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A stick figure, more commonly known as a stickman, is a very simple drawing of a person or animal, composed of a few lines, curves, and dots. In a stick figure, the head is most often represented by a circle, sometimes embellished with details such as eyes, a mouth or hair. The arms, legs and torso are usually represented by straight lines. Details such as hands, feet, and a neck may be present or absent, and the simpler stick figures often display an ambiguous emotional expression or disproportionate limbs.
Graffiti of stick figures are found throughout history, often scratched with a sharp object on hard surfaces such as stone or concrete walls. Stick figures are often used in sketches for a film storyboarding or on signage.
The stick figure's earliest roots are in prehistoric art. Tens of thousands of years later, writing systems that use images for words or morphemes—e.g. logographies such as Egyptian and Chinese—started simplifying people and other objects to be used as linguistic symbols.
There is also a modern history that traces at least in part from Rudolf Modley's extending the use of figures from Isotype for commercial use. The first international use of stick figures is in the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Pictograms created by Japanese designers Masaru Katzumie and Yoshiro Yamashita formed the basis of future pictograms. In 1972, Otl Aicher developed the round ended, geometric grid based stick figures used on the signage, printed materials, and television for the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. Drawing on those and many other similar symbol sets in use at the time, in 1974 and 1979 AIGA (commissioned by the U.S. Department of Transportation) developed the DOT pictograms—50 public domain symbols for use at transportation hubs, large events, and other contexts in which people would know a wide variety of different languages. These, or symbols derived from them, are used widely throughout much of the world today.
A stick figure at the prehistoric Leo Petroglyph in the United States.
The AIGA symbol for the drinking fountain.
Stick Figure example through video
OpenMoji supports the five characters along with joining character sequences to give the other figures a dress. For example, the sequence U+1FBC6 🯆 STICK FIGURE WITH ARMS RAISED, U+200D ZWJ, U+1F457 👗 DRESS (🯆👗).
|U+1FBC5||STICK FIGURE||🯅||Not to be mistaken with U+AF6B9 MENS SYMBOL|
|U+1FBC6||STICK FIGURE WITH ARMS RAISED||🯆|
|U+1FBC7||STICK FIGURE LEANING LEFT||🯇||Mirror images of each other.|
|U+1FBC8||STICK FIGURE LEANING RIGHT||🯈|
|U+1FBC9||STICK FIGURE WITH DRESS||🯉||Not to be mistaken with U+AF6BA WOMENS SYMBOL|
- The London-based graffiti artist Stik uses stick figures in his work.
- Comics such as The Order of the Stick and xkcd depict characters in a stick figure style.
- Stick figures are often used in animations such as those made with Adobe Animate. Such figures are easy to draw and can be traditionally animated much more quickly than full drawings. Some online cartoon series, such as Xiao Xiao, have also been made using the software.
- Many other stick-figure animation suites allow the user to create an animation frame-by-frame or by extrapolating the intermediate frames between a start and endpoint. One example is Pivot Animator. Animations can be exported in various formats and shared online.
- CGP Grey, a popular YouTuber, uses stick figures to represent himself in his animated videos.
- One of Animusic's best-known animations is named "Stick Figures", the centerpiece being a robotic bass guitar with arms reminiscent to that of a stick figure, playing itself with a "tapping" method reminiscent of a Chapman Stick.
- Alan Becker, an American YouTuber, does stick-figure animations, such as battle stories.
- Hyun's Dojo, an online animation community, consists of sick-figure animations, comics, and other works of art relating to stick figures.
- Characters in MarikinOnline4, a Japanese indie RPG video game, resemble stick figures. (Known in the game as "ikenuma".)
- Multiple online artists make work consisting of characters resembling stick figures, but do not actually have sticks for limbs and more human-like bodies. this is often paired with an anime-like art style.
- A Japanese art style called "oribou" (オリ棒) also depicts characters that are stick figures with anime-styled features. Other primary features in this style consist of hairstyles often drawn not covering the entire head and broad shoulders.
- The Henry Stickmin series is a series of flash browser games that follows the story of the namesake character, Henry Stickmin, going on various dangerous adventures. The player can choose the events and endings in these games due to the games functioning via point-and-click format. On August 7th, 2020, a $15 game titled The Henry Stickmin Collection was released, in which all five of the browser games were remastered and put into one, and a final game titled Completing The Mission was added in.
- Stickpage.com is a website dedicated to stick figure-related content, ranging from games to animations.
- Your Boyfriend is a western erotic visual novel that features stick figure-esque characters.
- Apocalypse Day, a short Chinese animated film about a group called the Resistance Force going against a megacorporation that has almost conquered the world, contains stick figure characters.
- Gildedguy, a Youtuber and animator, makes animated videos that tell stories of a gray stick figure named "Gildedguy" along with other stick figure-related content.
- "Visual Design". Official Report of the 1972 Olympic Games, volume 1. Munich: Pro Sport. 1974. p. 272. OCLC 1076250303. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
- "Otl Aicher pictograms and the 1972 Olympic Games". Otl Aicher pictograms. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
- "Otl Aicher". Architectuul. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
- "Symbols for Legacy Computing" (PDF). The Unicode Standard, Version 13.0. Unicode, Inc. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
- "OpenMoji · Library". openmoji.org. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
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