Use Poser to Learn Anatomy


Poser has a mode that displays skeletons. The skeletons are not perfect, but they are good enough to use as a muscle anatomy learning tool.

I learn best through repetition, and by doing things myself.

I find that I learn muscular anatomy best when I take the time to paint each muscle one-by-one onto a Poser-generated skeleton. This exercise forces me to be accurate about exactly where on each bone each muscle originates and inserts.

I get my information from good reference books. Here's one I recommend:

Human Anatomy for Artists by Eliot Goldfinger.

UPDATE 1/8/2006

The Poser skeletons are a little hard to find. Don't look under Content unless you are looking to buy additional content. Poser ships with multiple figures - including skeletons.


You just have to poke around a bit for them. Here's where they are in Poser 6.


I found painting over photographs of nude poses to be very helpful in understanding the anatomy. The contour of legs and arms for example looks very different based on the angle and rotations of the wrists/feet.

This would be something to do after understanding the standard 7.5 heads or cranial index measurements (the latter helped me a lot and worked out better for me).

Using anatomy references such as skeleton & muscle charts, sketch over the photo in a new layer, and match skeleton and the larger muscles to the contour of the body as seen on the photo.

Often the contour is puzzling (such as on knees, shoulders, waist) and you will look into the anatomy ref to try and understand if it is caused by bone, by fat, muscle bulge, etc.

I found the cranial index worked best for me, because the sphere itself always look like a sphere whatever the angle or perspective is.

More about the cranial index here:

When you have matched the 11 (11.5 for ideal figures) spheres to the photo, it becomes much easier to guess and sketch the skeleton onto the pose. The next step then is to paint some of the defining muscles.

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This page contains a single entry by published on October 16, 2004 9:34 AM.

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Anatomy Practice: The Spine is the next entry in this blog.

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