Kav's Tips for Comic Artists - Camera Angles
by A. "Kav" Kaviraj
Comic book artist, A. Kaviraj, continues his op/ed series of providing useful tutorials for comic book artists.
Let's look at another challenge that separates the pros from the amateurs-camera angles. There's a lot of stuff to learn when you want to draw comics-anatomy, buildings, environment, faces, shadowing, on and on. So it's not surprising that different camera angles are one of the last things an artist learns to do well. There is the straight on view, the overhead shot, the underhead shot, and the canted camera angle.
Here's a page from 'Crimson Mask' #1. writer Elias Plagianos, artist me. An extreme overhead shot is used in panel three to pull the reader back from the devastating scene-a guy just got his head chopped off. Overhead shots pull the reader into a 'forest' view. As in he can see the entire forest for the trees. The effect is to emotionally detach the reader. Same thing in film.
Here's a page showing an extreme overhead from Rapid City.
Showing the camera increasingly pulling back to the overview from above of the city. The character, Kinetic, is feeling alienated so this is the scene the writer scripted. You may note that the perspective lines do not exactly match up. That's real life-if you examine photos of buildings you will see that perspective lines do not match up exactly to one point perspective. Real life is a bit more complex:
Here's another page from Rapid City showing the canted camera angle. This angle shows discord. As in, these road ragers are about to come to blows.
Here's a page from Rapid City that has the camera angle switching back and forth from above to below. The effect is a close examination of the character's mental state. In this case he's been out all night looking for menaces to combat but there are none, leading him to wonder what being a superhero is all about.
Here's a great Sean Phillips page showing a similar tactic with another hero wondering if he's a hero or a villain, and missing all the action of his old days.
And finally a master of the overhead shot-Charlie Adlard:
For more of Kav's Tips at Comic Related: http://www.comicrelated.com/forums/index.php?showforum=602
A. KAVIRAJ: Kav is an artist, teacher, and biologist who lives in Sacramento, California. He is the artist forThe End of Paradise, Rapid City, and Dr Death vs The Zombie. He is the writer and artist for Dr. Death vs. The Vampire. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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