Complexity vs Simplicity – Glen Keane

Glen Keane : Duet Posing

In drawing there is a principle known as “Straights vs Curves” which I think ties strongly into what I like to think as, “Simplicity vs Complexity”. The contrast of simple and complex lines/shapes helps to create appeal in a pose and can also often help to lead the eye to points of interest, usually the complex area of the drawing. Griz and Norm visually explain the idea on their blog here and here as does Rad Sechrist here.

While watching Glen Keane’s Duet, it was easy to spot this idea in action.
Glen Keane : Duet Posing Glen Keane : Duet Posing Glen Keane : Duet Posing

I find the principle is easier to apply when drawing than working in CG, while drawing you are much more aware of the use of your lines and negative space than when posing a 3D rig. So out of interest I went through the Tangled Teaser (animation directed by Glen Keane) to pick out points where this idea of Simplicity/Complexity have been applied with CG rigs.

Tangled PosingTangled Posing Tangled Posing Tangled PosingTangled PosingTangled Posing Tangled Posing
Tangled Posing Tangled Posing

6 thoughts on “Complexity vs Simplicity – Glen Keane

  1. Luis

    Just found your blog, I’m trying to learn animation by my self using the Animation Survival Kit, and now I will use the recommendations and ideas from your site, thanks for the information!

  2. sourpus

    Ok, so a foot, (or a fist), is pretty much defined by it’s shape, it’s not a choice between complex and simple parts if it’s the only thing in the frame, unless you’re arguing you shouldn’t split the toes into a starburst when it’s doing a ballet toe-stand.

  3. admin Post author

    Yeah true, the simple lines there are a large part thanks to the design of the rig and the human body in general.
    Either way there is a simpler edge that does help create appeal in the poses, I think that’s still worth recognising and taking forth in situations/rigs where it doesn’t come so easily.


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