Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chris Sanders On Storyboarding

Via Chris Sanders' website:

If you are inclined to be a board artist there are some things to make note of.  I learned a few things from Disney board artist Burny Mattinson that help the legibility of these panels.  Burny taught me to fade background lines away when they collide with a character – this helps the character read against the background, boosting the clarity and keeping the image from being too busy.  When the character is actually in contact with something, like the tiger’s tail, then its okay to have all the lines connect.

The other trick Burny would use is shading places and elements you need to pay attention to.  You may have noticed that on the 2nd and 3rd drawings in the Eep VS Plant series.  I shaded the plant on the 2nd drawing, and Eep’s elbow and the plant’s head in the 3rd drawing, so they read quickly when the series is digitized and placed in the story reel.  Drawing 15 is also shaded – Eep’s foot and the plant face are what you need to see, so they are shaded.  Your eye will always travel to the point of highest contrast.

So obvious...and yet still a revelation to me. I wonder, do you think Sanders' second tip would work in comics? My first thought was that the reader would assume the artist was just being lazy. But then I thought of the comics of Eddie Campbell (From Hell, Alec: The King Canute Crowd). Campbell often does this same sorta thing with the bare minimum backgrounds (or foregrounds, depending), and his stuff NEVER looks lazy or half-assed. Dude's one of the all-time greats!

Hmn... definitely something to chew on.

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