Elements of Strong Posing Part 1: Attitude
I was going back through some old reference material and was reading up on the elements that factor into character posing. I'm constantly surprised how much I learn by just refreshing myself with some of the most basic principles. So I'd like to spend a couple posts going over some of the basic elements that factor into clear and expressive posing. The first element I'd like to talk about is "Attitude".
I just purchased one of the Looney Tunes DVD collections recently for my sons because if I heard one more episode of a screaming Nicktoon I would have been compelled to take my own life. So in the effort of saving me from myself and to preach the gospel of quality to my boys we popped in Chuck Jones' "Duck Amuck ". I probably hadn't watched it in about 7 years and I was smiling from ear to ear by the end of it. Not only did I have the joy of watching my 6 year old see it for the first time, but to watch my seventeen year old recite along with it like he saw it the day before. I began thinking about what it is that makes it such an enduring short. Clearly, it's a very imaginative premise, but then I tried to analyze it with an animator's eye and I kept focusing on Daffy's poses. They are so expressive and had such clear attitudes. When you watch the short there is never a doubt in your mind how Daffy is feeling or what his emotional state is. Attitude is how your body language and thought process comes through in your pose.
It's the tiny details that are easy to overlook that can help to strengthen the attitude in your posing. Explore all of the possibilities while you're working out your poses and ask yourself questions. "What if I drop the shoulders a little more?". "Should we see more of her face?". "What would widening the stance do?". It can also be as simple as showing your pose to a friend or colleague and asking them "How does this read to you?". We'll talk about more over the next few weeks. Andrew and I just recorded a new round table so stay tuned for that as well. In the mean time, watch a little "Duck Amuck".