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Exercise 15. Balance

Something that is not dealt with in most animation teaching books-or even online tutorials-is balance. Balance is a fundamental aspect of biped pose creation in particular. It took me a decade or more as a professional animator to fully recognize this principle, although once I’d got it, my work elevated to an entirely new level! Effectively, balance means that with any two-legged character moving, its center of gravity has to be over its point, or points, of contact with the ground. This effectively means that if it’s walking and both feet are on the ground at the same time-as in a stride position-the main weight of its body has to be located somewhere above the two feet positions. Alternatively, if only one foot is on the ground at any moment in time, then the body weight has to be above the foot that’s on the ground. So, look at this generic walking sequence and sketch on the next blank page 2 of the poses within it that represent the principles of balance mentioned above. (Take no more than 3 minutes to complete each drawing.)