Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Perspective Pain

Hey there! Welcome back to the Manic Mindfart.

Did lots of drawing this past week. Only two and a half weeks until my first project is due and I think I'm on the right track. It's a simple project; a Character Design and 3 story panels.

No problem.

Although I tend to create my own problems at times.

You see, I really hate drawing in perspective. That's not true, I hate setting up to draw in perspective. All the straight edges and my triangles, figuring out which perpective to use (I dig mutiple point) and the endless piles of crumpled paper that gather around my feet because I have to "do it over".

The thing is, in comics, backgrounds are everything! They set the scene, the mood, often they hint toward genre as well. The proper "camera angle" will tell the story more effectively than a word balloon.

This is where my trouble lies. It takes too damn long to experiment with angles using a pencil and paper!! In an ideal world, I should be able to draw a page a day. On that page there might be 5 to 9 panels, each with different camera angles. It's a knucklebuster to draw and I can't experiment to my satisfaction.

Well, I found a way to cheat.

I've been using Google SketchUp to set up my backgrounds. SketchUp is a program to create 3-D models from 2-D shapes. I've found that I can layout my background, create a 3-D model then move my "camera" around to find an intertesting angle to best convey the story. All I have to do is take a screen shot and drop it into a comic page via Photoshop, print it then draw the actual page over a lightbox, add detail and...

...Presto! Perfect Perspective!!

Figures are no problem at all since you can create people out of geometric shapes (and I do that anyway). Thanks to my handy dandy computer, I can place my figure sketches right onto my previously created backgrounds and get them perfect before I actually draw the page. Plenty of room for experimentation and hours upon hours of time saved!!


Smell ya later,

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