line of action

Line of Action

Line of action is an imaginary line that describes the direction and motion of a character’s body and is the leading force of a his action. A good line of action improves character’s poses, makes the character look more dynamic, energetic and alive. It can also effect the staging and composition of the scene.  Poses with a good line of action are clearer and more understandable for the audience. There are 3 types of lines of action, the C, reverse C and S curves.


Line of Action in animation

Line of Action in Animation

In his book, “Advanced Animation”, Preston Blair says: “Plan your figure and it’s details to accentuate this line – by doing you strengthen the dramatic effect. The first thing to draw when constructing a figure is the line of action. Then build over that.” From my experience I’ve learnt that a straight line can kill a pose and make the animation looks uninteresting, so the line of action is something that I need to pay a bigger attention to and experiment with it more, so I could progress as an animator. The line of action can show us what is the main idea behind the pose. I’ve also learnt that when trying to achieve a relaxed pose the line of action should be softer, have some curves, but when the pose is dynamic the line of action is usually straight.

Line of Action - Preston Blair

Line of action – Preston Blair

Examples of line of action can be found everywhere, not just in animation. A Czech photographer, Vlad Artazov uses it to create a series of  photographs in which he uses nails and tries to tell the stories from everyday life.

S curve

S curve

C curve

C curve



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