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Atlas of Foreshortening: The Human Figure in Deep Perspective (Second Edition) Paperback – February, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0471396963 ISBN-10: 0471396966 Edition: 2nd

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Atlas of Foreshortening: The Human Figure in Deep Perspective (Second Edition) + Facial Expressions: A Visual Reference for Artists
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (February 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471396966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471396963
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.7 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #761,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

A unique visual encyclopedia for artists and illustrators

Like its acclaimed predecessor, the Second Edition of this outstanding photographic reference offers illustrators, fine artists, and animators immediate access to the human form in deep perspective, that is, foreshortened. With all-new photographs, the Atlas of Foreshortening features:

  • Over 530 high-quality photographs
  • Both male and female nudes
  • Poses with slight, moderate, and marked foreshortening
  • Detail shots and full-body photographs
  • Many poses shot from multiple angles

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Customer Reviews

It's a must for those who can't afford to hire a model everyday.
Ernst Robert Skrede
I would highly recommend this book for artists who have always had trouble with foreshortening.
Michael Prodanou
Do yourself a favor, buy a copy right now while its still available.
C. S.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Siju Thomas on July 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book like It's title clearly indicates is not an illustration reference book.It's extremely useful to students and practitioners of the fine art of figure drawing ,it provides poses which are very diffrent from what we are used to seeing in normal life thus forcing us to see how many familiar shapes change when viewed at an unfamiliar angle,for a figure artist struggling with foreshortening a book like this one and Burne Hogarths Dynamic Figure Drawing used in tandem could work wonders.This is the only book of its kind and is in one word "BRILLIANT" .
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74 of 84 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
The poses in this book are indeed very dynamic and interesting but the one MAJOR draw-back is that they are all with the models laying down on the ground. Definitely not a very practical figure reference book for an illustrator like myself. I mean lets be honest, how many times are you going to be drawing a figure contorted on the ground verses standing and engaged in some sort of action. It may, however, be possible too adapt some of the poses for a standing position and yet gravity affects the body completely differently when it is horizontal instead of vertical. The photographs themselves are very poor in terms of quality in that they are: muddy, bad resolution, slighty out of focus, badly lit etc. etc. etc. Basically this was a very disappointing purchase. The "Fairburn System" series is far better than this book for photographic figure reference material; however, very hard to find.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
There are lots of visual reference books out there. It would be easy to populate a bookshelf with them. After a while, though, they start to look the same.

Not this one. Heavily foreshortened poses are the hardest (for me at least), so this book devotes itself to genuinely distinctive views. It may sound like distortion to describe an arm or leg as being a third length of the other. In fact, it is distortion if they are the same length, when viewed from some angles.

This book gives an uncommon perspective - it has earned its place on my shelves.

[review of first edition]

//wiredweird
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Eric R. Rose' on September 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have been using Mark Edward Smith's two excellent photographic references as a source for practicing figure drawing over the last year or so. I was a bit hesitant to buy this book - afraid that it might just be duplicating what I already have - but once it arrived in the mail I was really glad that I did. The quality of the photography is *fantastic* and it's printed on a glossy stock which preserves the halftones and detail which unfortunately sometimes get 'washed out' in Smith's books.
The range of poses is great too - from some very classical poses to some really "out-there" angles and poses which border on contortionism. Some of the most beautiful poses in this book are ones which a live model couldn't hold for more than 2-5 minutes, so having it captured on paper is a real bonus. All in all, I wuold say that the combination of poses and camera angles provides a fantastic reference work for studying the muscles of the body in various states of tension and compression.
I think I'm going to be spending lot of time drawing from this book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ernst Robert Skrede on September 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is the book I've been searching for for years! Most art photo reference books will either give you very standard standing, lying, walking poses or very artistic poses(ie unclear) . This book has clear photos of the body in unusual positions. There's a wide variety of poses and sections. Both male and female models.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It's a must for those who can't afford to hire a model everyday.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you are an artist looking for dynamic poses this is the book for you. It is a great guide to help you get some very interesting perspectives of humans. I highly recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Jenkins on January 15, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I happen to like the fact these are in black and white, since the simplicity of it makes you familiar with the form. I already have The Nude Figure for my other references for life drawing. As another person said, this is not the best book to get reference for illustrative foreshortening. This book is more to train your eye to capture various parts of the form in foreshortening.

I thought it was interesting how the author noted that it was difficult these days to find models because of people's need to do body alternations like piercings and tattoos.

While I find the models average, I would have liked to seen a few different models like overweight or even more athletic to get variations of the form in perspective. I wouldn't even mind old people, but I'm not sure if the elderly could perform in some of those poses.

Most of the poses are in seated or lying down positions, I remember the author saying also that a lot of poses even in perspective started looking the same.

I got some use out of the book, for the photography was clear enough for me. I also like using it as an exercise to recognize the form, like certain muscle and bone groups would look like in certain perspectives. I think too many people want to copy and not understand the true value of learning and utilizing reference.

It's not an AMAZING book, but it's still useful.
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