The Animatress Pipeline

Filmmaking Adventures

Drawing Men Continued-The Transformers

A study has found that many young women have no idea of their sexual orientation due to the lack of objectified men. So, I just thought I would use this conclusion to start another Boy Drawing editorial and point out a very important aspect of drawing the furry little creatures: STANCE.

Stance is pretty damn important for drawing guys. Ignore this and you risk ending up with a drawing of a thick-necked, big-armed, narrow-hipped girl! Guys seem to have two centers of gravity which lie in their shoulder blades and big feet, whereas the pelvic girdle is the center of a womans world. Furthermore, guys hold their hands in a fist or in their pockets, but since as character designers we all know that we can’t away with drawing all of our guys with their hands in their pockets! Should you have to draw guy “loose fingered” fold the ring and pinkie. Other ways of drawing man hands will have to come by observation. However, if you’re a television animatin artist who doesn’t have the cushy time schedule that a feature artist has to go out observe, then my little hints should help you in a pinch. I’m using the 1st season of the Transformers as an example because this is a cartoon where the male physique in definitely objectified—because the purpose if the cartoon is to sell the toys it depicts. Peter Chung and Floro Dery took care to research the objectified male before they designed and storyboarded the series. I’m not sure what/who they used. I’m guessing that they used boxers and old scultptures of warriors, doryphoros et al. Whatever the reference, I would love to see it!

In this pic of Oppie, the beige protrusions under his “window chest” indicate a rib cage. A really nice animator told me that one of the ways he adds structure to his male characters is to “push out” the rib cage. Being girl, I never would’ve concluded that, because we females have other protursions and landmarks that give structure to our torsos…

Another thing to consider is: How do men interact with one another? There is a macho/I’m not gay thing that goes on with hetero guys so you have to be careful to not have guys whisper in each other’s ears or lean with their hips either toward or away from one another. What’s girl artist to do? Guys are so restrictive! What in the hell can we DO with these male-people?!

Well, you’ll just have to get brave and watch them. The problem with being a girl artist drawing a group of guys is that they romantically approach you, or if you’re not such a cute girl they’ll get squeamish and walk away. I’m sorry but that is one of many hazards of being an artist. Call it an occupational hazard. Also, you’re bravery can determine whether or not you’ll be able to hold on to your job or not! Most cartoons center around male characters (unfortunately) so live with it.

At least in action cartoons you get to draw male character being dynamic. You’ll never get to draw a fun pose like Screamers up there for Futurama or the Family Guy–but if can get on the Bruce Timm circuit you’re in for some fun!
More later…


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