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The Fantasy Figure Artist's Reference File with CD-ROM: Hundreds of Real-life Photographs Depicting Extreme Anatomy and Dynamic Action Poses Spiral-bound – Sep 2006


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Product details

  • Spiral-bound: 159 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series Inc.,U.S.; Har/Cdr edition (Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764179616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764179617
  • Product Dimensions: 28.7 x 23.4 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 514,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Angela on 15 July 2007
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
Now that I own this book, I wouldn't be without it. 500 superb photographs with some fabulous fantasy costumes. I've not checked out the CD rom yet, but there are a further 600 photos there as well. Great value for money and a great addition to any budding comic artist's reference library. :) Definately recommended.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I'm not sure how many of the photos , i'll ever use as refereance , but this book is great fun and nicely produced
The dvd with it contains some very nice high res images of the models posing
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By Seany on 30 Oct. 2014
Format: Spiral-bound
brilliant
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Not extreme or dynamic, but still has some good parts 2 Jan. 2007
By Heidi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
Unfortunately, this book did not live up to my expectations. Overall, it was uninspiring to me, especially in creating my own characters. As a reference photo book, it fails because the poses are not extreme and dynamic as promised. It also seems to try to reach beyond its scope with a section on painting and many comments on characters beyond anatomy and costume.

Pros:

- "Anatomical studies" show each character type in only shorts (or shorts and sports bra for women) so you know what the body looks like in some poses.

- Summary of character wardrobe

- Poses of characters in wardrobe may help in drawing clothing -- depicting folds, how certain material hangs, etc.

- As another review mentioned, an overweight man ("cleric" and "norseman" types) and a small person ("warrior dwarf" type) are shown here, and both are helpful.

- Captions in the book often direct you to details (how material is bunching up a certain way, how a shoulder strap hangs off the body in a certain pose) or notes about anatomy ("legs need to be placed apart because they will have to bend to compensate for the weight of the ax")

- Section of close-up facial expressions (male and female)

- Although brief, there are also some photos of hand detail, including props like rings & bracelets, and accessory details -- boots, belts, jewelry

- Spiral binding allows the book to lay flat (although when you're drawing, you'll probably print images from the CD instead)

Cons:

- Uninteresting poses. This is the sale-killer for me. Although the book says the photos depict "extreme anatomy and dynamic action poses" I found the poses to be too plain. There was no "extreme" posing where the body is in extreme angles -- lunging, jumping, twisting. Instead, someone is standing still with their arms raised and feet spread, but there is no action happening. You can tell because there is a lack of tense muscles.

- The back of the book has a section on painting characters that seems out of place. This is a photo reference book, not a painting book. Unless you already know about painting with acrylics, this section is useless.

- Some captions have irrelevant comments. In a caption of a photo showing a happy "warrior prince" face, it notes, "All characters should be able to feel elation and happiness."

Summary: although a few poses are good, don't expect most of them to be "extreme" or "dynamic." Note that this is not an instruction book on learning anatomy, and you should have at least a basic understanding of human anatomy to use this book well.

Books that I would recommend for beginning artists:

- Human Anatomy Made Amazingly Easy by Christopher Hart

- Drawing the Living Figure by Joseph Sheppard

- Dynamic Figure Drawing by Burne Hogarth (great for flow of action)

- Perspective! For Comic Book Artists by David Chelsea

- Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery: Solutions for Drawing the Clothed Figure by Burne Hogarth

- Action Anatomy: For Gamers, Animators, and Digital Artists by Takashi Iijima
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A welcome addition to my reference library. 3 Oct. 2006
By Rickey Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Spiral-bound
As a cartoonist working on a fantasy book, The Fantasy Figure Artist's Reference File is a must have. The photographs are clear and the poses are very useful to the action artist. AND the range of model types is amazing. It's rare to find images of a fat man in an art reference book..and I think this is the very first time I've seen pictures and poses of a little person! This book will be placed on the top level of my reference book shelf.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Great for beginner fantasy artists!! 9 Jan. 2007
By R. W. Stenberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Spiral-bound
If you are new to the fantasy art genre or are looking for a great quick reference for figure drawing, this is the book. It gives a diverse selection of different body types, sizes and looks, as well as a good smattering of accesories, close-ups and clothing...
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Not very good... 15 Mar. 2008
By Cosmo Kramer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
This book is just not what I thought it would be. Extreme anatomy? No, not really.

First, all the women are the same body type, which is they all are a bit thick. I would like to see more variations here. At least some of the models should be athletic, some overweight, some curvaceous. Extremes. Like they promise. The men really aren't any better. The variety is poor.

So, maybe they are saying that the anatomy of average looking people is taken to extremes? Well...

I can't tell with most of the models, as the clothes get in the way of many of the poses. If it's just a book about costumed references, that's fine (though then I'd like more professional costumes). But it says, right on the cover, extreme anatomy and dynamic poses.

What is the point of offering that if you can't see the body? If you can't see how the muscles contort and react to the poses, you might as well draw cylinders for arms and legs and drape heavy robes over them and call it a day.

Honestly, this book looks like they went to a Renaissance fair and asked some of the patrons to pose for them, rather than a professional book with professional models and research.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Very Useful Book 9 Dec. 2008
By KalPhoenix - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
This great book includes a decent variety of body-types, poses and costume/prop references from a fantasy perspective. The back of the book also includes a few helpful closeup sections on hand poses and gestures, expressions and props. The beginning of the book is done-up in archetype sections (Wizard, Elven Queen, Cleric, etc) of about six pages each.

Note though, that this book isn't a step by step drawing book, it's 90% photos with a few pencil sketches and one full-color painting for example, so it may not be something for someone looking for instruction. It's strictly for reference. There are also only a few group and couple photos, so while it's great for solo poses, you may want more reference for multiple people.

Although decently lightweight, the cover is also quite hefty and will take a decent amount of travel abuse. With it's spiral-type spine, the book lays flat when open, which may be a bonus for some folks.
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