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

 

References:

ENGLÄNDER F., 2013, PERFECT POSING – 1 – LISTEN TO THE CHARACTER… AND TO PHYSICS [Online]. Animation Island. Available at: http://www.animatorisland.com/perfect-posing-1-listen-to-the-character-and-to-physics/

Pratt C., 2012, Class 1 – Week 2 – Line of action in Poses. [online] Twins&Tangents. Available at: http://twinsandtangents.blogspot.ca/2012/04/class-1-week-2-line-of-action-in-poses.html

JohnK, 2006, Animation School Lesson 5 – Line Of Action, Silhouettes [online]. John K Stuff. Available at: http://johnkstuff.blogspot.co.uk/2006/05/animation-school-lesson-5-line-of.html

Gomes Cabral C., 2013, Cartoon Fundamentals: How to Create Movement and Action. [online] Tuts+, Available at: http://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/cartoon-fundamentals-how-to-create-movement-and-action–vector-19904

Ron, 2011, Line of Action – Mickey’s Christmas Carol [online] Flooby Nooby, Available at: http://floobynooby.blogspot.ca/2011/01/lines-of-action-mickeys-christmas-carol.html

Webdesignerdepot Staff, 2011, Impressive Nail’s Life series by Vlad Artazov [online] Webdesignerdepot, available at: http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2011/06/impressive-nails-life-series-by-vlad-artazov/

JohnK, 2011, Ed Love: Connecting Held Poses [online] John K Stuff, Available at: http://johnkstuff.blogspot.ca/2011/05/ed-love-connecting-held-poses.html

Nethery D., 2009, Willard Mullin – Animated Line-of-Action [online] Hand Drawn Animation Notes, Available at: http://hand-drawn-animation.blogspot.ca/2009/01/willard-mullin-animated-line-of-action.html

Worth S., 2012, Preston Blair [online] Animation Resources, available at: http://animationresources.org/category/preston-blair/

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