Character posing with silhouettes

Get your character right with this neat trick

Often in animation and concept studios the most important thing that defines the character's identity is the character's silhouette. There are many different ways to get the pose right for a character.

How does you get to an awesome character silhouette from scratch?

Step 1

Check out Pinterest! I've found this amazing set of Pinterest drawings with stunning ballerinas. I used their poses and posture as inspiration for the following dancer's pose.

Step 1.1

Alternatively use JustSketchMe. It's always good to check if any of the pre-made poses are close to the pose that you're looking for - I adapted my dancer's pose from the pre-made pose on JustSketchMe - Warrior 2. I then rotated the joints until the weight distribution felt natural.

Step 2

Move the camera around to see different perspectives of the model. Try not to let the arms overlap - make sure that if you were to black out the silhouette that the body parts would be clearly visible. This will give you more freedom later when adding effects to your character.

Step 3

Do you want high angle, low angle or straight on? I mentioned before that looking at movies can be a good way of getting inspiration for poses that display a sense of dynamic movement. Make use of action lines - does the silhouette make the character look dynamic?

Step 4

Silhouette all your poses and put them next to each other. Ask your friends - if it looks clear to them and what they can identify from the silhouette. Lots of iterations, and asking for feedback will often help you get a sense of whether your communicate is clear.