WEEK 03 – POSING
Poses and Timing
Lines of Action
Different Posing Styles
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Posing and timing are everything in animation. As such posing is one of the most crucial elements in character animation. In the words of Mark Pullybank posing can be broken up into the following sections
– Lines of Action
– Upper/Lower body countering
Some more great posing tips here from Anim School…
Reference can come from many places
Real Life is best, observe and then stylise in your own artistic way
Video of situations similar to what you’re animating
Record yourself or a friend acting out your scene
Collect as mush reference as possible, although I’m leaving this section short it’s the most important aspect. I’ve rarely seen anyone collect too much reference. It always pays off.
Reference is absolutely massive and I can’t overstate it, the more we find from real life the more authentic our animation and performances will be. See how much disney relied on reference here…
Here’s a nice vid by Jeff Gabor an animator on Ice 3 with his acting on video. Please note how he hasn’t literally animated himself, only the appropriate parts and then he’s stylised from there.
Lines of Action
Lines of action are a great tool for simplifying a pose into an overall gestural line. It helps us to see the pose as a whole rather than breaking down each individual part which can kill off any sort of life rather easily.
A line of action is usually one line that best describes our pose, it’s usually a simple convex or concave U curve.
Here’s a couple of great pages that break this down for us…
And a Video…
Silhouette is a pretty easy concept. Turn the lights off in maya and you have your Silhouette. Silhouettes are used extensively in design but they also help us read our poses, make them clear and communicative.
Charlie Chaplin is a performer who understood the silhouette extremely well. He knew the position of the camera was and performed to it. Take a look at this great example…
Feng Zu on Silhouettes in Design
Twinning is the bad habit of keeping poses and motion too symmetrical. We usually try to avoid twinning as it’s easy to keep characters unnaturally mirrored with the effect of leaving them stiff and lifeless.
Without gravity in 3d it’s easy to pose characters who are not balanced. Keep this in mind. Also try to see how the character is positioned in three dimensions as although the pose to camera is most important, bad posing in the other angles will affect in-betweens and shadows etc.
Upper/Lower body countering
Due to the twisting motion of the body the upper and lower parts of the body often counter each other and it brings a nice dynamic to the pose. There’s many exceptions but it’s a good pay attention to the countering of the upper/lower body, shoulders/hips.
Animation is an art form that’s adept in caricature. More often than not you’ll be wanting to stylise the posing of your character. Even in realistic animation such as creature animation you’ll find yourself pushing poses further than they might occur in real life to emphasise the dynamic.
Straights and Curves
Another excellent principle is that of straights and curves. great for designing charcaters but also whilst thinking about out posing.
How To Draw More interesting Poses
Chaplin – Lion Tamer, Clip
Meryl Streep – Julie And Julia, Clip
Bill Murray – Lost In Translation, Clip
Princess Mononoke Clip
Queen Of Versailles, Clip
Wreck It Ralph, Clip
Aeon Flux, Clip
Burning Safari, Clip
Ninja Scroll, Clip
Animation Mentor Notes What Makes a Good Pose
Joe Bowers Talks about Pushing Poses
A Video Interview we did with Animator Joe Bowers on his work on Disney’s Tangled, and Bolt. In the video Joe breaks down his thought process and work flow, as he goes Frame by Frame on his animation.