Author Topic: Pic Workarounds  (Read 1664 times)

Offline hans

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Pic Workarounds
« on: October 07, 2011, 12:39:38 AM »
Important moments in a game deserve an illustration -- a Pic.  Words alone can seem underwhelming when trying to describe a great scene...underneath an empty Pic frame.  But finding just the right Pic to fit a storypoint can be frustrating to a lot of authors.  And creating Pics from scratch can be a daunting, time-consuming task even for our experienced artists.  So, often, if an author can't find the right Pic that depicts the action, or situation, or thing that they have in mind, they compromise their story to fit the available art. 

I've created many of my own Pics, but I've also devised many shortcuts to spare myself time and grief as an author. 

Most authors are locked into thinking of Pics as representational, --that is, a visually explicit depiction of the subject.  For example, if the scene taking place is that of a troll breaking down a door, the right Pic must show a troll breaking down a door, right?   

Yet, it can be just as effective (sometimes even more effective) to use a Pic that is suggestive of the scene.  If I can find a picture of a door being broken down, though not by a troll, I might use a very close-up Pic of the breaking hinges, or splintering wood to give the feel of the action while letting my text fill in the details. 

In movies, directors have used suggestive images instead of explicit ones to memorable effect.  Psycho's infamous shower scene of the brutal slaying of Janet Leigh is a masterful conglomeration of suggestive shots by Alfred Hitchcock.  There is no shot of Janet Leigh actually getting stabbed.  Neither is there a clear shot of her attacker (keeping the mystery alive).  In many other movies, menacing shadows spare the audience explicit scenes of gore.  Likewise, shy camera pans away from erotic moments have been quite common in Hollywood's history. 

One of my favorite shortcuts for UA is an extreme close-up Pic of an eye.  Often, my mods have had more than one such Pic.  An eye wide in shock or terror can be used to support almost any wild scene that I might describe in accompanying text boxes.  The image is quite simple, yet can feed a great deal of emotion into a moment, whereas no Pic, just a 3-D view of a backdrop and walls, can drain even a well-written scene of much potential impact. 

A close-up of a sword can be used when describing a fierce duel.  A grasping hand can convey a desperate lunge during a critical moment.  Lips can add a sensual overtone to dialog.  Fangs can belong to a variety of menacing creatures.

Another one of my regularly-used shortcuts is the silhouette.  A lot quicker and easier to draw than a detailed figure.  They give just a little visual information, yet can be used in very dynamic and interesting ways. 

So, if you find yourself trapped by a lack of resources, try thinking outside of the GoldBox...


« Last Edit: October 07, 2011, 12:41:36 AM by hans »

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Pic Workarounds
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2011, 06:53:12 AM »
Really good advice!
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Offline nologgie

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Re: Pic Workarounds
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2011, 08:33:34 AM »
Timely advice!
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Offline GoldBoxFan

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Re: Pic Workarounds
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2011, 10:54:09 AM »
I used art for Shedakolah and Yeenoghu's Realm for art in Blight on the Barrow, when townspeople are telling tales. Thought they would look cool.

Offline Knightmare

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Re: Pic Workarounds
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2011, 11:04:54 AM »
Good tips, will keep them in mind while working on my module. :D
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Offline hans

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Re: Pic Workarounds
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2012, 04:40:52 PM »
...Another one of my regularly-used shortcuts is the silhouette.  A lot quicker and easier to draw than a detailed figure.  They give just a little visual information, yet can be used in very dynamic and interesting ways...
 

Here's an interesting example that I came across.  See how much information and how many moods are created in this silhouette-heavy music video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzrBuaRIfHQ&feature=related

Offline Milos Gulan

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Re: Pic Workarounds
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2012, 12:46:00 AM »
Good advice :)

 

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