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Action scenes
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munkymu
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Posts: 1735
Location: Canadia

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You want masters of action? Try studying Spirou comics or Asterix or Pierre Alary.

Here's a pencilled action sequence from Belladone:

http://pierrealary.blogspot.com/2006/04/page-7.html
http://pierrealary.blogspot.com/2006/04/page-retouche-droite.html
http://pierrealary.blogspot.com/2006/04/blog-post.html
http://pierrealary.blogspot.com/2006/05/blog-post.html

<3

Animation resources are also great for this sort of thing.

Try telling a story without words, only through actions (not necessarily within Kerao, or even polished up). It's a great exercise.
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Doogl McDoog
Blue Dali Person


Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 436
Location: Northern NJ

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

..


Last edited by Doogl McDoog on Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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chasecorbeau



Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 853
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree about watching some action movies. I'm less certain about using things like Poser. That could make your stuff too stiff, if you don't loosen it up.

Scribble! Get the feel for what's occurring first, and then figure out where everything goes. Exaggerate things so the action is clear.

I suck at this too (most of us do), but here are a few moderately respectable sequences (I really need MOAR):
http://crowfeathers.net/index.php?p=344 (until 353)
http://crowfeathers.net/index.php?p=364 to 369
http://crowfeathers.net/index.php?p=383 to 393
http://crowfeathers.net/index.php?p=472
http://crowfeathers.net/index.php?p=591 to 607
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katastrophe



Joined: 19 Aug 2008
Posts: 286

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

glitchcraft wrote:
Yeah, I don't know what to make of Poser. It seems like it would be really useful, but it would probably take a while to make the perfect figure even if the program has preset characters, which I'm guessing it does.
After all the character-making though, the comic-making itself would probably go by very quickly and more easily.


Can't speak for others, but for me the character-building is the easy part... downright fun, in fact. I rarely spend more than two hours on anyone, and then they're right there, ready for use any old time.

The time-consuming bit is the posing itself. Getting people to stand, sit, or (gah) move on the computer screen is tricky as all get-out and involves learning a lot of stupid and non-intuitive keyboard/mouse tricks. This is why I get confused when people talk of using Poser simply for help posing. Dude. That's the hardest part!

Quote:
But it also seems like it takes the skill out of drawing... if all I had to do was trace a character, I would almost feel guilty. Haha.


What it actually does is take the art out of drawing and reduce it to a set of skills that pretty much anyone (given time, patience, and some spare cash) can learn. But you're still lacking art. I can't do some of the really inspired stuff I see other people doing with Poser. I can't just sit down and draw something like an alien race that exists only in my head. I've got the models other people have made and (unless I learn modeling, which is insanely complex and requires Maths) that's it.

You can do some great things with Poser, but the limitations are severe.
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Kail



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 424

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips and links, everyone, going through them now Very Happy Wish I had more time to respond more specifically here, but such is life...

Anyway, thanks for all the recommended reading, I will see what I can track down.

Advice on poses is great, thanks for that. I think the major thing I'm struggling with right now is half posing issues and half pacing/framing issues. Having trouble describing it (and it's why I'm taking like, a day to respond to this), but the gist of the issue, I think, is this:

Most comics (even most professional ones) are not good action comics per se; even most which claim to be. The action usually exists to further a plot point. No-one buys Spider-Man because it's got a kick ass fight scene, they buy it to find out what happens to Peter. In an action movie, action is the point, and the stuff that happens in between is largely there to facilitate more action. Problematically (for me, anyway), this means that the emphasis for most of the action comics I've read has been on delivering specific plot points with maximum impact (e.g. a splash page of Captain X delivering a fatal blow to Doctor VonKillenmuder or whatever), rather than trying to convey an action scene which would be interesting on it's own merits. Trying to track down the comics mentioned here which I don't have, but the ones I have seen have not been much different in this regard.

Movies do this well, but it's hard for me to convert a movie into comic form without killing the action. It seems like I can either make things exciting or understandable, but not both at once. It's hard to make a series of frames look like a single, coherent action rather than a series of points.

Anyways, thanks a lot for the help, all!
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plughead



Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Posts: 542
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kail, I know EXACTLY what you mean.

Comic action scenes are usually 2-4 pages, TOPS, while the whole rest of the book is blah blah blah talking heads.

I too want to see a webcomic with a fuckton of action. Almost borderline too much action. Awesome car chases, wicked fighting, explosive fireballs and torso-ripping pain.

But a major issue with gobs of action is that an audience's eyes tend to glaze over extended visuals without many plot or story points. I've heard quite a few DVD movie commentaries talking about the "mileage" a director can get out of a fight scene or action sequence. Usually, longer scenes confuse an audience or puts them to sleep, so we need to think about the story FIRST and action SECOND.

Well, for what it's worth, I plan to go out with all guns blazing.
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Stef

http://sarahzero.com
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KEZ



Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 778
Location: Not anymore!

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Movies do this well, but it's hard for me to convert a movie into comic form without killing the action. It seems like I can either make things exciting or understandable, but not both at once. It's hard to make a series of frames look like a single, coherent action rather than a series of points.


This is very true for me too! Action movies really are a good place to start though! Not because of the AMOUNT of action, but because of the perspectives the director chooses to film, and how things are choreographed. If nothing else, plug in Fearless or something and pause it occasionally. But keep in mind that when reading comics, we FILL IN the spaces between panels. You don't need to show consecutive strikes. If in panel 1 Character A strikes Badguy A, and in panel 2, character A is facing Badguy D, straddling the broken bodies of Badguys A-C, we get what happened, even if you don't draw the in-between.

My single fight scene within the past 2 years consisted of TWO pages. Realistic knife fights are over in under 20 seconds. Either someone is dying, or someone is running away. A bunch of action at this point would only have delayed the whole point of the chapter, so it wasn't worth having more fighting anyways.

My last action scene before the fight was ~8 pages long, and was pretty much "action filler." The character had to be running and jumping around trying to follow another character, while have a conversation with a demon in her head.

I find that action sequences in comics that are PURE action should never last more than 2-3 pages. If there's plot going on, stretch that to 6-8. Any longer, especially at a weekly schedule, and you're losing people's attention.
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chasecorbeau



Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 853
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get totally bored with fight sequences if it's just a fight sequence and nothing else is happening that requires serious attention, especially if it turns into tournament fighting.

Movement through a scene, which may or may not include violent interaction, like this stuff:
munkymu wrote:

http://pierrealary.blogspot.com/2006/04/blog-post.html
http://pierrealary.blogspot.com/2006/05/blog-post.html

on the other hand, is visually interesting.

Storyboarding for movies is what we need to look at, since storyboards break the flow of action down into single panels.

Stuff like this:
http://stevenegordon.com/storyboards.html
http://www.savasart.com/Shrek_Storyboards_2.htm
http://entertainment.webshots.com/album/55416256EtpfpL

Just do a google search for storyboards.
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Beertycoon
Yarrrrr!


Joined: 19 Feb 2008
Posts: 1382

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes TWCL is so inspiring.

This thread made me draw this



And then it was 1.00 o'clock and I needed to go to bed Laughing Guess I'll have to finish the fight later

edit: The fighting poses were inspired by pictures found through google image search. Just type in stuff like "Fighting Scene", "Kung Fu" etc.. and you'll find plenty of material for research.

remember: Google is your friend!
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dpat57
Ich bin ein webcomicker


Joined: 11 Aug 2008
Posts: 2592
Location: Sunny/wet/windy Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotta dig the fembot! Maskerman is one tough dude. Good stuff BT!

...Which leads me to sprinkle my worthless sand grain of advice: in action scenes, to give greater impression of movement, make sure the character's center of gravity is off-kilter -- the head shouldn't line up vertically with the groin. No one punches while standing up straight.
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Legion of Boom



Joined: 09 Sep 2005
Posts: 245
Location: Space City, TX

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liliy wrote:
I'm a big fan of the "how to draw anime & game characters" series myself.

I've found Volume 4: Mastering Battle & Action Moves to be Particularly nice.

Shame I don't use it more. It really is a nice how-to book. Lots of references.


Yes, grab this book that Liliy mentioned and also How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way. A huge chunk is devoted to Marvelesque action shots. Regardless, of what sources you end up using, you need to practice, practice, practice. When I have difficulty with an aspect of my comic, I tack a few pages of some really gifted artists on my drawing board for reference.[/url]
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Lifes a Witch



Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 681
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I second How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way. Very easy to understand book and, of course, they show how to do snazzy action scenes.
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jdalton
Spambot Extraordinaire


Joined: 01 Jun 2005
Posts: 2182
Location: 1 hr east of Vancouver (currently)

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[rantin' again]
I am highly skeptical of Poser. Whatever you do, don't, don't, don't expect Poser to be a shortcut around having to learn proper human anatomy. You have to learn this stuff! I have to learn this stuff! It's hard! I know it's hard! Suck it up! Obviously this person (whom I have not heard of before) is a well-qualified professional. She knows her anatomy. I refer you to this statement:
the site wrote:
...I don't even BOTHER using the facial expressions much on this though, because I find most of their facial expressions to be stiff and unrealistic..."

See, she knows how to draw and can tell when Poser is gettin' it wrong. Then she fixes it. I realize some people create their entire comics in Poser... erm... to you I would say, you also ought to be using your knowledge of real human anatomy to "fix" things when the algorithms get it wrong. Don't trust your algorithms! Trust your brain! Your brain is better! [/Ranty McRanty-pants]
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Jonathon Dalton

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hitmen



Joined: 21 Dec 2007
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a lot of action sequences in my comic. I think it’s virtually impossible to get the same visceral thrill from a comic action sequence as one can get from a good movie action sequence, and I don’t try for that.

Instead I try to have the action sequence be like a series of problems the hero solves. The ideal problem has a clear danger but not a clear solution. If the hero has a sword fight with the bad guy, there is a clear danger (the bad guy could stab the hero) but also a clear solution (The hero could stab the bad guy.) A better problem would be the hero is tied on a railroad track and a train is coming. There is no clear solution.

I tend to have the problem happen at the end of a comic, and the solution happen in the next. For people reading through the archive, it makes them dwell on the problem a bit before they click on the next comic. For people who read every update it makes for cliff-hangers.

When writing it is often easiest to think of the solutions first and then think of a problem that fits it.

Often there isn’t a lot of need for sound in an action sequence, but I try to put some text in most of the panels, often a sound effects or just people shouting “Ouch!” or “Hey!” or whatever so the readers won’t read through too quickly and perhaps miss something.
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hitmen



Joined: 21 Dec 2007
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is one of my action sequences. What you need to know to make sense of it is, the heroine has a tiny magic staff in her pocket. The staff can turn things invisible. It only works on one object at a time, when you make a new object invisible the previous object becomes visible again. The heroine has never used the staff before.

http://www.webcomicsnation.com/thorsby/destiny/series.php?view=archive&chapter=34173
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