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Male Troll Skull by Anamaris Male Troll Skull by Anamaris
World of Warcraft Troll Skull. The top with tusks and the bottom without.

I woke up today and decided to do some anatomy studies of humans, boars, wart hogs and elephants, particularly their skulls. I found this awesome site which helped me A LOT with this.

I noticed that a lot of artists draw Troll tusks differently, so I decided to do my own research.

One thing I noticed on all of these skulls (especially the wart hog) were that the huge tusks usually protrude out of the maxilla, also known as the mustache bone (please, correct me if I'm wrong). However, the smaller tusks protrude out of the mandible.

Because of this, from now on, I've decided to draw my male trolls like so. My female trolls though, will have their smaller sized tusks come out from the mandible.

I'd like to hear other peoples opinions, critiques and ideas on WOW creature anatomy. It's a subject I enjoy. =]
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:icon88monkies:
88monkies Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2016
Tusky
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:iconmrsleepybear:
MrSleepybear Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2014
I wonder how pandaren skulls would look? Since they would have larger cranium size and teeth and a jaw more similar to humans.
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:iconragnarok6664:
Ragnarok6664 Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great, might help me aswell I reckon, but what I find difficult is drawing the nose.when pointed straight ahead..
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2014   Digital Artist
Oh geez, you and me both...
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:iconladywarwick:
LadyWarwick Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
After thinking about it now, tusks grow from either top or bottom. My troll's tusks are from the bottom, and as much as it's a poorly detailed mouth lol (can't wait for the new skins) it looks like the tusks on the bottom grow from the lower jaw, just behind the K-9 on the side of the jawbone, which imo would explain the shape of the chin for support...
the shape of the brain case is spot on
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2014   Digital Artist
 I can't wait for the new models either. Even though I don't play anymore, I'm still a huge troll lovin fan. <3
That was a great point about the chins. I feel like a veil was lifted and I can see. That totally makes more sense.
Hopefully I can find time to make a newer version.
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:iconladywarwick:
LadyWarwick Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
the new skins are nice, its like they cleaned them up big time and give them so much more definition. I just hope we get more options to make them look more unique from each other
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2014   Digital Artist
I totally agree. I hope they give us more options for differentiation in the future.
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:iconladywarwick:
LadyWarwick Featured By Owner May 20, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
I never thought of the tusks growing from the maxilla...i figured they all grew from the mandible, but how would that be possible cos some of those tusks are HUGE and realistically...it couldn't happen with that size skull...and the neck muscles would have to be huge to support it i think. thats why i made my troll with normal up turned tusks, they look better and look like they'd be more realistic and i think they grow from the back of the mandible
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2014   Digital Artist
Yeah, I know what you mean. I know the characters re cartoony, and they somehow managed to make it believable, but I'd still love to see an official explanation of how the tusks work anatomically. On the bright side, it's a nice way to get theories off of fans. :)
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:iconlavanah:
Lavanah Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Oh awesome. I did a quick study of skulls myself a while ago using humans, gorillas, and elephants. PArt of me wanted to do a whole skeleton, but I still suck too much to do that.

Wait....2010? How'd I miss this for so long??
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013   Digital Artist
lol yea, pretty old. I wish I had time to revisit this. It was pretty fun to do.
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:icondavudu:
daVuDu Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013
I love this! I took anatomy in college which helped a little with my art but this helps me make a connection in my head. I have such trouble drawing male trolls even though I love them. :D Thanks! This f***in rocks!
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013   Digital Artist
Haha So glad it helped you.

I have to say the same. Taking anatomy helped me immensely, though for trolls you kinda have to study some animal anatomy to get it right. This isn't 100% accurate, but it's how I imagined it.
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:iconjinva:
Jinva Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This design makes sense to me! I always thought man those male trolls' tusks must get in the way of eating, talking and whatnot. But like this it doesn't :)
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012   Digital Artist
Haha, yeah. That's how I imagined it, though people seem to have different takes on how it works. I'm sure if I had a better take on animal anatomy I could come up with something more solid and believable.

Thanks for the comment. :meow:
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:iconjinva:
Jinva Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem. I've been starting to draw Trolls more since I started playing some a little so I looked up Troll skull and found your pic. Helped a lot lol! So thank you!
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012   Digital Artist
That's awesome! So glad it helped.
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:iconxyzjin:
Xyzjin Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012
Great work...are you got the intention to draw another one, especially for the mandible tusks? I'm workin on a troll-roleplayguide for the german community, would be awesome to show your pics in the anatomy section!
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:iconkittykat2000:
KittyKat2000 Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
so helpful :iconworshipplz:
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner May 31, 2012   Digital Artist
I'm glad.
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:iconkittykat2000:
KittyKat2000 Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconwoootplz:
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:iconshamazindustries:
shamazindustries Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Very interesting picture! the colour in the picture goes well with the textured background. The details of the skull are very well done!

Thanks for submitting!
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2012   Digital Artist
Thank you for the comment! =)
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:iconsilentsteel:
silentsteel Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2011
I am loving that you're putting so much thought into this. It's one of the things I enjoy thinking about as I play, as well as speculating on the whys and wheres of how each of the races evolved.
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2011   Digital Artist
Yeah, me and my friends are the same way. =)
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:iconwheresmytea:
wheresmytea Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like your version. Never did see how male Troll tusks could be mandibular. Orcs on the other hand...

I think what the commenter above me is talking about is the placement of the tusk in your illustration. Animals like elephants and warthogs and hippos all have tusks that are "rootless" or ever-growing, like rodent teeth. The base of their tusks are open pulp cavities that provide nourishment for the tusks to grow, so tusks need to be deeply rooted in the jawbone to receive blood flow. You've got the tusk rooted in the zygomatic arch, which is solid bone and has no potential source of blood flow to feed the growing tusks. If it did, there would be a thickening and extension of the bone back from the tusk to accommodate the root and pulp cavity.

I hope that's helpful! I absolutely LOVE it when people do this type of art, blending fantasy and reality, and it sure helps make stunning character designs. :)
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011   Digital Artist
That sure did help for looking at skulls much closer. Now I know what I'm looking for. Thank you very much for the comment, extremely helpful. :nod:
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:iconwheresmytea:
wheresmytea Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're very welcome ^_^
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:iconpristichampsus:
Pristichampsus Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011  Professional General Artist
a tooth that big would need an enormously long root, thus modifying the head shape entirely, so your drawing is inaccurate.
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011   Digital Artist
Really? How so? I'd genuinely like to know. :nod:
Is there any way you could explain further or show me please. Even if they are just fantasy creatures, I'd appreciate the help greatly.
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:iconpristichampsus:
Pristichampsus Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011  Professional General Artist
Firstly, thanks for taking such hard criticism well.

I'll explain. In order to not fall out, the longer the tooth, the longer the root needs to be, if you have ever had a tooth pulled, you'll realize that the root is usually at least as long as the tooth itself.

Sabre-toothed and tusked animals like boars and sabre toothed cats usually have a noticeable bulge in the skull where you can visualise that the root is underneath, in one animal, its gives an appearance of a high-domed forehead. I would reccomend making more massive cheekbones, so that there is a nice, long root for the tusk on the troll.
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011   Digital Artist
How else will one learn if one doesn't ask?
Thanks so much for the reply. This makes a lot of sense. I guess I missed that when looking at the different animal skulls. But they did have that in common. This is really interesting. I might just try reading up and researching more. Also, Sabre-toothed animals are a great reference. I think I just looked up elephants and boars, probably broadening that search will help me visualize it better.

But yes, thicker cheekbones, I'll make sure to add those details in to my future troll drawing, and if I have the chance to re-do this I definitely will. Thanks again! :meow:
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:iconpristichampsus:
Pristichampsus Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011  Professional General Artist
also, make sure the cheekbone bulges and is longer, so it looks like the root is in there.

No worries.
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:iconalinafee:
Alinafee Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2011
:heart: :heart: :heart:
I always draw them tusks from the upper jaw, because it just makes more sense to me, seing tusk-carrying animals in the world...
But I also draw the females tusks in upper jaw too. I think everyone has to find their "own" way to make things sensefull to them, but I feel them fom bottom jaw just wrong and orkish.
As I have seen the catalysm - troll druidforms with that bear and kitty with tusks on bottom jaw, it just break a bit my heart :XD:
I love your skull references, it is absolutly helpfull and makes sense to all us troll lovers... Now a whole skellet, plz? :D Just a joke, but thank you for your excellent art.
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2011   Digital Artist
I agree. Especially the orckish bottom jaw thing.
I always try to state that this isn't the end all, must be all way, this is just my interpretation after having looked at different animal skulls. Nature sure knows what she's doing. Then again, World of Warcraft is a fantasy realm, anything goes, so anyone can do them as they think best. =P
Thanks so much for the comment! I always like hearing what others think.
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:iconwynderkind:
wynderkind Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
As you have seen, I made my female's tusks erupt from the mandible in place of the canines, bicuspids, and secondary bicuspids - seemed logical by looking at the in-game shots.
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2011   Digital Artist
Yeah, that's what I thought as well. I went and downloaded wow model viewer to look at in my pc (which is sadly now in a coma) so I could get a better look at how they modeled them.

One of the things I've learned while taking 3d is that when modeling things, sometimes you have to take certain routes so that the geometry works well for whatever it will be used for. This means that, if for example, you never see the character from the waist down, why model it? Or if the edge flow works better by setting the tusks in the bottom, then go for it.


So I thought of the next best thing, I followed what I saw in nature. Considering that female troll tusks are smaller (like some species of warthogs where the females obviously smaller than males) they usually protrude from the mandible. This is just my opinion though. Another thing they teach us in school is "If it's believable, you've done your job". You don't always have to be anatomically correct (this even counts in animation, where you squash and stretch character's to achieve and exaggerate movements so the audience doesn't miss it)

Your tusks are crazy believable, and are probably my favorite part of the whole get up. :nod:
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:iconwynderkind:
wynderkind Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah, I totally understand that logic!

And thank you again - they were probably the hardest part but they look incredible. I still have them ^_^
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:iconkinotastic:
Kinotastic Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Hahaha

Troll skull!

It rhymes XD
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2011   Digital Artist
=D
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:iconaeizwyn:
Aeizwyn Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Whoa,that is sooo awesome XD I was experimenting with how the Tauren skulls will come out and all. Your troll skulls are very nice indeed!:D
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2011   Digital Artist
Thanks! I appreciate the comment. =)
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:iconsarahswowiestuffs:
SarahsWowieStuffs Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011
This is very helpful since it can be confusing sometimes from looking at art where the tusks are coming from! Great job!
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011   Digital Artist
Just my personal opinion on how it might be. I'm glad you found it useful. Thanks. =)
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:iconyapi:
yapi Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2011   Digital Artist
Huh, I just saw this as I decided to snoop into your gallery. Hoho.

I think this is brilliant work, and it's always nice when artists do research (which I should do more of *cough cough*).

Anyway! I did debate this with myself before, and I concluded that tusks that big should protrude from the maxilla. It just doesn't make sense to have something that huge coming from the mandible as it will be too much of a hindrance. If it's from the maxilla, when you open your mouth, the tusks lift along with it, therefore giving you an unobstructed opening.

Now the orcs, *they* have tusks from the mandibles, I strongly believe! :D
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2011   Digital Artist
Yeah, I agree. Besides, orc tusks aren't huge. =)
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:iconcarancerth:
Carancerth Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2011  Professional General Artist
I'm sorry, but in warcraft 3, we can see that the tusk came from the mandible (when they speak too you)
So > male & female tusk came from the mandible, but male ones have bigger tusk thant the females.
^^
PS: you an find video of this on youtube!

However.; you made a great work, seaching information and apply them; I love you work too ;)
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:iconanamaris:
Anamaris Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2011   Digital Artist
Really? Huh, that's good to know. I remember the first thing I did was check the 3d models from the game, since you can see them in detail with the wow model viewer (very nifty program :thumbsup: ).

You're right, I do remember seeing the tusks come from the mandible in the models. However, the 3d models were built in a way to make it practical to use and animate. I'm sure this is the reason we can see the tusks come from there in the models. After having researched from various animal skulls it just made sense to me to draw them the way I did.

Now, if it really is from the mandible I guess sense wouldn't really matter, especially considering this is a fantasy world. Thanks for the tidbit an the compliment! =D
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:iconcarancerth:
Carancerth Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2011  Professional General Artist
I must confess something:

After watching some videos.. It's seems to be the two : some have the tusk like you have draw, and some other seems to have the tusk like I've said (from the mandible)^^"
and this fact in warcraft 3 the frozen throne & wow.

I must comment your deviation : for ad information, and because you've made a great job.
(especially thanks to your research ;) )

I must admit that I prefer think that they come from the mandible > It will be easyer to made as prothetic
(I'm working on warcraft Trolls now for a shortmovie)
^^" It's a Hardwork
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