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Creating strong poses

From: Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

Video: Creating strong poses

When you first start animating characters one of the first things you'll need to learn is how to pose characters. So let's go over a few of the finer points of what makes up a good pose for a character. Now the first thing that you need to be aware of is what's called line of action. Now what that is is if you take a pose you'll see that each pose, if it's a good pose, it will have a line. The character will follow a line of action and this will lead the audience's eye to the character and it will be pleasing to the eye.

Creating strong poses

When you first start animating characters one of the first things you'll need to learn is how to pose characters. So let's go over a few of the finer points of what makes up a good pose for a character. Now the first thing that you need to be aware of is what's called line of action. Now what that is is if you take a pose you'll see that each pose, if it's a good pose, it will have a line. The character will follow a line of action and this will lead the audience's eye to the character and it will be pleasing to the eye.

It may draw attention to something. But a good line of action is really important for a good pose. Here's another character. You can see the line of action is downward. You see the character is a little bit sad. And then we can also have line of action that help with describing actions. So for example, this character is going to toss a ball. This isn't really a very good line of action. It's really just straight up and down. If we extend that line, give him a really backwards reach, you'll have a much stronger animation, so when he throws the ball that line of action actually will follow his body through.

Another important thing is called silhouetting. Again, if you have a character in a pose, typically the pose will read well if you can see it in the silhouette. This is because the audience's eyes tend to draw out the outline of the character first and then look at what's inside. Here is that exact same pose at a different angle. So all I did was I moved that camera a bit, and if you look at this it looks confusing, even compared to the silhouette, and if you look at this in silhouette you don't even really know what's going on with this character, because you don't have a strong silhouette.

Here are some other poses. Now again this pose will have a strong silhouette. You can see that things are out from the body and that the outline of the character reads really well, as compared to something like this which is just again the camera turned a little bit. This doesn't read. You don't really know what the character is doing here. Here you do. Last thing I want to talk about is weight and balance. Any pose that you create for your character needs to have balance and weight. Now typically when you pose a character, the character will come kind of rigid, like this, and this isn't really what I will call a balanced pose.

It's very symmetrical. There's really no sense of weight to the character. He almost looks like a mannequin or something. And you can create weight by distributing the weight through the character. So you can see that now the weight is on one foot, the character has a bit of an arc. This is much more pleasing than something like this. When you do something like this you want to make sure that the character's weight is balanced, so that he is not going to tip over, something like this. So if you push him too far in one direction, again he is going to appear unbalanced. The pose is not going to be stable.

It's not going to be pleasing to the eyes. We are just going to say, wait, something is wrong here. So when you create poses, you want to make sure that the poses have good line of action, they silhouette well, and that they also have weight and balance. So with that in mind let's go ahead and start actually posing characters for animation.

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This video is part of

Image for Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya
Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

65 video lessons · 10000 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 22m 18s
    1. Introduction
      1m 10s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 8s
    3. Character rig overview: Simple character
      6m 19s
    4. Character rig overview: Full character
      7m 30s
    5. Using other rigs
      48s
    6. Using screen drawing tools for Windows
      3m 9s
    7. Using screen drawing tools for the Mac
      2m 14s
  2. 23m 47s
    1. Creating strong poses
      3m 27s
    2. Creating custom MEL scripts to help pose characters
      4m 39s
    3. Using layers to select characters
      1m 10s
    4. Learning the basics of posing characters
      10m 7s
    5. Creating stock poses
      4m 24s
  3. 25m 11s
    1. Understanding forces and character motion
      2m 13s
    2. Understanding drag
      5m 51s
    3. Working with secondary motion
      5m 33s
    4. Bringing the character to life
      4m 21s
    5. Refining the animation
      7m 13s
  4. 39m 30s
    1. Keyframing initial poses
      4m 21s
    2. Creating the blocking pass
      7m 42s
    3. Moving holds
      5m 27s
    4. Animating weight shift
      4m 21s
    5. Animating pose to pose transitions
      7m 46s
    6. Animating a wave
      9m 53s
  5. 42m 15s
    1. Analyzing a walk
      5m 43s
    2. Setting up a character for a basic walk
      1m 22s
    3. Animating a walk: The feet
      5m 55s
    4. Animating a walk: The lower body
      8m 23s
    5. Animating a walk: Making the cycle symmetrical
      3m 10s
    6. Animating a walk: Working with the spine
      5m 59s
    7. Animating a walk: Arm motion
      7m 28s
    8. Animating a walk: The head
      4m 15s
  6. 24m 15s
    1. The importance of the passing position
      4m 52s
    2. Working with foot placement
      3m 50s
    3. Adding character to a walk: Contact position
      5m 10s
    4. Adding character to a walk: Passing position
      3m 20s
    5. Adding character to a walk: Finalizing
      7m 3s
  7. 52m 27s
    1. A run in four poses
      2m 39s
    2. Animating a run: The first pose
      4m 31s
    3. Animating a run: The second pose
      7m 17s
    4. Animating a run: Mirroring the basic poses
      10m 59s
    5. Animating a run: Hip and foot motion
      5m 12s
    6. Animating a run: The upper body
      5m 2s
    7. Animating a run: Left arm motion
      5m 31s
    8. Animating a run: Right arm motion
      4m 39s
    9. Animating a run: Cycling the animation
      6m 37s
  8. 1h 20m
    1. Animating blinks
      7m 56s
    2. Animating changes in eye direction
      5m 6s
    3. Animating a head turn
      4m 35s
    4. Working with audio
      3m 38s
    5. Overview of mouth controls
      2m 44s
    6. Animating vowels
      15m 14s
    7. Animating consonants: B, D, and G
      7m 2s
    8. Animating consonants: F, M, and S
      8m 22s
    9. Animating lip sync: Assigning phonemes
      10m 43s
    10. Animating lip sync: The head
      9m 44s
    11. Animating lip sync: The body
      5m 10s
  9. 55m 55s
    1. Creating the main poses
      4m 18s
    2. Blocking poses to dialogue
      7m 1s
    3. In-between blocking pass
      3m 27s
    4. Animating moving holds
      5m 19s
    5. Creating weight
      6m 19s
    6. Adding secondary motion
      10m 0s
    7. Animating dialogue
      8m 12s
    8. Finalizing the animation
      11m 19s
  10. 24s
    1. Goodbye
      24s

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