|In last week's Animation Alley article I briefly touched on the
importance of posing in creating a good animation. This week I will
give you some inside tips and tricks on posing, so, let's get to
work. Facing The Camera If a pose is to read correctly, your
character must be positioned in the correct position relative to
the camera. Sometimes characters are shown for just a few seconds,
and the audience should be able to read the character in even the
briefest amount of time. This doesn't mean that you have to change
the position of the camera (which would prove rather difficult if
you were blending CG characters into live action sets).
Nevertheless you can try to work your poses from your current POV
[Point Of View], and make them function from there.
Make sure that the audience is able to read your pose
Symmetry One of the worst things you can do when posing a
character is to make the poses symmetrical. Although that's not
"technically incorrect" it yields unnatural poses (and also
unnatural animations). Look at yourself in the mirror; stand still,
or raise your hands. You will notice that there's a slight
difference between the positions of your left and right limbs. What
you do is to apply the same principle to your CG characters. Slight
changes don't work here so you have to "exaggerate" the
non-symmetrical poses. Shy Poses: Break Those Joints A lot
of times you see animations on the internet where the artist never
reach extreme poses because they are afraid of "breaking the
geometry." Sometimes the figures? fists are not closed, other
times the arms are not bent enough, and frankly ? they just
look stiff. If you made a good rig then you shouldn't have to worry
about your figures not appearing realistic.
Top: strong pose. Bottom: weak pose.
Using Silhouettes Silhouetting is a trick you can use to
check if your pose is strong or not. Pose your character, and then
output an alpha-channel render from your camera view. If you are
able to read the pose by looking at the silhouette, then your pose
is indeed strong and the audience will not have any problem reading
the pose when they see the rendered character.
You can see very clearly that the character is in agony or
Unfortunately, nobody can teach you how to pose correctly ... well
perhaps if you went to a 3D school. My point is, that there's no
"completely correct" way to pose a character. You have to learn by
practice. I hope these mini-tips were useful to you and help you
create better poses. Keep in mind that a strong pose is one of the
keys to make an outstanding animation. Happy posing, and keep on
Animation Alley is a regular featured
column with Renderosity Staff Writer Sergio Rosa [nemirc].
May 23, 2005