Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Need tips on backgrounds.
Ryuthehedgewolf at 2:03PM, July 16, 2009
(online)
posts: 1,340
joined: 9-2-2007
I'll start off by saying, my backgrounds are shit.
If somebody could kindly point me in the direction of practicing and getting better, maybe by telling me a tip or two you have, or maybe an internet tutorial thing or what have you. I would greatly appreciate it.

:)

Sadly, this is the best background I have ever done

Thanks, once again.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:16PM
Eddie Jensen at 2:49PM, July 16, 2009
(online)
posts: 256
joined: 6-7-2007
your off perspective. That's what's causing the offness in general, as a basic you should always think of 3 planes a foreground, a midground and a background all of your stuff feels like its on the same plain, thats your biggets prolem, your characters are also straight forward when your background is seen from nearly straight above until the wall comes and abstructs this by going from head on again. I'll do a drawover and show you what I mean.
if I was a teapot I think I'd be orange.

http://t-k-.deviantart.com/
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
Eddie Jensen at 3:00PM, July 16, 2009
(online)
posts: 256
joined: 6-7-2007


okay so basically what you have wrong is you've made all the guys the same size roughly but they're supposed to be further back and so on and you're lacking hte 3 ground planes and all that, green is front blue is mid and purple is back.

as far as backgrounds in general they're not really a big deal to learn, you just have to draw them. try drawing off refference and so on. Basically the only way to learn it is to do it to the degree that you're rediculously sick of it.
if I was a teapot I think I'd be orange.

http://t-k-.deviantart.com/
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
skoolmunkee at 3:02PM, July 16, 2009
(online)
posts: 7,058
joined: 1-2-2006
Backgrounds work because they give a scene depth. In order to convey depth properly you need to use perspective. I'm not really seeing that on the picture you linked. I can see the effort, but you didn't ‘build’ it right so you have conflicting elements, which ruins the illusion you're trying to make.

Perspective isn't magic, it uses a few simple rules and if you follow those rules it will work. All you need to do is practice a little.

The best resource for perspective I've found is a book called ‘perspective for the comic book artist’… There must be a number of internet resources out there too, but I don't usually turn to those because I prefer the book.

Some perspective practicing tips (beyond the basic vanishing point practice):
1- take one of your character drawings and make copies of it. Try drawing the same background (even something as simple as a couple of boxes) using a different horizon line or vanishing points. Look at them and notice how drastically the picture changes with the different horizon lines. (And often looks very ‘wrong’ because the character doesn't fit any arbitrary horizon line)

2- Try drawing simple backgrounds and then drawing characters to fit in them, instead of the other way around. (the character doesn't have to be detailed, it can be made of basic shapes)

3- Find photographs online or that you've taken and try to identify where the horizon line and vanishing points are. Easier with buildings, harder with nature.

I'd say the other problem with your background is that it looks too much like the foreground- the figures don't ‘pop’ or differentiate themselves immediately. There's a couple different ways to do this:

1- use different line widths or inking styles- ie heavy dark lines on the fore, light sketchy ones on the back

2- use different color palettes- ie bright and bold at front and muted or desaturated in the back; or the use of much more black in the bg to make it visually heavier than the fore

3- Newspaper comics often use a trick where the backgrounds ‘fade’ a little or the lines don't quite touch the characters, so there's a sort of ‘white space’ around the foreground elements. This one is hard to do well.

4- different shapes/styles; ie highly detailed background contrasted with very simplistic ‘shape based’ characters, etc
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:42PM
Ryuthehedgewolf at 4:17PM, July 16, 2009
(online)
posts: 1,340
joined: 9-2-2007
Thank you both very much for the tips.

I'll try drawing multiple different backgrounds (using vanishing points and horizon lines, etc, etc) and see how that works out.

I think I might look up how to do 2-point and 3-point perspective as well.

I really appreciate it, both of you! :D
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:16PM
skoolmunkee at 3:30AM, July 17, 2009
(online)
posts: 7,058
joined: 1-2-2006
You won't need 3 point for most practical purposes, 1 and 2 point get the job done 98% of the time. 3 point can be frustrating so don't worry about it unless you think you really need it.

Remember the backgrounds and characters you practice with don't need to be detailed. Just make them cubes or something- what you're trying to do is get used to setting a horizon line to match what's in your inner eye :]

I tend to cheat on my bg's… if it's not easily done (too many objects, 3 point, etc) I'll mock the blocks up in sketchup, print, trace and ‘redraw’ it more fully, the hard part having been done by the software :]
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:42PM

Forgot Password
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved