Q&A: body lan­guage

ImagineFX - - Contents - Allen Her­sh­berger, Canada

An­swer David replies

Cre­at­ing char­ac­ters within a scene comes with its own set of chal­lenges – the chief prob­lem be­ing ex­pres­sion. More of­ten than not, a lot of char­ac­ters can ap­pear stiff and rigid, which can make things visu­ally un­ap­peal­ing for the viewer.

You can ex­press a range of emo­tions just by play­ing around with body lan­guage, help­ing to re­in­force re­la­tion­ships be­tween char­ac­ters, char­ac­ter mo­ti­va­tions, at­ti­tudes and so on. To demon­strate this point, I’ve cre­ated an im­age of a king who’s young, well dressed and sat on a glo­ri­ous throne. He should be happy in life. How­ever, by chang­ing his body lan­guage into a slouched po­si­tion this ex­presses a very dif­fer­ent per­son­al­ity. He ap­pears bored, un­in­ter­ested and dis­en­gaged with his sur­round­ings. This makes the viewer ask ques­tions about this char­ac­ter, cre­at­ing a more en­gag­ing scene.

Hu­mans ex­press a lot of them­selves through their body lan­guage with­out re­ally re­al­is­ing it’s hap­pen­ing. And if you can cap­ture this within your art­work, it will strengthen your de­signs much fur­ther.

To help cap­ture the ex­pres­sion of bore­dom, the char­ac­ter’s face has to look a lit­tle droopy, as if it’s sink­ing into his own hand. Even in this rough stage, the char­ac­ter still ap­pears bored or sad. It’s im­por­tant to cap­ture the essence of your de­sign early in the pro­duc­tion.

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