Wednesday, September 29, 2010

No shortcuts

I've come to terms with the notion that there are no stock shortcuts to getting a good pose. You simply have to have your eyes aimed for the prize and hack at it until the pose really sells the story. It may slow you down at first, but going for that extra subtlety every panel really pays dividends.

To me, sometimes you have panels in your storyboard that are just throwaways- your stock "auto-filmmaker panels", you put it in because it works and you leave it at that. But it's ONLY the PANELS YOU SWEAT OVER that really ARE the story.

The pose itself has very little to do with stellar draughtsmanship (it helps though). Rather it has everything to do with one's intuition about how a character is feeling, and really carefully thinking about what they would do in the given moment.

I think the hardest poses I was having trouble with at work was heroic characters standing around listening to instructions. Why was I struggling to make it interesting?? It's not that I couldn't draw them standing. It's that I kept on drawing once stance- erasing, another- erasing. I couldn't decide what that particular stance IS.

I'm starting to think I need to focus less on drawing and more on acting . . .

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Another method update

What I learned this week is to keep the fingers flowing with the wrist- and to definitely treat the legs more simply- like one big octopus tentacle.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sketch method update

This is my approach to an invented figure lately:

1. I draw the head, neck, and shoulders in a constructed way- you pretty much have to.
2. Get the sensibility lines so the pose is naturalistic.
3. Draw the big shape of the figure, as if I were trying to carve out a good outline. Its good to just use two lines to get to the waist, then two more to the knee- the silouette should be really simple.
4. When you get to the hands or feet, draw it slowly- take a pause after every line- take a lot of breathers to look at what you just put down, and see if the next finger you put down, or palm edge can PLUS it. Dont try too hard to make it a clean line- each line will be somewhat messy because you have to let each line build and explore itself in order to be expressive.
5. Add in the face, draw the hair as slowly as you would the hands.
6. Clean up slowly too. It's faster if you just clean up the hands in a continuous contour sort of way.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Establishing Shots

For me, I always find establishing shots to be one of the most difficult shots to do in storyboarding, because you have to generate viewer interest immediately and tell the story and space, without relying on your characters to do so.

The establishing shot should foreshadow what's going to happen, it should set the mood of the scene. An establishing shot is more like architecture or marketing than character acting or classic filmmaking. There should be no actual story content in an establishing shot, its just a teaser . . . I'm used to holding off the construction of an establishing shot until the very end.

And only recently, have I realized that this is probably a good habit . . . scenes are a lot like essays, they have an intro thesis rationale and summary. I feel like no writer knows what they're talking about until they've written the entire thing- and only THEN do they understand how to introduce you to what they're talking about.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Forearms & Shins

Lately Ive found you get much more accurate poses if you draw the forearms and the shins before
you draw the upper arms and the thighs, for some reason its easier to track the space that way.

I also like to construct the shoulder form nowadays as a roundish boomerang form . . .

Monday, July 5, 2010

Posing Tricks

In summary, I want to emphasize that ideally:

1. You put down lines that are contours of a form.
2. In the back of your head the form wraps around lines that have a "sensibility" of varying rigidity. Most importantly, the main line of action, which is always the centerline between the neck and the crotch.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Don't Draw Unspecific Poses

Pose priorities:

1. You HAVE to convey a specific idea. The idea must be entertaining in a way that is true to the character. The simpler the better.

Even if you make a clean nice drawing where a character is posed ambiguously, the more "animation" trained types won't be very impressed with it. Examples: