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Jim Vikström, sculptor and university teacher in échorché
Jim Vikström, sculptor and university teacher in écorché

Students broaden their portfolio by learning écorché

Published: 12 August 2015

There are a demand for increased realism in film, computer games and TV. In the summer course "Artistic Anatomy and Sculpture" students in Skellefteå has learned how to build a skeleton, bone by bone and then apply muscles on one half.

The Studio at Luleå University of Technology in Skellefteå
The Studio at Luleå University of Technology in Skellefteå

– This way, they will get more knowledge of the body function and structure, says sculptor and university teacher Jim Vikström, Europe's only university teacher in écorché, the art of imaging the human body.

The first five weeks the students will create an écorché and the remaining five weeks they are working on their own projects where they can use the gained knowledge.

Why is anatomy important for art programmes?

– The gaming company Dice makes only realistic games such as Battlefield. If you see a movie where Will Smith in a sequence is computer-animated he must look real. There are requirements from computer game- and movie companies for broader skills, says Jim Vikström.

Josefin Lindgren, Computer Graphic, third year
Jim Vikström and Josefin Lindgren, Computer Graphic, 3rd year, Luleå University of Technology

– Art has for a long time been intellectual, focused more on experiences. Now the craft is back, much because of computer graphics. There are an enormous demand for écorché knowledge from different educations in art, they want to learn crafts like drawing, sculpture and painting. Anatomy studies fit into all three groups, says Jim Vikström.

Écorché now as tutorial

–The demand for écorché made me start working on a tutorial a few years ago. It become a massive project that includes over 230 videos and 112 of my lectures. Every muscle, muscle attachment and bones in the skeleton are included.

– It was better than I had hoped for. I would argue this is the most exhaustive "anatomy tutorial" ever made, says Jim Vikström.

Tomas Nygren, prop making and Computer Graphics
Tomas Nygren, a recent graduate propmaker now starting the Computer Graphics program at Luleå University of Technology

Tomas Nygren, has graduated as a prop maker and is now starting the Computer Graphics programme at Luleå Uniersity of Technology in Skellefteå.

– You always need knowledge in anatomy regardless of what you are doing. If you are working on a character in the computer and put a muscle in thewrong place, it does not look good. The course in écorché makes you better at sculpting and you learn to see the form. You learn how the body looks like. I like Jim as a teacher, he is pedagogical and brutally honest, says Tomas Nygren.



 – As a computer graphic artist you need to be able to model characters and for that you have to know anatomy, says Evelina Dalin now starting her 2nd year as a Computer Graphics student at Luleå University of Technology.