Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bite Sized Tutorial: Leading Lines_1

Hey guys, I figured since I can't talk about RECKLESS much right now, I'd give a little tutorial. That way I'll be able to keep posting stuff and y'all don't have to wait too long 'til the next post.
So today's bite-sized tutorial is about composition; specifically about leading lines. Some of you may know this and some may not, either way its something I've always found really interesting and fun.
So here we go: Leading lines are used a lot in most strong compositions. Whether its on film, animation, or comic books. Learning how to use them will make a world of difference.

Below are 3 examples (Screen shots from the AMC show: Breaking Bad). The first is a wide/long shot of the protagonist in a desert. Natural landscapes are easy to use for leading lines if you just use a little creativity, but in this case when the camera is looking down on our protagonist who is feeling helpless they chose to use the RV to lead your eye to our protagonist.
The next shot is a medium shot of our protagonist. Notice how the lines of the desk and ceiling and window direct your attention to our protagonist; he's not in the middle of the shot but just a little off center to make the composition interesting.
The last shot is a close up of our protagonist. You can see how the natural landscape is used here to lead your eye straight to the gun and our protagonist. Some of these leading lines are obvious and others more subtle, but either way they work. Next time you sit down to watch a movie or a tv show, grab your sketchbook and turn off the sound. Pay attention to the composition of the shots and how leading lines are used in all different types of shots. I mention turning off the sound because you can focus better, without being distracted by the show and if you're watching Breaking Bad, then you'll get sucked into it because its a GREAT SHOW with amazing character development and as you can see, great shot compositions.
Well, that's all for now, I hope that was helpful and I recommend you practice sketching shot compositions while watching TV. (All Breaking Bad screen shots are used strictly for educational and study purposes.)

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