Sample poses from Pose Mania (screenshots by author from

Count on Japanese software developers to bring us something so delightfully weird yet totally useful. Pose Maniacs is a website that serves as your very own personal figure drawing model, set to whatever pose you like for however long it takes, complete with anatomically correct musculature. The site is even downloadable as an iPhone app.

Choose your preferred figure drawing option, and you’re off. Pose Maniac’s homepage includes quick, 30-second unique pose sessions, figure silhouettes, a random pose viewer and “Hands for Drawing,” which contains a selection of 3D models detailing hands, feet and other body parts. Unfortunately, only “Hands for Drawing” lets you manipulate and rotate the figure on display while the full muscled figures are only available in static poses.

A hand model from “Hands For Drawing”

Clicking through the 30-second and random pose viewer sections of the site, the male and female figures stretch into a variety of poses, seen from behind while running into the blank distance, sitting on invisible benches and standing around nonchalantly. While they may not be the exact poses you’re looking for, each is a cool exercise in picturing the human figure. The somewhat grainy muscles are helpful for guidance, but not exactly educational in anatomical terms.

Designed for use by aspiring manga artists, the tools are perfectly useful for artists of any stripe needing a quick refresher in what a foot looks like foreshortened from the back or what the musculature of an upraised arm looks like. Users are able to draw diagrammatic lines on the figure as well as display a grid in the background. Who needs to cram a model into a badly heated loft when you can pick one up online?

I mean, I guess seeing the human body in real life helps, or something. Maybe the poetic play of light and shade doesn’t really come through on these 3D computer graphics. We all got our problems. At least there’s a tool out there for quick reference in a pinch.

Kyle Chayka was senior editor at Hyperallergic. He is a cultural critic based in Brooklyn and has contributed to publications including ARTINFO, ARTnews, Modern Painters, LA Weekly, Kill Screen, Creators...

3 replies on “Portable Life Drawing, Now Available on Your iPhone”

  1. Great… from life sized and three dimensional to… a tiny 2D screen. Convenient for some applications, yes, but not too many.

  2. I’m sorry, it is an interesting concept but all of this is created using legacy content and the rigging is not to the highest standard (the breasts and arms don’t move right). the antialiasing on the shadows is also terrible, you can’t save your favorites or sort by pose on the app.
    I have the app and posemaniacs has been around for a while, it hasn’t been updated for a long time and the app just grabs from the website. sorry to be negative but truly you are better off getting daz for free and doing it yourself- better! I specialize in nude art from 3D sources so I come from experience here -I’ve even got an app in planning!

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