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Submitted on
April 6, 2010
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Expressions Tutorial by woohooligan Expressions Tutorial by woohooligan
EDIT: Wow! I got a DD! Sweet! Thanks guys! :boogie:

Some of you may know I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (a form of autism) in 2008. This makes reading people a particular challenge for me, so to help me with that, I read this book called Emotions Revealed by Paul Ekman. After reading it, I thought this stuff might be useful for the rest of the community, so here it is. :D

Here's the book on Amazon: [link]

This tutorial is only based on information from the book, not directly copied. All images and text are mine, except the photograph of Duchenne, which is public domain.

Drawn in Illustrator CS4

EDIT 2: Added a Creative Commons non-commercial, share alike license.

EDIT 3: Pitty-Free Zone! :D

While I appreciate the sentiment from some of you, who've said things like "I'm sorry about your diagnosis" or "I'll pray for you", I feel there are more constructive ways to express your support for those of us on the autism spectrum. Has my life been all rainbows and sunshine? No, of course it hasn't. People with Asperger Syndrome have notably increased rates of depression and social anxiety as well as often co-morbidity with sensory processing disorder (SPD), attention deficite (ADHD) and obsessive/compulsive disorder (OCD). And I want to tell you all right now - I LOVE MY LIFE!

To be perfectly honest, it's not just despite my autism, in some ways it's actually BECAUSE of my autism. So I'm clumsy in social situations, so I've ticked off a lot of my former bosses, so crowds and loud noises are intensely difficult for me to deal with. I've also been able to see things in my own way and do things in my own way. During the past decade that I spent as a software engineer, I had a long history of doing "the impossible" as proclaimed by people who had degrees (I don't) and credentials the length of my arm! I was able to do those things because I wasn't restrained by the need to conform to someone else's idea of what software engineering ought to be, but rather, my experimental nature and my understanding of what it could be.

When I get working on a project, I'm able to focus on what I'm doing to such a great degree that everything around me vanishes. There have been so many times that my girlfriend Tiffany has had to call my name several times, from only a few feet away, in order to get my attention, because I was so focused on my project that I didn't hear her until the 4th or 5th time she called. That's not a bad thing, that's a GOOD THING! I'm able to immerse myself in my projects with such depth that it makes most people jealous! That's BECAUSE of my autism.

Receiving the diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome in 2008 wasn't a downer for me at all! It was a huge sigh of relief! It gave me the understanding I needed to finally make progress on a variety of challenges in my life that had been holding me back for decades! And in truth, it's helped to fill up my life, to give me purpose that I lacked before. Yes, I have to work harder to learn the social skills, and I welcome that challenge! :D

So what I ask is really simple. Please don't feel sorry for me. :D If you really want to help those of us in the autistic community, check out the AutLabs project I started, and get involved! :D [link]
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Daily Deviation

Given 2010-04-11
While there are many expression tutorials floating around, the beautiful thing about Expressions Tutorial by *smolderingremains is that it takes a more scientific approach. This is a resource that can be helpful on many different levels, one of which is especially true to the artist (I suggest reading the description)! Also suggested by =atky ( Suggested by Crickatoo and Featured by UnicornReality )
Emotions. Emotions are one of the primary building blocks in artwork. The better the show of emotion in an image, the quality of the image could grow exponentially. Unfortunately, there are some who just don't know how to go along with creating a convincing emotional element in their character's faces or what have you. The "Expressions Tutorial" by smolderingremains has given a very in depth and detailed way to show beginners or intermediates a different method of creating emotions and facial expressions for human/humanoid charcters.

The primary charm of the whole tutorial is the fact that it carries its own style and simplistic explanations. There isn't any complex messages or techniques, the instructions and depictions are easy to understand and pick up for anyone wanting to brush up on their emotions. To add even more to the detail, there are even descriptions of how the facial muscles react and configure to the current emotional state, giving the view a great reference for designing in the future.

All in all, this is a well done and greatly explained tutorial piece by smolderingremains. Good work! :D
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elianoretta Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013
used your tutorial here:….  It's just some really simple faces,  though, nothing fancy.
woohooligan Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Oh, cool. Glad you enjoyed it. :hug:
crystal-of-ix Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is such a unique tutorial! Thank you so much :)
woohooligan Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks, Crystal! :hug:
crystal-of-ix Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome!
AgenteYumi Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
When I started a story (which main character was an Aspie boy), this boy -Joszua- had a friend who helped whim with an "expression notebook". I think that this was an crazy idea but now I now that it's very useful (my boyfriend is an Aspie too...)
woohooligan Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Ahh, cool! Thanks for the note. :hug:
Jburns272 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great tutorial. Very helpful. :)
woohooligan Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks, Josh! :highfive:
Jburns272 Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome! :)

Um. If you don't mind, may I pick your brain a little about your Asperger's?
I'm doing some research for a story and one of the characters has Asperger's. I've looked into it but I haven't much of a chance to talk to someone with it yet.
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