Cinematic Storytelling and Compositional Pitfalls

408
Course In Progress

Cinematic Storytelling and Compositional Pitfalls

408
Course In Progress
David Finch
A good comic always starts with good composition. Let's take a look at my process for cinematic storytelling and how to avoid some of the common mistakes you might run into.
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salmansufi
I'm gonna need to watch this a couple of times
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Charlie Roberts
Here's a comic book page I made a while back before ever watching these lessons. At the time, I thought I was being clever using a tangent between the lower jaw in the smaller panel and the side of the horn/petal/nose thing in the larger one. I wanted to ask two questions. 1. Do you think the tangent worked in this instance or not? 2. Are there examples of where tangents can be used to bolster the impact of the page or should it always be avoided?
TBT Comp p.16
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Robertryan Cory
I don't want to speak for David Finch, but here is a pretty popular example of Neal Adams using tangents to create a face of Deadman. I think it's important to understand rules are not there as hard never break things, they are there to help people self-correct their own work. In this case how do you avoid making your page look flat. As far as your page, yes and no. The tangent doesn't bother the flow but the first panel doesn't establish a solid environment so it looks a bit like a floating object with no dimension. The second panel I understand it's zooming into the mouth but it might be framed too tightly for others to read instantly. Most honest feedback I can give.
na sample
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Jme
1mo
I have a question about figures intersecting the sides of panels. David's description makes sense, but I've also seen super close-ups that essentially cut off one half of the character's face using the top and side of the panel. Things like that. What's an effective way to do this without it looking odd in the way the video describes?
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Charlie Roberts
I think cutting off and intersecting are two different things. As he mentions in the video it's ok to cut off parts of the character as long at it's not the joint. He does make an exception with the head, but that was a medium shot. If it's a close up, then you'll have to cut off parts of the face somewhere. Also maybe a bad example would be if the close up was of the eye and the eye was touching the panel borders (interecting) rather than pushed a bit further into the centre of the panel, away from the edges.
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siraxdo
Apart from looking at how others do it and what you like there: Draw a full head to shoulders, cut out the panel shape (or many shapes) from a different sheet and play around. Or you take a head photo shot and play around with crops in photoshop. That should give you an idea of what you like. It will probably depend on the focal point of your storytelling (creased forehead, shocked eyes, wrinkled nose, clenched teeth, all of those) And when it comes to panel arrangements: Check, if any line, that gets cut off by a panel border, is picked up at the next panels border. If so, it might connect the images in an unwanted way. That problem is not exclusive to head and body crops, it can happen with any line.
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Benjamin Goerge
A bit unrelated, but what kind of pencil are you using? it looks like a mechanical pencil, but allows for more of the edge of the graphite to be used.
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Benjamin Goerge
Thanks everyone!!!
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Patrick Bosworth
David uses a 2mm drafting lead holder with 2H lead, on smooth bristol board.
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Erin :-)
Wow, that was amazing! I love the way he broke down and demonstrated tangents. It's funny, from photography, to drawing, to digital painting, to even observations of things you pass day to day, some things look odd and don't look natural, this explains why and I hope to be able to do better compositions based on this information. Thank you David, nice job presenting it :-).
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About instructor
I’m a comic book artist for Image, Marvel, DC, and others.