Situation / Problem

Lets say, I want to create a document with workout or other sports instructions. There might be video-tutorials but I do not want to use stills nor photographs. Rather, the guide should contain sketches with detailed human body postures. Obivously only the position has to be recognizable; in best case: depictions of front, side. Publications and books - that I know of - usually don't contain such figures but only photographs.

Clarification / Example

By sketch I mean something in the style of these: 1, 2, 3, 4; not necessarly (would be nice to have though) as highly detailed as this. I do not refer to some symbols like here or there.


How do I best create and insert such body posture sketches into my document ?

A solution should allow arbitrary postures and optimally yield vector-graphics.

Is there a way to do this with TikZ ? Or can you recommend a way to generate such vector graphics from pictures ?

  • You can download images from the internet and then use the includegraphics command to insert them into a TeX document. I don't even know a language to describe body postures, let alone software. – Benjamin McKay May 12 '19 at 14:19
  • 1
    Apparently both DOM notation and Laban notation for ballet have been implemented to some extent in software, but I don't have any experience with them, and I don't know how they would relate to TeX. – Benjamin McKay May 12 '19 at 14:27
  • My suggestion: Use Inkscape. – user156344 May 12 '19 at 15:04
  • 1. Use a camera to take your pose. 2. Use Sobel algorithm to detect the edges. 3. From the edges, construct the required vector graphics. Done! – Money Oriented Programmer May 12 '19 at 16:25
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    The one person who can answer you is probably Victor Eijkhout: on his page devoted to dance notation, he points out that he was once a TeX expert: eijkhout.net, eijkhout.net/rad/dance_offnet/notation.html – Benjamin McKay May 13 '19 at 18:31

You primarily have two options:

2D or 3D.

2D involves taking photographs or other sources (selfie) showing bodies already in the posture you wish (similar to those linked) then tracing over either by hand or automated raster to vector (edge detection) and potentially SVG processing using graphics applications such as Inkscape etc. Then it is a simple matter of \includegraphics. TeX loves .eps and there are many available such as

enter image description here

Atribution to People vector created by macrovector - www.freepik.com

3D can be more complex in choices for processing
Full 3d involves u3D so that a model can be imported into the PDF for viewer rotation etc. The solutions for latex can be found here For movie15-based 3D embeds, how to get u3d files?
Your request for posable bodies is more likely to be addressed using specialist software however the common focus is Blender and STL format bodies possibly using asymptote for importing see Render stl files in asymptote

enter image description here

There are many Photorealistic applications such as Poser which allow you to "rig" a pose then export the image as 2D for inclusion

In fact, there are many online resources such as http://www.posemaniacs.com/archives/1621

enter image description here

  • Whoever downvoted this answer: could you perhaps explain why? – user121799 May 13 '19 at 1:20
  • Thank you for the answer! 2D: I already thought about using photos and tracing the. However, this is a rather manual approach and I was hoping for some body-posture-language that some TikZ package could interpret. The 3D solution is nice to have but way to sophisticated for my purpose. "Poser" unfortunately is non-free, but the video demo seems to show much possibilities. posemaniacs led me to an japanese page, that I could not comprehend. – gr4nt3d May 13 '19 at 11:52
  • I would say that links to Inscrutable and potentially more promiscuous postures but the intent was to show wider if not broader availability. :-) the 2D has many applications that can out put high quality raster as well as vector solutions for import I have not tested newer additions recently but would be looking at potrace and alternatives, even lightweight paint packages such as Irfanview offer outline tracing in various forms – user170109 May 13 '19 at 12:03
  • PS the Japanese site link should have lead to a poser example at dlsite.com/home/work/=/product_id/RJ091677.html – user170109 May 13 '19 at 12:14

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