Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Pinging Art #0.6: A Quick Note on Composition and The Importance of Camera Angles

So here I am drawing the last page of The Jaded Chapter 3: Black Earth.

The scene I'm trying to illustrate is Doc Ice sitting in the passenger seat of a car, with Jade in the driver's seat and his crucifix earring very visible. Jade asks Ice a question, Doc answers cryptically.

So here's the preliminary sketch (digital equivalent of a penciled sketch) that I use for layouts.

As you can see, there's nothing particularly wrong with this composition. Everything that needs to be depicted is being depicted, but for some reason, the whole scene just looks rather... boring. It's flat and there's nothing particularly interesting about it.

So I decide to give the same scene a second go, this time using a different camera angle and a more dramatic viewpoint. The result:

I really liked this composition. It's important to note that the steering wheel in the foreground helps break up the motony and gives the panel more depth. Unfortunately, at this point, I realise:

  1. British cars have the driver's seat on the right side
  2. I can't flip the image because Jade's earring is on the left ear.
  3. Jade is supposedly nursing a recently broken arm, and shouldn't be driving anyway

Ok you can laugh at me now. So for the sake of consistency we relegate the two to the back seat, and someone else (presumably Juno or Lysanne) will be driving.

This is kind of a blow because that means I have to remove my steering wheel, but adding the window and the little rain shield at the top of it will help give a kind of frame to the picture. The result is a more 'closed' look, and hence a less empty-looking panel and better comic page overall.

Now back I go to sketching, or T won't be pleased at the state of my buffer! ;)

Edit: Thought you might be interested in the final result. I added theoverlay of the trees to give it a reflection-on-the-glass effect. Since it was the last page I thought it deserved something special.

Edit 2: Abby and Mos pointed out the perspective error on Jade's face which I missed, so here's the correction.

Having my mistakes pointed out to be is great, BTW. I can't improve without knowing what I'm doing wrong!


  1. I like the angle of the shot, it looks really good and dynamic. However, the character on the right has a face that's a bit.. bowed out? I don't know how to explain it, but it looks a bit too round and not varied enough.

  2. Hmm... you're right.

    Let me see how I can correct that...

  3. It's awesome that you're borthering to point out the errors, BTW. Thanks!

  4. Hey, no problem. I learn at least as well pointing out other people's errors as I do thinking about my own. And it's less stressful for me. :)