If you’re thinking about drawing comics, a tool you might want to check out is Pose Maniacs. On the Pose Maniacs website you can browse through hundreds of 3D figure poses for free. Many of the poses are also depicted from several different angles, and you can change your view of the figure once you have selected a pose by clicking and dragging your mouse. You can select from male, female, and child figures, and the types of poses range from sitting standing, standing, running, fighting, and many more.
Some of the other tools offered on the website include the 30 Second Drawing tool, the Negative Space Drawing tool, the Random Pose Viewer, and the Hands for Drawing page. The 30 Second Drawing tool is pretty self-explanatory. You have 30 seconds to draw a random pose before it switches to another random pose. If you just want to practice drawing figures, this tool may provide a good way to hone your skills. The Negative Space Drawing Tool shows you just the silhouette of the figure, allowing you to see the whole body as a single shape. The Random Pose Viewer is also self-explanatory, and is helpful for those who just want practice drawing the human body. The Hands for Drawing page offers 3D models of hands (one of the hardest parts of the body to draw) which can be manipulated the same way the figure poses can be on the main website.
A couple of quick warnings about the Hands for Drawing tool, though. First off, all of the labels on the page are in Chinese. Second, when you click on the link to the tool, the first image you’ll be confronted with is a 3D model of a nude male torso. I assume if you’re interested in figure drawing you’re probably mature enough to handle this, but I just thought I should warn you in case you see this and are confused as to where the model hands are. They’re there, you just have to click on the links on the right side of the screen (which, as I mentioned, are in Chinese).
I think Pose Maniacs is a useful website for people first starting out in drawing comics. The site stands out because of the variety of poses it offers and the ability it gives users to manipulate their view of the figures. Another thing that I like about the site that other people might find disconcerting is the fact that none of the models have skin on their bodies. This allows you to get a sense for how the muscles connect with and operate the individual parts of the body
The downside of the site is that you won’t always be able to find the exact pose you are looking for. Also, the site offers no way to customize the look of the model in terms of physical attributes. That is up to you as the artist to figure out how to do.
I should also mention that the creators of Pose Maniacs have made a free app for the iPhone called Random Pose, in case you have the sudden urge to practice figure drawing on the go. However, you cannot manipulate your view of the figures as you can on the website.