I have seen these types of illustrations in manuals; but now I try to find a representative example, I can't - best I can find is this, from a service that (probably manually) generates vector images for user manuals from photos ( https://vector-conversions.com/vector-drawings-for-manuals-and-technical-diagrams.html ):


So, I was wondering, is there a name for this kind of "dry" 2D (out)line-art of 3D human poses (like the hand above), primarily intended for use in user manuals?

(I'd almost be tempted to call it ligne claire - but, while similar, that already refers to something distinctly different)

Also, are there softwares that offer a few predefined poses (sitting at desk, standing) of human mannequins in 3D, and allow for adjustments of the poses - and can generate and export this kind of 2D line art (e.g. where the mannequins head is just sort of an ellipse)?

  • 1
    It's "line art". Just a drawing with simple lines. Although line art doesn't just have to have simple lines, there are many styles possible within "line art". For quality results, it needs to be done manually. There's no software that can automatically produce perfect vector drawings from photographs as far as I know.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 10:21

1 Answer 1


I think merely "line art" describes the style - which is essentially defined as anything constructed of basic lines or stroked paths.

Most often these are actually drawn either manually or digitally, but by hand, and not created via any automated software rendering. Being an artist is still a profession :).

As for software to create human poses, there are plenty of packages for that. You'll need to research them to determine what does or does not fit your needs. A simple internet search for "software to create human poses" presents several options.

  • Thanks for that - I was thinking, there is always this kind of special "dead" feel to these kind of user manual pose drawings, so I thought there was some sort of a name to capture that - but line art seems to be it!
    – sdbbs
    Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 16:08

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