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I'm no college student or none of that, just registered in the middle class and well... I had an idea. I've been trying to figure out how to study anatomy movement and such and my old doodles were mainly squiggles. I had an odd habit of starting the person in strange places. Anyways, this "idea"...
(kinematics : The branch of mechanics that studies the motion of a body or a system of bodies without consideration given to its mass or the forces acting on it.)
The idea :
Taking a good anatomy book, or if you already know it, work with what you know and check it. First, work from standard kinematic-order. Start with the finger(or a toe), then build up a body (anatomically correct as much as you can) off of it. Then repeat and do so with a handful of frames of animation. Say walking or reaching to get something.
Then, after doing that, repeat the anatomy studies, but do it with reverse kinematic order. Start with the torso, and study and examine outwards. Then do similar drawings, though start from the torso and move out. Doing multiple frames to illustrate animation or motion of course.
Anyone think this is a good idea? :\
I assume you're talking about a modeling program such as 3DMAX. If so, my initial thought is that a project such as this requires a person to know how to rig a model, and this includes assigning restraints to the various IK and FK joints. Without a detailed knowledge of how the body can and can't move, this would be difficult for most people. And, since the idea is, as I understand it, to gain an understading of how the body moves through building this movement chain...
Am I on the mark here, or is the project itself meant to be a teaching aid? Because, I have to say, learning the 3DMAX rigging system is really a mind-bending chore at times, and not something many artists will need.
Look into POSER. It comes with pre-built people. not perfect models but certianly close enough for posing, plus it beats the crap out of getting one of those wood models. (plus you can play with lighting)
It is a bit time consuming, but FAR less than building people in 3ds max. Poser is also *WAY* cheaper then max.
Unfortunately, Poser doesn't have constraints, so it's a lot of work to pose people. You could better spend your time making a new friend, whom you could then convince to pose for you ;D
It might help to study British photographer Eadweard Muybridge's motion study photos. Here are a few links (and you'll no doubt find books in the library as well, probably with larger photos).
The first linked page explains a bit about the odd spelling of his first name and the article is interesting in any case:
Eadweard Muybridge (1830 - 1904) Documentary, Scientific
Freeze Frame - Eadweard Muybridge's Photography of Motion
Muybridge - (Click Index to see the motion study animations and stills)
Guide to pictures of works by Eadweard Muybridge in art museum sites and image archives worldwide...