffinity.net/view/2696097/
 

Jack McSlay

New Member
I have to disagree with the plantigrade/digitgrade issue. The ref you've just drawn looks like it'll fall at any second. Most mammal tails have too few weight to be necessary to counter-weight it with the rest of the body. If it had, then it would be harder for the plantigrade one, not the digitgrade, because the centre of gravity would be further back. The digitgrade fur could simply further bend the knees in a way the centre of gravity is located directly above the support point. So it's the plantigrade one, not the digitgrade that would need to bend forward for balance, because they couldn't bend their knees instead in a comfortable manner.

Bears, rabbits and kargaroos are terrible examples. None of these animals actually walk regularly in a bipedal plantigrade manner. Bears would make only a few steps at a time and also, bears and rabbits have no significant tail that has to be balanced and kangaroos move by either hopping in a DIGITGRADE manner or by small steps using a combination of arms, legs and tail as support. The only valid example is bipedal dinosaurs - they both stood and walked digitgrade while having tails large enough to have to be balanced, and guess, they are believed to be actually capable of a near-upright position
 
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Ruchii

Member
Thank you very much for the tutorial; This is highly helpful.
 

Cowrie

Member
First of all, this is wonderful, very helpful.

However, this is focused on applying human anatomy to mammalian, or even reptilian anthros, which is understandable because those are most commmon. I was wondering what sorts of considerations must be taken when applying it to invertebrete anthros. After all, the basis for their anatomy is completely different...

There's just enough insectoids around that one can learn those by looking around, but some people like myself are infatuated with drawing the weird. What sort of alteratations are required for anthropomorphizing, say, a starfish or a tardigrade?
 

Stratelier

Well-Known Member
I don't want to single out an otherwise okay piece for criticism but:

http://www.furaffinity.net/view/4782093/

This is a good example of how center of gravity doesn't work. If you note the angle between hips and toes, and factor in the mild weight of her long tail, I really don't know this character is supposed to actually maintain balance. Not like that she doesn't....
 
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