An­swer

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation Artist Q&a -

Tom replies

In comics, where there are of­ten many com­pet­ing el­e­ments on a page, a crowd scene can re­ally eat into a sched­ule. The ways in which I’ll deal with them usu­ally fall into one of three cat­e­gories.

First, there’s the “I’m not sure… there seems to be… a lot of them.” This tech­nique in­volves plac­ing the reader’s point of view so far from the ac­tion that they can’t re­ally make out num­bers or many spe­cific de­tails. Us­ing an over­head shot, I can re­ally em­pha­sise the scale of the crowd.

Next, there’s the “Woah – just pull back there a lit­tle, please” ap­proach. Here I’ve placed the cam­era right in the throng, at a low an­gle. By crowd­ing the panel – and thereby, crowd­ing the reader – I can sug­gest large num­bers with­out ac­tu­ally show­ing them. This shot is use­ful for when I need to high­light the char­ac­ters that make up the crowd, rather than merely its size.

Fi­nally, there’s the “Sorry, could you just… I can’t quite…” method. In­evitably, a script will come along that calls for a large panel that sells both the scale of the crowd and the char­ac­ters it com­prises. A shot like this will in­evitably be quite time­con­sum­ing to com­pose, but even here I can economise a lit­tle.

By plac­ing the two be­sieged char­ac­ters in shadow and close to the cam­era, I can eclipse a lot of de­tail that I’d oth­er­wise have to draw in full. This also helps cre­ate a sense of depth and clar­ity in a panel that could eas­ily just be­come a morass of de­tail.

By fill­ing an im­age right to the edges, I can sug­gest a big crowd, even with a small panel.

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