Today I will talk about a very important aspect of character animation: Poses.
When you work with animation, your character basically move from pose to pose.
As such it is important to find the most effective position for your character to get the most out of the expression.
Good poses are important for the audience to easily connect with your character, as they need to easily read what the character is doing, what it's going to do, and where it's going to end.
If you have your character flailing about with no distinct purpose of position, then you will have a much more difficult time reaching out to your audience.
I will use one of my own test animations as an example of how to properly pose your character.
This animation was used to stretch out my character animation muscles with a simple ball throwing animation.
First pose: Here you can clearly see the character getting ready to throw. He's looking out to the distance to figure out the distance and prepping himself for the throw. It is important to start your character in a resting pose at the start of the scene, unless it is a continuation of a previous action, to allow the audience to get a reference point of where the character is before starting.
Second Pose: Here the character is winding up for the throw. We can clearly see that this character is preparing for an upcoming action, as the pose signals to the audience that he is just about to throw something.
Third Pose: The character is moving forward to execute the throw. Notice that the character has moved his left leg forward, indicating in the pose that he is committed to the action.
Fourth Pose: Left leg is now planted and the character's right arm is moving overhead to follow the motion.
Fifth Pose: The action is completed as the ball is now thrown. This is a determined pose that indicates that the action has been followed through and that the character is moving forward.
Sixth Pose: Here we end on a resting pose. The character has finished his action and is looking out to the distance to watch his ball fly.
What's important with all six poses is that even if you completely block out all the details on the character, the audience should still be able to tell what the character is about to do from the pose alone. Even though the character has been completely blacked out in this image, you can still see that he is about to throw something.
Remember to be clear and obvious with your poses. Take into mind how the pose will look like if you removed all the details from the character. Will the audience still be able to tell what the pose is even if they can't see no more then a mono-colored black figure?
I hope this very short tutorial has been helpful.
Feel free to contact me for questions, or even suggestions for future tutorials.
Part 4: Facial Animation
My name is Patrick Høiseth. I am an Animator who mainly work in CG productions, but also have experience with Flash/2D animation.