Tuesday Tips - Clear Silhouette
Silhouette in character posing is crucial. It will make or break a design, storyboard or animated piece. Have a great Tuesday everyone!
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Tuesday Tips SUPER WEEK - Push it!
Clarity is probably the most important thing to think about at all time when boarding. Pushing your poses to an undeniable level of clarity will improve the clarity of the storytelling in general. Don’t leave space for uncertainty in posing out your characters. Your audience will be more engaged and entertained by the sequence.
This is the last post for the Super Week. I hope you enjoyed it. Back on the regular schedule next week (Every Tuesday).
Tuesday Tip - Beat Boards / Storyboards
It can be a daunting task to just “start storyboarding”. Because there’s so many things to think about when storyboarding, we all need a roadmap to know where we are going. Beat boards are not even the first step to creating a story, but it’s often the clearest way to pitch an early concept to someone. It’s also very useful to plan out the larger beats of a large physical sequence (action, chase, etc.). This way, you don’t have to go on a limb for a week or two and have to redo it all if it doesn’t work. They’re sort of like your Key Poses in animation, but put on a story scale. Does that make sense? Message me if you have any questions or suggestions about future posts.
Tuesday Tips SUPER WEEK - No Straight Lines
Curved lines > Straight lines. That’s it.
Tuesday Tips SUPER WEEK - More Acting Less Anatomy
I’ve received a few message asking me how to draw simple generic characters (male, female) for story boarding, and what to do when there’s no character design. I will go over all that stuff, but I need to emphasize something first. I used to be obsessed with muscles and specific anatomy when I was drawing anything. Thanks to 90s superhero comic books and raging hormones, it kept me from embracing the storytelling aspect of sketching. Even later on in art school, I would spend WAY took much time on getting that perfect line quality. Animation Storyboarding squashed most of those inclinations out of me, and that’s good. I need to confess that I almost caved in and “cleaned up” the drawings on this page. This is how I draw when do a “first pass” or just trying to find ideas. That way, I don’t lose the energy or feel of my first instinct when approaching a sequence. Here’s something you’ll hear many times if you hang around story people: “It’s not about pretty drawings.” I agree and disagree to a certain extent, but the sentiment is right. It’s about telling a story and not letting other things (like lines, musculature, clothing, etc.) get in the way of doing so clearly.
Once again, message me if you have requests for the next installments.
Dark Star (1974) by John Carpenter — I love this opening. A rather bad comic sci-fi movie with a tiny budget of $60k, but the opening is awesome. Beards everywhere. Dark Star influenced Alien thanks to O’Bannon (writer in both movies).
I need to see this film again (and maybe make some fan-art)
More (Awesome) tips from the great Grizandnorm.
Tuesday Tips - 2 Basic Storyboarding Rules
Here’s 2 tips that are so simple it hurts when I forget them. In the process of re-boarding over and over, they can be lost in the shuffle sometimes. Drill these 2 tips into your head!
Tuesday Tip - Basic Head construction
My first contribution to the Tuesday Tips! I will mainly focus on topics from a storyboard perspective, but of course they can be applied to anything. Technically speaking (we’ll get in the entertainment part later), the main goal is to “clarify” the ideas you are presenting, which usually means to “simplify” them. In this instance, I’ll start with the human head, since human is what I have to draw the most. Heads (mostly faces) is what an audience is drawn to most when looking at the screen, so it’s a good idea to figure out this one first. I find drawing profiles first more helpful because it’s easier to adjust features and get a clear idea of the head design. Since I have to draw characters in a lot of different situations (and then some more), I try to find a shorthand that will convey what I want as quickly and clearly as possible. The more I get to “know the character” I’m playing with, the better I’ll get at finding a shorthand for it. Next time, I will cover ASYMMETRY in facial expressions. See you soon!
More awesome tips from Grizandnorm.
Tuesday Tips - Gesture Drawing
As a story artist, I feel like one of the most important technical skill to develop is the ability to draw things things clearly and fast. Practicing gesture drawing is, in my opinion, a good way to get better at it. I think it’s fun, too! Of course, you can draw from life and find unique things people and animals do, but I also think practicing gesture drawing from imagination is truly helpful. For instance, I usually do some gesture drawings of characters I’m about to work with in a sequence. It helps me find a short-hand to start building from. The simpler, the better. Especially early on a project, it really helps to find a quick way to draw a character over and over without repeating yourself all the time.
I remember Life Drawing teachers telling me to “draw from within” and to “feel the weight”. It’s absolutely true, but in terms of storyboarding, other elements came to be as important to the process. Silhouette and a sense of “cartooning” is tremendously helpful to communicate certain things clearly to an audience.
I’m only focusing on character posing right now (and this is just an introduction to the subject). Gesture drawing is very close to thumb-nailing, another ultra-helpful skill. More on that later.
For those who want to spend some money on great books on the subject, I highly recommend you to pick up “Drawn To Life: 20 Golden Years of Master Classes of Disney Master Classes” (Vol. 1 and 2) , from Walt Stanchfield. Do it.
I originally posted this up originally back in June 2007 on my Livejournal, but all of the advice in it still rings true so I thought I’d re-post it here on my Tumblr as we head into another convention season.
I don’t know where I first heard someone say “Everyone at cons…