Anatomy in Character Design
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Anatomy in Character Design
30 November, 2017
Character Art

Arthur Gimaldinov from Rocket Jump did a nice overview of the human anatomy.

My name is Arthur Gimaldinov, I’m an art producer at Rocket Jump studio. In over 9 years of experience in game art I’ve worked with different styles and settings. For me it was always interesting to learn something new about art design and share my knowledge with other artists.That’s why I’ve launched my little ‘Few Tips’ project — once in a couple of weeks I’d post some brief illustrated insights and ideas about art that occurred to me during the working process. You can find them on my Facebook and Instagram.

This article is a compilation of some of these tips, provided with additional commentary, united by one topic — anatomy in character design.


Thus, at different positions of the hand (for example, during a punch), the biceps will have a straight elongated shape. This is an interesting nuance that can give your hero a more confident look.


It’s also worth noting the presence of chewing muscle surface. It is rarely visible, and for women, more often, it’s not visible at all — but the very awareness of its presence and attachment point will help make your brutal characters even more brutal.


The large cartilage of nosewing and the fibrous tissue that forms it are not united, and they have different angle of inclination. Thus, the shape of the nostril is an arc with a distinct bend. Alternatively, this bend can be mitigated by the skin, which at this point is slightly stretched. All of this, of course, varies for each person.


The deltoid muscle has three major sheafs, but I’ve decided to pay attention to only one of them. If you know exactly where the fixation points are, it will be easier to build your character. What also is interesting to know is that how each sheaf ‘inflates’ in reaction to arm movement.

When lifting the arm forward, the front bundle is ‘inflated’, and others do not change their shape. When arms are raised sideways, the lateral sheaf is ‘inflated’, the rest are not. Well, by analogy, there is also a back sheaf, which acts accordingly, but when the arms are raised back.

Hand and Tendon

I would like to clarify another thing about drawing a hand. Many artists believe (I was one of them) that on a back of the hand the bones leading to the knuckles of their fingers are clearly visible. In fact, you see not the bones, but tendons which extend fingers when the hand unbends.

Triceps and Scapula

A rhomboid major muscle is attached to the spine and is in fact a mirror image of the infraspinatus. But since it is almost entirely covered by a trapezius muscle, we can see only a small part of it. Actually, just like we see only the half of scapula muscles — they are blocked by a back sheaf of the deltoid muscle.



You should be aware of the presence of this bone and the muscles that are attached to it. All of them are clearly visible in people with sporty physique — for example, when the leg is bent in a squat position or during ‘superhero flights’ with a bent knee. This knowledge makes it a little easier to draw legs.

Quadriceps Femoris muscle

Pay attention to the length of each tendon and compare it with the fact that tendons do not give an increase in shape, as muscles do. So consider this when drawing.


Remember this area, which is not covered by muscles, but also do not forget to show the volume of muscles that frame this bone along the edges.

Character design is a constantly evolving and changing process, during which new ideas often appear. They transform the approach to work and, as a result, improve the final result. I hope these interesting nuances will come in handy in your work or help develop your own art style.

Arthur Gimaldinov, Art Producer at Rocket Jump studio.



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4 Comments on "Anatomy in Character Design"


Much obliged


Thank you!


Is there a great book for this kind of stuff? I don’t find one jet…


Thank you