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How To Draw Unguligrade Bipeds: Advanced Course by The13thBlackCat How To Draw Unguligrade Bipeds: Advanced Course by The13thBlackCat
Subtitle: Now with 20% less art and 30% more words!

On a more serious note, this is my follow-up to my ridiculously (no, I'm serious, it's ridiculous) popular tutorial, How To Draw Unguligrade Bipeds (IE: Hoofed People), dealing more with bone structure and posing. (And a bonus on the structure of cloven hooves; I didn't include one on solid hooves because you can find solid hoof tutorials much more easily than cloven hoof ones.) I know I kind of crapped out towards the end, but that's mostly because I had no idea what to talk about anymore.

So, if there's something else you'd like me to add, just ask!

Another thing: in the process of finding information for this, I came across the blog of a sculptor; specifically, the post where he worked on a satyr's legs in one of his sculptures. It's here, and I highly recommend it, because he briefly goes into muscle anatomy and in general knows a great deal more about this than I do. Anyway, the sculpture is beautiful and definitely needs to be seen.
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:iconcoffeepilot:
CoffeePilot Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for making this! I'm a transformation writer and you have no idea how helpful this is! I commented on your first tutorial but I have to say it again because I find myself referencing it CONSTANTLY while writing leg/foot transformation scenes.

If you're curious here is the first story I finished awhile ago that made use of this, satyr transformation at the end: Fantastic Desire ch 1


The story I'm working on now has even more drawn out and lengthily described changes. Though I still can't decide whether I like horse or goat hooves better for a bipedal humanoid.
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad it's helping you out! :D If you have any questions, feel free to ask me! I've learned a bit more since doing these (need to update them, haha) and I might be able to explain fiddly confusing bits better in comments or PMs or something.

Ooh, I'll go take a look. I've never really read/looked at transformation art before, so it should be interesting!

Well, from an anatomical standpoint I'm not sure either of them would be better-suited for a humanoid. I'm fond of cloven hooves myself, but I draw a lot of unicorns and that probably has a lot to do with my preference. =P I can think of a couple possible functional differences between them right now, but I'm not sure if you're just trying to decide for aesthetic reasons. XP (And, well, it's fantasy. You can tweak the functional aspects quite a bit without ruining things, considering we're talking about hooved people in the first place. XD)
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:iconsagelybymoonlight:
SagelyByMoonlight Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
I've saved and am using this to try and draw my own ungulate character as a biped, but I'm having trouble with the skeleton. I don't usually draw a skeleton before actually drawing the character, but I'm trying to get into that habit. Could you possibly help me try to get into that habit with an unguligrade skeleton tutorial? I'd greatly appreciate the help if you can, and even if you can't, thank you for your help.
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:iconcoffeepilot:
CoffeePilot Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Actually a big thing I forgot to mention about, from a transformation perspective, it's a lot easier to do an even-toed ungulate transformation, because as you so artfully show, there's pretty much direct 1:1 correspondence for the bones in a human foot/leg to those in, say, a goat or deer, while in a horse leg you have to deal with somehow fusing all those bones together into that nice linear structure.
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, I can imagine! Though since transformation stuff does require a bit of magic or whatnot to make it happen in the first place, merging some bones together seems like it'd be a fairly simply jump...so out of curiosity, what makes it so difficult? Like I said, I'm not a connoisseur of transformation stuff so I've not really seen any, except a bit in passing, and definitely not put much thought into how you'd go about writing it. :giggle: (The closest I've come is the occasional transformation scene for some of my werewolf characters, and that entirely lacks the obvious troubles of hooves.)
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:iconcoffeepilot:
CoffeePilot Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Well if you're doing a story with magic as the vector then that really makes things simple, it's just magic. However, if you're doing a story where science is the means to the transformation then if you're doing due diligence things need to be a bit more complex. For example, magic can transform nails into claws or hooves, but if you're using science, well, that's dead tissue, a nail can't *grow* into a claw or hoof because it's not alive, so to be precise you need to have the body eject the old keratin structure and grow a new one. Likewise it's a lot simpler to have bones merely grow and change shape than to completely merge together, or at least a lot simpler to describe. I may be overthinking things, but when it comes to transformation I believe accuracy and detail are two of the major attractions of a 'good scene' vs a 'bad scene'. It's why American Werewolf in London is still the best werewolf transformation ever, even decades later and with modern CG, because no one since has put in the effort.
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
True enough, I guess I was just sort of figuring that going too science-y with it would be a bit of an exercise in frustration to begin with, considering how unscientific the entire process is to start. :giggle: Just coming up with something off the top of my head, if you're aiming for scientific I'd probably go with something like bones completely breaking down and the base components re-sorting into one piece as a means to merge them together, or something. If we're already warping/resizing/generally reshaping the skeletal structure, merging some bones seems like a fairly tame process in comparison. That's assuming you don't just go with (in the case of a horse-like hoof) the extraneous digits simply withering away and dropping off, with the obvious exception of the one that will become the hoof itself.

If nothing else, I suppose thinking of it as evolution sped up a thousand thousand times would help in writing; basically, say, take the ancestors of a modern horse, back when they had multiple hooves. How did they evolve one hoof? Did they loose the others over time as weight was slowly shifted entirely to the one, or did they all merge together over time to form a more stable base? (I'm not sure which it is, if we even know that--to me both sound equally plausible, at least for this sort of thing where evolutionary accuracy is not necessarily required so long as the desired result is achieved.)

Of course, I am simply pulling this all out of nowhere and have little experience myself, so I could be totally wrong. :giggle: And I do tend towards vague when I write the occasional transformation scene, since I stay in the heads of my characters and I very much doubt they know all the particulars of what's happening...especially since, like I said, I pretty much only write werewolves for this sort of thing, and they'd usually be in too much pain to give a damn about much except when it's going to stop. Plus writing vaguely with the right words gives readers license to make the scene as terrible as they can imagine, which is, well, a good element for werewolves/other horror-based transformations. So I haven't had much excuse to actually focus on the little details in my writing, and this is probably the most thought I've ever put into it. =P
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:iconcoffeepilot:
CoffeePilot Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, I see I've succeeded in pulling you into the rabbit hole of trying to find the most logical way for a completely improbable thing to happen. Yeah I run the whole 'digits merging together vs digits growing/withering' debate in my brain all the time. Thanks for taking the time to write such thoughtful replies and put as much effort into this thought experiment as I do :) :happybounce: 
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:iconcoffeepilot:
CoffeePilot Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
The main thing I've found from doing a little research is that horse hooves are evolved for pure speed and open field running, while goat hooves are more multi-purpose and dexterous and better at things like climbing and rough terrain, but are nowhere near as evolved for speed. Hence goats can climb like monkeys and horse can run like, well, horses.
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That makes sense, given the environments the two species evolved to live in. Obviously most horses aren't going to be climbing and goats won't be running marathons. =P So from a purely functional perspective, that gives you something to build on, if that's a concern!
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:iconkissme123lal:
Kissme123lal Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
S'CUSE ME,
But how do you draw the booty? xD
I am serious btw
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Pfft haha, wow, wasn't expecting to get that question. XD

Well, I mean, it's not like it would be any different than it would for normal human people, going by my design anyway. And I'm not the best person to ask on that, honestly; it's pretty hit-and-miss for me. XD I bet there's some anatomy tutorials around on this site that might help, though. I've had a lot of luck finding those before!

Sorry I'm not more help! D:
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:iconkissme123lal:
Kissme123lal Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha, that's ok XD
It is still at help,
the tutorial is great x3
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:iconkvdude13:
KVDude13 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This'll be useful, thanks.
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hope it helps! :)
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:iconthe-fianna:
The-Fianna Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey, I'd just like to make a note that cloven hooves are not hard all the way around- they too have a frog like horses. 
cdn2.arkive.org/media/A7/A71EE…
Even the dew claws/hooves have tiny little frogs on them haha
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, ha, I know that now. Had a chance to examine a deer hoof. I just haven't gotten around to updating this sucker because between the two there's a handful of little errors I need to fix. XD
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:iconjeloonek:
Jeloonek Featured By Owner May 22, 2014
this is very helpful but i need more sketches :d ^^
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:iconsarah-is-mythical:
sarah-is-mythical Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
This is extremely helpful, thanks so much!! I was trying (and failing) at drawing a fursona that had deer hooves and now I know what I did wrong.
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner May 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy to help! :D
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:iconvoxelblock:
VoxelBlock Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I found this and your other Unguligrade biped tutorial incredibly helpful! Thanks!:P
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm happy to hear that, I hope it's useful in your future arting endeavors. =D
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:iconerradox:
Erradox Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Student General Artist
one of my favorite zoomorphic characteristics! Thank you so much for these tutorials~ <3 
They really help a lot! 
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's definitely my favorite! :dummy: Hooves are just the absolute best!

Happy to help out, good luck with your future arting endeavors. :3
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:iconkirigamiriguya:
KirigamiRiguya Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
!!! ah, thank you, this is super helpful!
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad to help! :3
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:iconsomnolentanimator:
SomnolentAnimator Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013  Student Filmographer
Oh my god thank you sO MUCH.
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:iconpurpleicecrystals:
pUrpLeICEcrYstaLs Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Just a fun fact: According to some people, humans used to walk on their toes, which I find really weird, because it would be even harder for a two-legged creature to balance on a few inches of their feet. But then, it would be easier to start running. 
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It would be weird and difficult, unless our heel was set higher up to compensate. I've never heard that before, huh. Of course I basically only do research on animal evolution and history, haha. =P
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:iconastrolade:
Astrolade Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Could someone wear heel-less heels to test out that range of motion you mentioned towards the end? I've sort of noticed that they somewhat resemble the hooves of a horse :V and it seems like it would be the same as standing on your tip toes for who knows how long.
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think I covered this somewhere in one tutorial or another, but in my understanding, heeled shoes are basically the same as standing on your toes, which is pretty much exactly what hooved things do. So heel-less heels really just cut out the middleman. :P Of course, you'd have to shift the heel upwards for the hoofed person, and they would obviously be much better at standing on their toes all day than we would, but for getting a sense of their range of motion it's probably a good start. :) That's more-or-less how I do it anyway.
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:iconiburrito:
iBurrito Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is really helpful! I've been looking for a tutorial of this kind for some time now and I'm glad to have finally found one ;D Thank you for making this.
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad to help. :3
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:iconjadreamervundreuna:
Jadreamervundreuna Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I am seriously impressed by both tutorials. I usually draw bipedal cats though. But goats are more similar to cats than humans are so this helped heaps. Thanks!
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad to help. :) It's really not much different for cats and such artistically, you just have to draw paws instead of hooves. There's probably a lot more tutorials about drawing bipedal things with paws, but I don't know of any off the top of my head.
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:iconadmiral-sailboat:
admiral-sailboat Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013
Oh wow thus was helpful! Like, incredibly helpful! But if you don't mind me asking, could you maybe enlighten me on the tapir hooves? Mainly because they're not as common.
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:iconarachnakid:
Arachnakid Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Student Writer
Excellent! And this is extra useful, since the character I'm working on is (mostly) based on a deer! :D
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:iconx-inksplashy:
X-InkSplashy Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
````````````
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:icondarchala:
darchala Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2013
Thank you! I was pretty confident about the overall leg structure when drawing hoofed beasties, but something about the hooves themselves seemed off, and now I know what it was--I wasn't giving them enough toe leading up to the hoof. Derp.

Splendid reference!
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad to help! Your art is absolutely gorgeous, by the way, so I'm pretty much going to dA-stalk you for...pretty much ever, now. Hope that's cool. 8D
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:icondarchala:
darchala Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013
D'aww, shucks. :blush:
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:iconludra-jenova:
Ludra-Jenova Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013  Professional General Artist
Oh thank you!!! this will be VERY USEFUL for me!!!
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad I could help! :3
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:iconludra-jenova:
Ludra-Jenova Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
YAYS!!!!! :iconmecutelove:
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:iconpurebloodxtomboy:
PureBloodxTomBoy Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013   General Artist
Thanks for sharing both tuts, they're really informative, direct and helpful! I've always enjoyed the curious appearance of "hoofed people".:XD: I learned a lot and both of your tutorials were a joy to read.
Thanks again~:iconyea-plz:
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad I could help! :D
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:iconm-lee08:
M-Lee08 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
This is super handy to see the differences in the feet.
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad to help :3
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:icondocnfoid:
DOCNFOID Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is very informative, it also is annoying to me when people don't draw unguligrade legs looking...well..right, I guess. You have those pole-straight legs when laying down, or tiny tiny calves. That sculpt is great, I'll have to take a look later.

If you find yourself with a bit of time, I was hoping you could take a look at a couple of concepts I've done for my original species. As a talented speculative artist, I would value your input. No obligations, however, as I said, only if you have some time and feel like it.

[link]

This one is more digitigrade, but here [link]

I also have some other drawings of digitigrade species but I'm not as concerned about them at the moment, you can find them in the gallery if you want, though.
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I wouldn't mind taking a look, sure.

The first one--Atama--looks like the legs are too far back to me, and like she would be off-balance most of the time. I'd rotate her thighs forward a little and straighten out her heel to make her look more balanced, personally. Or, if you really want her legs to have a strongly curved look, then her upper body should be thrown back more to visually balance her and make it look like she can walk without constantly being on the verge of toppling over.

The second one--the female Orubian--looks quite nice to me, and I can't see anything about her that looks off. She seems nicely balanced physically, and her anatomy is believable to me. And incidentally, I really like her design. =P
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