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When artists say my characters are too stiff, what do they mean? I have drawn line of actions before drawing something.
And if my character poses are stiff is there a way to remedy or even solve the problem since I draw from references.....
Unless standing perfectly at attention, a human's hips and shoulders will never be parallel. In both your drawings above the figures have their shoulders and hips parallel. I marked one up for you.
Look for the curve of one form flowing into the other. Check out Glenn Vilppu's method of drawing (you'll find a lot if you google him).
Also, there's actually not really a straight line anywhere on the body- it's always curving. More to the point- it's always convex (pushing out from the center). If you're going to make a straight or concave line you should really consider it- it will probably make the drawing look awkward. Sometimes it's really subtle- your brain will say it's straight or concave, but if you look carefully 95% of the time it will actually break down into several overlapping concave shapes, and 4% of the time the drawing will look awkward even if there really is a concave situation on the figure. The only situation I can think of offhand where you can get away with a concave line is the bottom of the arch of the foot seen in profile (because of the bone structure and relative lack of muscle & skin bulk).
Overlapping lines can help indicate which forms are front & give more depth to the figure. Also note that on a curved form like the human body, the more foreshortened a particular form is the more curved the lines will tend to be, and there will be more overlap.
Try to figure out what the body in the reference is doing. Understand the underlying masses and how they dictate where the lines go and draw that rather than just copying the lines you see. Especially watch out for a tendency that most people have to draw things from a straight on view when the object is in no such position. See MrJackson's comment.
Also, think of the view point for the picture. For example, assuming the reference for the first image is taken at eye level and not laying on the floor, chances are the feet are not on a line parallel to the bottom border of the image. That usually only happens when the figure is facing you directly. If the figure isn't facing you, then really consider carefully before putting the feet on such a line. It's possible it really is that way, but make sure you understand *why* before you draw it that way.
Hope this helps
Thank you but I still have a question in mind...... I am a 3d animator-wannabe so I tend to use a lot of 'stickman' for posing in construction stage and I end up that you get the exactly same "stiff" only at the end of the day......
So what should I do....
study the human figure at rest and in motion -- you can't just "make it up" from scratch, it takes observation and study and practice. try drawing from life, just fill up sketchbooks, people on the streets, at work, whatever, you don't have to have a life drawing class though that'd be good if you can find one. study basic human form and anatomy, in terms of how the body is constructed and moves, then apply it in your drawings. don't sweat a lot of muscular detail at first, get the basics down pat, form and proportion. learn about balance and weight distribution in various poses and actions. take a look at Muybridge's motion studies and other such resources, use 'em as refs.
and "stickman" doesn't have to equal "stiffman" :
Continuity Break -- my sketchbook
Kata femme -- a 3D model WIP, now updated!
The Giordano Gambit -- Barsoomian Zingball at its best!
Valkyrie Ascending -- now updated with the second in a series!
ArmaRagnaGeddonRock-yer-Yuga! -- celeztial shitz 'n' gigglez
I . Miss . America -- "colored [eyes] may hypnotize..."
"In the end, Razputin, aren't we all just dogs playing poker?"
-- Edgar Teglee
Well, ok my latest attempt......
Excuses. Whether you're working with 3D or not and ESPECIALLY if you want to become a better animator, you need to think of making a dynamic pose even with a stick figure. You will need to look beyond the action line and look at the overal figure.Originally Posted by CreatorI am a 3d animator-wannabe so I tend to use a lot of 'stickman' for posing in construction stage and I end up that you get the exactly same "stiff" only at the end of the day......
I think you should give the spine some special attention. Take pictures of interesting (preferably dynamic and/or fluid) poses like the one Jens linked. The contra-posto is on X, Y *and* Z axis. Notice how his left shoulder bends to the right. The spine is slightly tilted forward and bending forward. The spine is also TORQUED with hips facing straighter than the upper torso.
Building your poses in 3D involve the exact same thought process as when you would draw. You deconstruct the body posture into chunks and change the relationship between these blocks (or bones). That's what makes your body posed correctly and not as if it was kept in an invisible cast. The difference between 3D and 2D posing is that it's a bit more difficult with a stretch/squass-less rig. You have absolute control of your silouhette and flow of arcs when drawing.
In conclusion, practice, practice, practice, make poses from pictures, make poses from your mind and memorry illustrating an emotion and then practice some more.
Oh! Becareful with locked knees too. They tend to make the figure look stiff, but sometimes it's necessary for what effect you want to give.
Good luck and post your work.
Err.... no need to scold!
I practiced to the point that I am still that this stage even after 2 years. It's frustrating.....! I need to sleep... I have been practising since 4 am.! No point practising when it does not give a result.
Creator, you did the right thing in looking for outside help, especially since you say you've been stuck at the same stage for 2 years (*gasp*). This is a great place to get feedback and try to wrap your head around concepts. When you'll train your eye to see the important things and be able to recognise the key elements, it'll be like a revelation. In the meantime, practice is yet the best thing BUT only if you focus on the right things and break bad habits. I think you're just starting to "think outside the box" so it's kind of normal to be shell-shocked. But please, no more excuses
P.S.: That's not scolding... Come to my class and you'll see minimal scolding. Get on the market and then you'll see REAL scolding. But that's all part of the learning process and paying your dues... It's an amazing way to push your skills and learn fast!
Open yourself and grab as much info/hints as you can... run with it!
After another week of endless practice, here are some more of practising..... your hope it was worthy of the cause. I am now being confined from home[I am from singapore which means I need to go NS, kinda disobeyed orders just to draw] from Tmr onwards.... so no PC until next next week.....
cya next next week.
Try doing really loose gesture studies. You know those gestures that look like scribbling. I practice this myself by setting up images of figures onto the slideshow, which comes as a screensaver with my computer. I set the display time for each pose for 1-2 minutes and do this for at least 30 minutes. To start out I would recommend 1 minute since it will rush you and force you to use your artistic intuition in order to lay-out the pose correctly. Once you get used to getting loose with your hand you can get tighter with your gesture and bust out more rhythmic poses like Dose mentions above. Check out glenn vilppu for examples of awsome rhythm gestures.
If you do more complete figure drawings construct the manikin over the same gesture, but that is actually rookie shit. The real trick is to figure out how you can add elements of your manikin construction to your gesture so they become a synchronized process. But before you get to that point you'll have to gain an understanding of how to construct the manikin with simple 3-d forms to create the illusion of volume. AND in a couple years when you get the hang of all that you can begin to concern yourself with the problem of anatomy which is really fun.
PS - Make sure you have a decent standard for proportion in order to build your skills on a solid foundation. And why is the title of this post composed of an adjective and noun, is that some kind of joke?
Last edited by IILooney; January 29th, 2007 at 04:36 AM.
Strange coincidence that every man whose skull has been opened had a brain.
More and More......Wheeee Boy I should have used my stack of newspapers at home.... so many references.......
Now my drawings have a feel not seen in previous drawing.... but can't describe....
Creator- What patdzon said is right. i ve got a link here for Some Kevin Chen figure studies and tutorials. He is great, analyze how he constructs the body and also the way he holds the pencil to do these figures and life drawings.
Kevin Chen's Tutorials
hope these help out.