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Building an Animation-Ready Character from the Ground Up


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Refining Linework
Building an Animation-Ready Character from the Ground Up
After retracing with clean lines, you have a basic body form with minimal lines, detailing only the what’s absolutely necessary while still maintaining proportion, balance, and style. As you’re retracing, choose which lines you do or don’t need carefully. The fewer, the better.

The only problem is…she’s naked. Some people prefer to draw everything all at once - body, clothing, etc. I prefer to start with the base body – for the sake of decency we’ll say she’s a mannequin, or wearing a body stocking – as a reference; drawing a clothed body freehand can often result in incorrect proportions and awkward drapery, even if you’re drawing simplified cartoon clothing that almost directly follows the lines of the body. It’s rather like buying new clothing; even though you know your sizes (as long as you haven’t gone off your diet), you don’t know how an outfit is going to look on you until you actually try it on, and while you may have imagined that the blue shirt you’ve been eyeing would drape one way, the image in the mirror tells you something entirely different once you’ve got it on.

All right, that analogy deviated a bit far off the beaten path. To sum it up, you need the base body underneath as a guideline so that you can draw clothing to follow the position and angle of each portion of the body. So, let’s move on to give her a little cover.

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