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.
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.
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.
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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/
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