Pose Review And Breakdowns

Maya: Animation





Reviewing Poses



1. Reviewing the first Assessment
2. Adding Breakdown Poses
3. Continue to work on your poses



Make sure you have the latest rig which fixes the jaw lock problem.



Everyone completed the first assessment piece so today we’ll be looking at the poses and how we can improve upon our first efforts. Great work guys everyone completed the task easily.

Now we want to critique the poses. I’ve taken some of the more successful poses and tried to critique those. These one’s had some good stuff happening but wouldn’t take much to get great with some minor tweaks.


Most Common Mistake

Flat hands!!

Here is a page full of hand ref… hands on pinterest


Stiff Lacking Dynamic and Life

Another really big problem is poses that are stiff and boring, most people don’t push as far as they could go. Use the curves etc. you don’t have to go overboard with lines of action just try to add a little bit of interest.


Silhouette Issues

Imagine these images as silhouettes where are the problems? Some are good poses that just need a couple of small tweaks. What could be fixed?


Slightly Too Busy

Most poses were on he boring side… not exagerated enough. Congratulations to those who went a bit overboard! But you can go too far sometimes it’s good to know where the boundaries are. These poses are broad and expressive, however they get a bit cluttered in their complexity, gestural lines, lines of action etc.



Yhe following poses look great if it weren’t for the lack of contact of the hand against the body. As we can see when there’s no facial hands are extremely important!


Some of the Better Poses

Here’s a few of the better poses. Note how some of the lines are much simpler. Although some things here could definitely be tweaked these poses give off a strong sense of emotion, they’re interesting, clear and not too cluttered.


Pushing Poses

Animator Joe Bower explains strong posing as he’s been taught by Glen Keane on Tangled.



Breakdown poses tell us more about how our character is moving. They can really make a move, keep things interesting and sell transitions not just in physicality but also in character.

It’s easy to let the splines do the work for us on the computer, but unfortunately this rarely works to our benefit. Sometimes it’s quite handy to let the splines get us half way there, but we usually want to have a lot of control as to what happens between key poses.

While learning a good practice is to manually set all your breakdown poses with stepped keys. As you get more advanced you might want to block in splines especially for creature work. The majority of Character animators prefer to work in stepped mode giving the animator much more control over what’s exactly happening in their scenes.

A classic tutorial on building up animation can be found here on Keith Lango’s site…


Why are we posing in FK?


Andrew Silke

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