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When any character is standing – an imaginary line runs vertically through to the feet. (fig. 1)


Because they are standing with their weight

equally on their two feet, the character is

centered or balanced

on those two feet.

The CENTER OF GRAVITY is that point that is also the center of the character’s weight. Most of the time the hips (or pelvis area ) usually carries the greatest amount of weight. (fig. 2)


Obviously, that CENTER point can be located either higher or lower in the character- depending on the body type. (fig. 3)


Notice above the differing center points on the body types.

Proportion is another element to take into consideration. (fig. 4)


Long legs and torsos, as well as short legs and torsos – or any combination will effect the position of the characters’ center.

As long as the center point is positioned over the legs the character is centered.

Even more extreme poses should be centered.

(fig. 5)


Now, a character should be centered even on poses where one foot touches the ground.

Here the idea is to have the weight centered over one foot.
(Fig. 6)


Once the weight is centered – the pose can be VERY extreme.
(fig. 7)


But, if the weight is centered away from the foot – the character can do only one thing… (fig. 8)


Fall…because the character is off balance...
(fig. 9 and 10)



If you want the character to fall- then okay…but, if a character’s center of gravity is too far back- it can never go forward.

During parts of some movements the character will be off balance…such as a walk.

In the passing position the character is generally balanced. (fig. 11)


…but from there forward to the contact position the character if off center (with their weight and balance forward) and technically falling forward. (fig. 12)


The next lesson will cover center of gravity during actions and movements.



THE CENTER OF GRAVITY of a character is based on the weight of the character balanced or centered over the feet.


THE CENTER OF GRAVITY’s location can vary according to body type and proportions.


Even when the character is on one foot, THE CENTER OF GRAVITY (determined by the weight of the character) is over that one foot


If THE CENTER OF GRAVITY and weight are not centered the character will be off balance- this can impede the character’s ability to move.