Once you have your character concept in mind, it can be hard to break it down to the necessary minimum – especially when working in reverse from complex art. Instead let’s look at how to build an animation-ready character from the ground up, starting at the simplest level and working with basic shapes to construct the body. Whether you’re fully traditional or combine in traditional with 2D computer animation, this tutorial should still be of use to you.
I like to start off with a stick-figure to capture the pose and flow. The important thing to look at here is the central line of the body, the arc and flow of it, and the positioning of the lines marking the shoulders and hips. The body counterbalances its planes to maintain equilibrium, so if one plane of the body tilts in one direction, another plane will tilt in the opposite direction to maintain balance.