Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Manga help
poonipoonz at 10:56AM, Aug. 30, 2007
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I really need help with manga. I can draw character perfectly, but i can't place them in a setting. Could someone please give me tips on how to create backgrounds, such as buildings for manga? I would greatly appreciate it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
Darth Mongoose at 2:39PM, Aug. 30, 2007
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It's great that you want to improve this. Recognising and building on your weak points is the best way to improve, and the sign of a dedicated artist!

Okay, so scene setting in manga boils down to three types of panels:
1. The establishing shot. A zoomed-out view of the scene. Characters will either be small in the frame, or simply not appear, and it'll be pretty detailed. If you have a good establishing shot, you can often get away with going several panels, or even pages without drawing any scenery, because the scene has been set, and the reader's imagination does the rest!
2. Aspect panels. These are used much more in manga than in western comics. They don't always work so well in web comics, because web comics are often drawn page-by-page and so end up faster paced. Aspect panels tend to be small, and show different aspects of the scene. Combined with an establishing shot, you can build a detailed picture of a place. ie.
*Wide establishing shot of a beautiful garden in the rain*
*small aspect shot of ripples on a pond*
*small aspect shot of waterbeads on a leaf*
*shot of protagonoist stood by the pond*
Obviously, this would take up pretty much an entire page, so it'd have to be a situation in which the place was important.
3. Scenery in regular action or dialogue panels. For these, be sure you know where you're putting your speech balloons, or you'll cover up large amounts of detail! For these, try to avoid thinking of them as backgrounds. Think of them as environments in which the character is doing whatever. It sometimes helps to imagine your character standing on a flat surface, or in a box, so you can imagine the 3d space around your character.

General tips:
-There's no shame in working from photographs as reference. Especially if you took them yourself.
-Learning basic 2 and 3 point perspective is a very good idea, especially when drawing buildings and other geometric objects, like Chairs, tables, boxes…
-When you see an interesting building, object, room, plant or whatever, make a mental note of it. Use your imagination and personal experience to create interesting settings.
-If you're going to be using a certain room a lot in your manga, draw out a simple plan of that room from a bird's eye view, so you know where everything is. It'll help when it comes to drawing the scene from different angles.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
poonipoonz at 4:16PM, Aug. 30, 2007
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posts: 30
joined: 7-20-2007
Thanks for the help.:D
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
mlai at 4:22PM, Aug. 30, 2007
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joined: 12-28-2006
Wow… 0_0

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
yadiel at 5:00PM, Aug. 31, 2007
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joined: 8-31-2007
Yep Darth Mongoose say it all.
Just as a complement, I would add that depending the size of the panel, is the nesesity of a background, if you have a panel wich size is half the page, then maybe background will help, not always.

With small panels bacground is almost never needed, first planes don't need background, or panels wich are used to show parts of the body, swift moves, or fast actions in perspective.

But most important, I would say that never forguet the enfasis, in managa due to the lack of colors, if you have a cramped panel, the reader will loose attention, so be carefull with this, if you need great enfasis on your char at some point, leave the background blank, or just with a soft gradient, if no enfasis is needed (no strong emotions, just chat) then you can add some background.

If you have just dialog, usually no background is needed, unless you are describing something.

But … it always depends, just try to mix, don't use to many panels with backgroudn or without it.
<— by the way crits are more than welcome =D
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:52PM

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