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Storyboarding - Escalation and Contrast in Posing and Acting

In the previous video, I was talking about posing out a character's actions, and building up the posing to escalate the comedy.


During the cutaway shot to Mary Frances, there is another good example of trying to find the right amount of poses for an action. Mary Frances is going through a short process of thinking and then reacting. I wanted to show the contrast of all of these emotions to give it the greatest storytelling and comedy impact.



Contrast refers to emphasizing the great differences in tone or mood or action. If all of the action takes place at the same level of intensity, it gets boring and numbing to the audience.

Just like the way a good pop song will speed up and slow down, get softer and then louder, the way a scene plays out (and the way a whole story plays out) also needs contrast to keep it interesting.

Notice the different emotions in these panels: from dumbfounded to scheming to thinking to excitement. If these emotional moments were not posed out, it wouldn't be as fun to watch and we wouldn't learn nearly as much about her character.

Storyboard drawing how many poses 01 dumbfounded
Storyboard drawing how many poses 02 scheming
Storyboard drawing how many poses 03 Thinking Storyboard drawing how many poses 04 excited
This is the second of three videos that look at how much to pose out an action. Since there are always a number of different things going on in any drawing, there are also many other topics covered: staging to leave enough room for the biggest action, use of the cutaway shot, prop design, using reference, truck-ins, and the match-cut.
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If you missed any of the previous posts, here are the links:

6 comments:

Roberto Severino said...

I finally saw "The Apprentice" today on Nicktoons. I never really watched Mighty B until recently, and I'm impressed of what a great job you did on that episode. Very funny stuff. I just wish Nick had never canceled the show in the first place, especially in the state that it's in now.

Fabrizio Ferrari said...

Unfortunately in Italy I still cannot appreciate the series, but your tutorial are very useful!

Mitch L said...

Thanks again! It was great. I don't really know any question to ask but I wanted to let you know that I am really looking foreword to more lessons about story-boarding.

Do you have some starting tips for beginners?

Steve Umbleby said...

I especially liked your explanation of the "match-cut" as well as seeing how you deal with Bessie's frantic movements in the boards.

I do have a question for you: About how long do you think about Bessie's poses? You have such nice silhouettes and I just wondered if that is something that just kind of comes easier with your years of experience or do you still find yourself doing multiple versions often. Thanks!

Ben Williams said...

The difference between Truck-In and Zoom-In has always been something that I've found confusing. Thanks for clearing this up for me!

I was wondering, with a Truck-Out would you draw the Close-Up first in it's own panel and then in the next shot match cut it to something similar to scene #35, just with the arrows facing in the other direction? Or wouldn't you need the Close-Up shot?

Mindaugas said...

thank you so much for all these videos.. I really appreciate your work. Best wishes from Lithuanian!!!!!