Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Sword Fighting
genstru at 7:30AM, Dec. 1, 2007
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I just wanted to know if anyone had any tips for a sword fighting scene, since my comic book Magic is going to have alot of sword fights in it and I need to know how to make the fights look intense.


Magic vol. 2 returns this week!

Oh and I forgot to mention that I'm moving to theotaku.com this Feb.

And visit my Magic vol.2 Forum….TODAY!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:35PM
genstru at 12:57PM, Dec. 1, 2007
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So does anyone have any advise for a good sword fighting scene?


Magic vol. 2 returns this week!

Oh and I forgot to mention that I'm moving to theotaku.com this Feb.

And visit my Magic vol.2 Forum….TODAY!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:35PM
Blackmoon at 2:23PM, Dec. 1, 2007
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Examine lots of footage of actual swordsmen fighting. Go for close calls, dodges, acrobatics, etc. Read my comic, heh.
That's about all I can say. It's more of a natural thing for me, so I dunno what to tell you.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
spacehamster at 2:29AM, Dec. 2, 2007
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Do your research. Find websites or books about fighting techniques. Things like what the correct way to hold a certain type of sword is. Research swords. What types are/were there? Which cultures are they associated with? How are they made? What materials are used? The more you know, the more depth there will be to your portrayal of the weapons and the people who use them, making it more believable to the reader, and, speaking from my own experience, the more satisfying it will be for you both as a writer and an artist.

As for drawing fight scenes, one big trick to make them look more interesting and dynamic is to use a lot of extreme angles and foreshortening. Exaggerate the effect of objects being closer to the viewer appearing larger. Move the “camera” around a lot. Zoom in and out, pan up and down.

Also, your characters' personalities should show in the way they fight. Make it personal. Make it emotional. Write the fights, they should be like little stories in themselves. Why does the good guy win? Because he's smarter? Because he just fights better? Because the bad guy is too arrogant for his own good?
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:50PM
CharleyHorse at 11:23AM, Dec. 2, 2007
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This may sound weird but I would recommend purchasing at least one season of the old Highlander television show . The television series featured meticulously choreographed sword fighting scenes in nearly every episode and almost always using a different sword type every episode .

These sword fight scenes were carefully designed for maximum dramatic effect.

You know, I've given this additional thought and considered the dramatic scenes I've looked at in comic form. Anytime the camera is tilted in comparison to the the plane of the blade or blades, adds drama.

It's the same technique for making architecture look impressive or dramatic. First you move the camera in relatively close and then you move it up or down so that the camera tilt is between thirteen to twenty degrees. Instant visual impact.

All the speed lines or speed indicator techniques of both western and eastern artistic approaches work and will probably be necessary if you are going to be doing a lot of this - sword activity, that is.

I would add that maximum drama seems to require close camera work for some reason. Obviously this is not always possible, but close work and odd camera angle tilts will definitely add drama to any sword activities.

Psychologically, people expect to see some indicators of destruction in the wake of a sword, and so above and below the streak mark or just in the stroke's path as the background shifts have either blood or flesh, or pieces of the opponent's sword or armor flitter through the air. Also apply proper foreshortening to this fight detritus - the nearer edge is larger than the farther edge, again for maximum visual impact.



Good luck,

CharleyHorse
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
genstru at 12:35PM, Dec. 3, 2007
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joined: 9-28-2007
spacehamster
Do your research. Find websites or books about fighting techniques. Things like what the correct way to hold a certain type of sword is. Research swords. What types are/were there? Which cultures are they associated with? How are they made? What materials are used? The more you know, the more depth there will be to your portrayal of the weapons and the people who use them, making it more believable to the reader, and, speaking from my own experience, the more satisfying it will be for you both as a writer and an artist.

As for drawing fight scenes, one big trick to make them look more interesting and dynamic is to use a lot of extreme angles and foreshortening. Exaggerate the effect of objects being closer to the viewer appearing larger. Move the “camera” around a lot. Zoom in and out, pan up and down.

Also, your characters' personalities should show in the way they fight. Make it personal. Make it emotional. Write the fights, they should be like little stories in themselves. Why does the good guy win? Because he's smarter? Because he just fights better? Because the bad guy is too arrogant for his own good?

Wow that was really helpful thanks for the tips spacehamster :)


Magic vol. 2 returns this week!

Oh and I forgot to mention that I'm moving to theotaku.com this Feb.

And visit my Magic vol.2 Forum….TODAY!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:35PM
Ziffy88 at 8:44PM, Dec. 10, 2007
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does exaggerating the fighting help like making people moving quickly so that the motions looks completely exaggerated and have varying emotions during the fight to show how the characters are thinking and feeling during the fight
last edited on July 14, 2011 5:01PM
CharleyHorse at 11:52AM, Dec. 11, 2007
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Well, that's sort of a personal stylistic difference. Some artists like to stay locked in realism so far as the proportion ratio of their characters are concerned, and so they will not exaggerate anatomy. Others consider just about any technique fair game.

The refusal to exaggerate beyond the physical norm for a character may be why extreme camera angles are used. I hadn't thought about that before. Interesting.

As far as expressions go, I should think that's perfectly fine, yes. As a matter of fact the grim-faced or neutral expression warrior sort of grates on my nerve endings after a while. Sure, self-control is good, but so, too, is the notion of having human feelings during a fight situation. Personally I like to see the occasional grimace or bug-eyed expression during an action scene.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM

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