20 March 2011

The Right Pose for the Rig (with pics)

A while back I hand a little rant about what default pose of the model I like to start with.
Most of the comments were asking for pictures to better illustrate what i mean. Well, when i wrote that it was late at night and i think i just needed to have a little rant about something.... I mean't it all, it was just a slapdash thing so i didnt end up putting any pictures up with it.

Well, over the past few days i've started on quite a big project for which ill tease about later. But from that i made something that i could use to show you all what i mean't.
So here it is!

The eagle eye'd readers will notice its the Jump dingo without all his toys (awwww). I took em all away from him so i could be left with a very simple biped rig to use and show off (hint hint!!)

Now along the top row is what i like to work with. A Relaxed Pose where most of his joints are about half way. Think of it as though you put the character into a zero gravity environment and heavily sedated him.

Along the bottom row is something everyone is incredibly familiar with. The T-Pose or Jesus Pose. Everything is bolt upright and pulled straight.

Granted i'll appreciate that some modelers find it easier to model in T. All i would ask is if they're gonna pass it over to a rigger is to rotate a few joints. 

I mentioned the shoulders last time so ill just reiterate here with the pic. That little bulge on the top of the shoulder is modeled in, but if you were to rig the T-pose and bring his arms down, it would pull it flat and you'd lose that nice volume.
In the pic up top I kinda cheated, the T-Pose isnt modeled that way, its posed. But as you can see, the bulge isnt lost and in my opinion looks better when it gets all bunched up. It starts looking a little silly when you rotate the arm higher but the animator should know (hopefully!) that that extra rotation is supposed to come from the shoulder, keeping it nice.

The shoulder is where you would most often see this happening, but it applies to all the joints like;
and even his bum
You can even apply this sort of thinking to the mouth. Its a hell of a lot easier to weight paint an open mouth to a closed one. It doesn't need to be opened wide (say "ahhhh!") just relaxed enough to get at.

Once again sorry for the lack of pics in the old one, and i hope this makes things a little clearer.
I'll leave the guessing game to you lot as to what this big project is gonna be ;)


  1. Can't agree more. Even I thought of such idea to model any organic character in 'Mid-Pose' about their joints. I had to tweak a lot in and around arm-pits and elbow joints when it's modeled in T-pose. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Agreed, my main focus has been modeling for the past 14yrs. When the model is done in such a ridged pose the model usually comes out stiff and muscles are often in the wrong positions.
    Next time you see an anatomical model look at the arms, the biceps are often facing straight forward. They actually face more to the inside of the arm, as do all the muscles of the upper arm. Often it's poorly corrected by twisting the arm.

    For modelers reading this, focus on the silhouette and you'll be golden.