It’s All About Poses!…

“Your animation is only as good as your poses. You can have good timing, good overlapping action, good follow through – but if your poses are not strong and to the point (telling the story) you do not have a good animation.” _Ham Luske_


My topic of the week in my character animation study is POSING… Many animator did not realize how important is the quality of the poses in character animation. After researching all about posing for the last few days, I can now answer my question “What makes up good poses?” and I’m sharing this research result with all of you…

One of the Important elements to think about in making a great a pose is the Line of Action. Line of Action is an imaginary line through a character’s body that shows the primary force of a pose. This is used to indicate direction and energy (kinetic or stored) of the character’s pose. In every scene to make it interesting, we have to vary the elements involve in the key poses of the scenes. This includes:

  • Varies the intensities of the poses, if all of the are big/intense poses the scene will look to loud/in your face and distracting, but if it’s the other way around it will be too boring, so we have to get the right combination. Also, directions of line of action have to vary to give more interest into the scene.
  • Reversal of Line of Action is used to build contrast in a scene, also used to build up and release of the energy to move the character and story foward.
  • Vertical Line of Action is useful for adding a point of emphasis into a scene. When contrasted against other lines of action it works like exclamation mark, it is useful to make a point but do not over use it.

Do not forget to think about The Flow Lines (the flow of the line of action, it is used to guide the viewer’s eyes). Thinks to put in mind while working on the flow lines are:

  • All part of the character’s has to work together to create a visual flow for the viewer’s eyes to follow.
  • Viewer tend to “feel ” body language, but not focus on it, they generally focus on the character’s face.
  • The best poses lead the viewer’s eyes to where they should be focusing for that given scene.
  • Use all of the character’s body parts (arms, legs, torso, etc) to lead the viewer’s eyes to see what they need to see in onrder to follow the story. Other character also can be use in order to help with the flow.
  • A great flow lines could take you through a couple focus point in a single pose.
  • Plan and understand what is important to look at in your scene.
  • Don’t force Animation Principles on to a scene.  Eg. Don’t just put body parts all over the place just because the silluete looks “good”. It is important to have a clean silluete but do not force it, then you start breaking the flow lines. (If you have to make to sharp of a turn in the flow line, that means its not working)
  • Be mindful of the prop that the character is holding, be sure to work the props into the visual flow. Prop is counted as part of the character it self.
  • Good flow in your poses makes your animation easy to understand.

When the distribution of the weigth in a pose is wrong, it will make the character looking right and looking unconfortable in his/her own skin. That’s why it is crucial to get weight in poses right. Here are some tips about weight in poses:

  • If a pose causing you problem, get up and try it out! If it hurts, mostlikely it is now a good pose. Change/fix the pose. Trear the character like a real person to make it believable.
  • Make sure the weight is right even when the silluete is a little off. Make sure the poses aren’t stiff, relax the joint and weight.
  • Stiff torso is a big problem in CG and it is very noticable, make sure you have somekind of a curve so the character have some kind of compression or expansion.
  • People’s hands flop a lot, get rid of som shrugs on the character’s shoulder (not to high or it will result to the character looking stiff/ uncomfortable).

Staging of a shot is very important in order to keep the viewer interest.

  • If you show it, use it! (Only show what is interesting and important
  • In a close up shot you don’t want to crown thee scene with hand gestures. It gets in the way! Just hint at it! Do the gesture out of the screen, evebthough the audience can’t see it but they will know the character gestured. This is by watching the shoulder, shift of weight and the way they moving.
  • Make sure the character is not turn their back on to the camera unless for story purposes and it has to be absolutely necessary.
  • Try to avoid pure profile staging unless specifically needed. This is because you need to keep both eyes in view of the camera to aid in reading the character’s mind and heart.
  • use eye disection to indicate sight line rather than aiming with the nose (turning the head) to avoid profile staging

Hope this would be useful… Thanks for reading my blog..

Keep Animating!…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s