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Quackcast 646 - FIGHT! Drawing and references

Ozoneocean at 12:00AM, Aug. 1, 2023

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Drawing fight scenes is damn hard! One of the best ways to deal with this is to use references, but that's hard too because it's a pain to find the ones you need! So today we're talking about making your own reference pics for fighting because that's what I just finished for Tantz- I stripped shirtless and wielded some of my many antique swords in fight poses for Tantz to use in her new fantasy webcomic.

You can also look at movie versions of stage fighting but those are pretty unrealistic usually and don't have a follow through of action. You can use fight manuals but actual realistic fighting isn't very exciting or interesting to look at. There's footage of training and sparring with people doing fencing, kendo, battle of nations or HEMA but those are all unrealistic in certain ways too because they're forms of stylised fighting designed to earn points- real fights would never have gone down that way. Even with HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts), which is supposed to be the most realistic, it really isn't because people rely on their protection too much and always rush in fast for killing hits because they wear advanced protection, when in a real historical fight people would be more careful to avoid injury, which would slow the fight a LOT.

My solution was to pose in semi realistic ways that still look theatrical and heroic enough, so it's a balance between reality and theatricality.
How do you do fight scenes?

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Echoes - A mystery is about to be uncovered, but how deep does it really go? This highly cinematic tune delves deeper and deeper into the shadowed and windy, dusty dark spaces to find out things we never suspected or even dreamed of! When oh when will Peter Jackson hire Gunwallace to write the scores for his films? That’s what I want to know.

Topics and shownotes


Featured comic:
Oi Tales of Bardic Fury -

Featured music:
Echoes - - by Usedbooks, rated T.

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace -
Ozoneocean -
Kawaiidaigakusei -
Tantz Aerine -

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rickrudge at 7:34PM, Aug. 5, 2023

In my younger days, I played Kendo, which is Japanese swordsmanship using bamboo swords. So there is some basic stances and sword techniques with a Kendo match. As far as drawing characters, I have started using my grandson’s action figures to draw from (with mixed results).

Ozoneocean at 8:37PM, Aug. 2, 2023

@Jason - yeah maybe I could do that XD I just gotta be in the mood haha!

bravo1102 at 3:36AM, Aug. 2, 2023

@Jason Moon: Just did a fight with one character armed with two daggers. In order to fight like that the character really has to move to get in attacks as well as dodge incoming attacks.

Stahlberg at 3:23PM, Aug. 1, 2023

Neither me nor anyone I know looks anything like any of my characters, and I can't afford to hire models or buy posable dolls, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna use AI, so I have to google images for reference. I could conceivably use a posable model I worked on in Maya for like 20 years, then transfer it into ZBrush and polish it, then render it back in Maya, like this: but it's too much work, I'd never finish the comic

Jason Moon at 1:22PM, Aug. 1, 2023

Hey oz! You should do some references with two daggers, rare to see any action shots of dual short sword fighters. It would help me if you sent them my way if you ever get some pics in the future

Ironscarf at 7:14AM, Aug. 1, 2023

I love to use references but when it comes to action and fight scenes, I usually don't because it can lead to static looking panels. When we think of action we think of movement, not individual images, so Jack Kirby is my go to. His fight scenes revolutionised the way action was done in comics. Physical reality went out of the window, but you got a real sense of power and movement.

bravo1102 at 5:04AM, Aug. 1, 2023

@Ozoneocean: I know all too well. I v take multiple pictures per panel. Constant adjustments throughout. Often I'll junk one third of the pictures before I even get to looking at them in Photoshop. Last two pages I completed it was ninety photos for twelve panels. It is a fight scene.

Ozoneocean at 4:57AM, Aug. 1, 2023

@marcorossi That's the thing about real fight moves, they just ever look great, haha! It's funny but fakes and fiction always work over realism when it comes to fights. I think that's why pro-wrestling is more popular that most fighting sports.

Ozoneocean at 4:55AM, Aug. 1, 2023

@Bravo- I've tried using both posable drawing figures and 3D virtual posable figures for drawing and it just doesn't work for me XD I spend SOOOO long posing them that it takes me forever and I can never get it anywhere near right, I'm just super bad at it.

bravo1102 at 3:21AM, Aug. 1, 2023

I figure I must know something because of all those nominations for best action, but considering how Banes got beaten up for actually using my work as an example in a newspost what do I know.

bravo1102 at 3:18AM, Aug. 1, 2023

With a background in theater I block out movements. Using action figures I often am very aware of off balance poses and have restrained my original "show at maximum extent of movement" Only so many stands though I do admit to exaggeration of perspective in post production. All over Amazon lately been seeing 1/12 fully posable figures that come with generic props to work out poses. Some set even come with two figures to block out fight scenes as well as advanced and highly maneuverable stands. I should invest in a few but I keep buying costumes and props instead.

marcorossi at 2:10AM, Aug. 1, 2023

I do judo since a lot of years (though I still suck at it), Nippon kempo (one of the many karate spinoff), I did some fencing when I was a teen and I dabbled in a few more martial arts for short periods. When I do fighting scenes I try to do something vaguely realistic, but there are two problems: on the one hand, drawing stuff like a judo throw realistically is very difficult because there are many small details involved, that many readers would not appreciate, and because the positions are convoluted, and on the other realistic fighting is not showy because people try to keep closed stances and an economy of movements, so for example if you draw a boxer that throws a powerful punch it is natural to show him higly unbalanced to imply the strenght of the punch, but in reality that would be a very sloppy boxer, real boxers try to not lose their balances. So on the whole I understand why there is a tendence to use over the top, showy but not realistic moves in movies and comics.

Ozoneocean at 12:48AM, Aug. 1, 2023

Hahaha! I promised Tantz I'd do it but it was so cold and I was so lazy after working that all I wanted to do each evening was snuggle up and draw while watching TV. But on Saturday I bit the bullet and set it all up! - lighting, white backdrop, connected m phone to my TV so I could see the poses and used a remote to take the pics. It all worked out ok :)

bravo1102 at 12:30AM, Aug. 1, 2023

Oz just likes posing with his swords. Fortunately the medium I use I get to visualize it all in 3D too. A lot is physics and physiology and knowing the difference between choreography and trying to kill someone. ;)

Tantz_Aerine at 12:08AM, Aug. 1, 2023

Oz is just amazing for doing all this work just to help me.

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