I was looking
at some books and going through some basic animation reviews when
I saw an old trick on doing cartoon character bodies using the
"Flour Sack" method. I modified it a bit to fit in with
a more realistic look. I call it the "Bean" method...there
may already be a bean method but I'm unaware of it. Here's my
You sit down
to draw and you think "hmm..male torso...complicated"..but
if you think.."hmm..kidney bean"..That's Easy!
Draw a bean shape and divide it vertically down the center. Pay
attention to it's contours. Divide it horizontally abot 2/3rds
of the way down. We'll call that the waist line.
not really a bean..just vaguely bean shaped. Imagine now that
it's inflated and you can twist it like a balloon animal. Note
that the centerline twist with it. This will help you make actions
poses in later steps. That center line is ESSENTIAL to keeping
your bodies from looking lopsided.
that it's your old school G.I.Joe doll with the head,legs and
arms popped off. See how we'll attach the limbs?
(note: you should make the bean over an existing stick figure.
Dont start your drawing with the bean.)
The fact that I used a bean shape to make this torso would be
all but unoticable if I hadn't greyed it in. It was quick, easy
and I didn't spend an hour working on the upper torso and waist
as seperate entities. The work has a more fluid feel to it. Try
this method out if your finished art is looking too blocky.
(Does it look like Ryo Hazuki to anyone else?)
at any angle:
the bean shape from different angles and imagining how the limbs
would attach to it in that position. Be creative. Double check
your proportions. The Torso in it's entirety is about 3 heads
high (from collar to groin) The upper torse being 2 heads and
the waist being 1 head tall.