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Neutral Pose versus T-Pose - advantages? (Forums : 3D Modeling & Animating : Neutral Pose versus T-Pose - advantages?) Locked
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SinKing bumps me thread
Nov 1 2012, 7:50am Anchor

Concerns Character Models

I see a lot of models that are just in neutral stance, with their arms a bit raised, but not entirely in the stiff T-Pose. This seems to become more and more the standard for character modeling. So I wonder: why was the old T-Pose mostly abandoned and what is the advantage of modeling in neutral pose, vs. T-Pose.

Nov 1 2012, 8:30am Anchor

Hmm, an interesting topic, I'm interested in what reasons will people come up with..
I suppose you can see the arms much better, I mean when in T-Pose you cant really see the bottom and the top of the arm when(Unless you do some nice camerawork etc.)
One of the reasons could be that a neutral pose displays the model in more of a "work" conditions - I assume that rarely a person would lift the arms of a model in 90 degrees
And finally it just kinda looks better, dont know why, maybe because then the character looks more lively..

Edited by: Flash112


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Cryrid 3D Artist
Nov 1 2012, 11:44am Anchor

The old T-Pose isn't really so neutral; you can only raise your arm up so high before your shoulders have to kick in and do the rest of the work. I find it can also make clothing confusing at times as there might be the instinct to sculpt the fabric as if it's actually being pulled up by the arms. Having a more neutral pose on the muscles and clothing can help with the appearance of deformations.

I'm recently starting to prefer having the feet straight down though,

SinKing bumps me thread
Nov 1 2012, 12:11pm Anchor

Interesting indeed. A bit unnatural? - I thought so myself, too. The T-Pose seems terribly uncomfortable and the problems Cryrid mentioned with cloth - I get that.

This whole T-Pose business is probably back from times, when models didn't need all the accuracy and animation was still done with vertex and not bones. I guess with a skeleton underneath, you'd want a character relaxed, but not restrained (as it is in T-Pose). So thanks a lot for the input guys! On a side note - I'd really be interested if anyone has anything to say about Facerobot - which is part of my XSI package.

I animated a head with shape animation and I had to make 2 dozen of shapes for that (granted, some of them are just mirrored). Still it was a ton of work, and a couple of shapes aren't that great. So, I've been wondering if anyone ever animated with Face Robot. It's not exactly on topic, but if you have something to say about it, I'd be interested to hear. As far as I understand it, Face Robot interpolates between a wrinkled and a smooth version of the face. So, in theory it should be much more effective and easier to set up than the Shape animation I used. I actually had to script those suckers in XSI to make the controllers for eye, lips, etc. work.

Edited by: SinKing


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Nov 2 2012, 9:03am Anchor

It boils down to rigging.
The T pose is making rigging easier, such as maintaining the roation of the joints, etc. while a neutral pose is more dificult to rig and skin.

So it basically comes down to the rigging, do you want to go the simple way for modelling, and a bit more complicated for rigging, or the other way around.

It is more up to your personal preferences and what your rigger prefer. In case you will rig it yourself, then it's mainly your choice.

SinKing bumps me thread
Nov 2 2012, 12:57pm Anchor

I would have thought rigging is easier and more accurate in the neutral than the T-Pose (since it is an unnatural pose). The only thing where it seems easier to be accurate with the T-Pose seems to be weighting to me. Yet, you may be right. I've made one character who was T-Pose before and then I took his arms down a little in Mudbox. I only did it to check my proportions again, at first. Then I realized working in a neutral pose is making it easier for me to work around the shoulder and upper arm areas.

I'm not sure if I'll make a lot of characters. It was a lot of work to get my crappy one done, and I am not 100% firm in my anatomy yet. I'd rather spend more time with hardsurface and concepting for the next weeks, than do characters. I enjoy environments and machines more than making organics, it seems.


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Cryrid 3D Artist
Nov 2 2012, 5:08pm Anchor

The T-pose is easier to create a skeleton for because everything is straight. It makes drawing chains easier because you can just use the orthographic viewports, and everything should be zero'd out as soon as it's drawn. Deformation can be a different issue, but it can depend on the look of the model. Some models/styles I don't think will see an advantage one way or another.

Nov 16 2012, 1:05am Anchor

I agree with what everyone is saying. Modelling in a more natural pose is best in regards to anatomy and clothing. But, for rigging, a t pose is probably best. I use some Motionbuilder, and you MUST have a t pose in order for it to work with the auto rigger. However, I modelled my guy in a relaxed pose, skinned him, and just raised his arms with the bones when the time came to rig in motion builder. Always work arounds.

So when you're deciding if it should be a t-pose or a natural, think about how it's going to be animated, is there clothing? how will the pose affect the anatomy of the character and ultimately the model?

TaylorAnim Character TD
Nov 19 2012, 11:55am Anchor

I agree with ssgibson, always take into account what you will need to do with the model. From a rigging perspective, a neutral pose is actually the best, it allows for the shoulders to be at a natural spot so that when it is rigged it can deform in both directions. Also having the arms and legs slightly bent gives a IK chains a clear direction to bend. For something like Motionbuilder, you can do workarounds if necessary.

Jan 24 2013, 12:58pm Anchor

it's largely related to what you need to do. I find rigging works best from the t-pose and from what I understand in most game studios it is common. Could be wrong. If the character needs a large range of motion, lifting arms above head ect... then I believe t-pose to be the best. For showreel purposes I would definitely create a more dynamic pose. I can see that others here prefer the natural pose though so I guess either way will work, just use whatever method you are most comfortable with :rambo:

Edited by: nowgon

Jan 30 2013, 6:32am Anchor

You can always adjust your character in a full neutral pose, once it's rigged in case you want it in a portfolio.
What is most important are the skin weights and deformation. It doesn't matter how advanced the rig is, or how the placement is, if the weights and deformations are bad - it will suck, no matter how you put it.

Best way is to keep your character in a T-pose - because if you are in a more relaxed pose - you are going to have a lot of deformation problems, when you try dragging the arms higher up than an actual T pose. With a T-pose you have an easier way to add the deformations and the skin weights, and in that way, you won't have crap happening (In case you know how to do the deformations - which unfortunately not many people know how to do right)

I have seen many examples of pre-made rigs, made for characters, in a very stiff T-pose, working out very well purely because of the ability to do the right deformations.

TKAzA Community Manager
Jan 30 2013, 1:29pm Anchor

I would avoid T pose for models with clothing, like shirts and jumpers, as when you drop the arms to animate them, there will be increased stretching around the shoulder joints, a half natural and half tpose i found works best when working with models with lots of detail, it reduces stretching and distortion.

Jan 31 2013, 7:29am Anchor

There will be increased stretching around the shoulder and elbow joints, mainly because the skin weights are not done well. You can avoid it, by doing proper skinning.

It is easier to do the skinning in a more neutra pose, but your movements will be a lot more limited, and having a character climbing a tree or a ladder, will be very difficult to look right, in case you do everything in a neutral pose.

Overall, I guess it depends on how well you are at rigging and deformation. If you are good at it, go for T pose.

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