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.
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.
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