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Give it Your Best Shot

Banes at 12:00AM, Aug. 30, 2018

Ironically, no picture this time…and it's a Newspost about pitchers!

Beyond writing our stories and characters, figuring out our plots and dialogue and character design, and all the other stuff that goes into creating a comic, we have to choose our shots. Our camera angles.

Very much like a movie, our frames must be worked out. But when do we use what?

Can fit when we want to show a specific location, like in an establishing shot, or a grand vista or crowd scene, or a sense of scale between something huge and something small.

Is common, espeially in dialogue-based stories or gag strips. It's handy for showing one, two, or more characters and objects in the same frame, and allows room for dialogue. A lot of us use this a LOT. It's useful!

Is for focusing more on a specific character or object. If an object or small action is important, this is a good way to indicate that! Also handy for showing emotion on an individual character's face.

can be good for intensified drama or showing tiny detail, like one word on a book, business card, or whatever.

I have to admit, a lot of the time I stick with a medium shot or talking head, and stick it around the word bubbles. Beyond that, I go by intuition, and I think I could make more purposeful choices!

So how do you decide what shots to use in your comic?

Have a good one!




Ironscarf at 11:55AM, Aug. 31, 2018

Definitely part of the same subject KL! Angling panels, using low, high or birds eye views - all great ways to put your story across. If it feels right, it's right!

KimLuster at 4:45AM, Aug. 31, 2018

I use all of these! And I don't really have method - I just try to picture the page and go by what feels right! Trying different angles is fun too (bird's eye, worm's eye...), or as that a different article? :D

PaulEberhardt at 1:54AM, Aug. 31, 2018

For some reason I use close shots only very sparsely - or when I'm too lazy to draw too much background, and it does make them work quite effectively. But the main reason that I mostly use wide and medium shots is that I tend to picture my comic as if it took place on a stage, as in a theatre or a sitcom.

bravo1102 at 1:51PM, Aug. 30, 2018

I often look through the lens and figure what would work best what's in the script. Sometimes it's all about framing and perspective other times I crop or add to a frame to explain things. I use establishing shots and wide angle (would be a pan if there was a moving camera) I may do a lot in medium shots and end up cropping everything into close-ups. Depends on what I'm trying to express in the panel. After all the composition of a frame has its own language. Mise en scene.

Ironscarf at 7:29AM, Aug. 30, 2018

First I consider the pure storytelling aspect - can the reader see what's happening without reading? This requires some kind of establishing shot, medium and long shots to show the action clearly and close ups for facial expressions and to draw the reader to important details. Next I think about the emotional content: how do I want the reader to feel at every stage and what kind of shot can best convey that. The same conversation could be claustrophobic close ups, or silhouetted figures seen though a distant window as a storm bends trees in the foreground. Last but not least, variety. If it's the same kind of panel over and over it's likely to be hard to follow and too dull to make the effort. These decisions tend to happen in no particular order but it makes sense to give priority to storytelling, unless you're going for chaos or emotional turmoil.

Gunwallace at 12:50AM, Aug. 30, 2018

Wally Wood's 22 Panels That Always Work!! is pinned to the right of the monitor. Since I write very dialogue heavy stories that tend to feature talking heads I use his suggestions to "get some variety into those boring panels". However, at this moment a plush weta and a plush otter are currently stacked up obscuring all but seven of the 22, which might explain why my latest comic isn't as varied as it should be.

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