SMAC! Web Magazine

Swing that camera! Japanese Manga 101 – #011 Camera Angles

 

We are talking about “Camera Angles”, or how to draw panels, that work!

 

There are several ways to describe camera angles.

The most basic ones are

“Long shots” and “Close Ups”.

 

This is a “Long Shot”, a panel that show the reader, who and what are in the scene, and which way the characters are facing. It’s very easy to understand what is going on.

longshot

 

Here we have a “Close-Up”, a panel that shows the character’s emotions, illustrated clearly, sometimes even drawn to stick out of the panel, creating impact.

closeup

 

Now, which of those two camera angles, do you use more often?

Many novice artists, including ones in Japan, tend to use too many “Close-ups”.

It is understandable though, a close-up feels much more impactful, and because there is less details, it is much easier to draw!

But truth be told, the more successful a Manga is, the more “Long-shots” are used. Let’s take a look at Hojo sensei’s panel layout.

 

The panels that are highlighted, are what we call “Long-shots”.

hojo1 hojo2 hojo3 hojo4 hojo5

In nearly every spread, there is at least one or more “Long-shot” panels.

Because it is made clear in those long-shots, what each of the characters are doing, a “Close-up” panel really works to the full effect. A reader can follow each character’s action, without any disruption.

To fit in a whole character from head to toe, Hojo sensei often use the camera angle that looks down on the characters. Brilliantly executed may I add!

hojo6

When we pros talk about “Smooth panel layout”, we are referring to a good mix of long-shots and close-ups, and long-shots that are well drawn, with good composition. It requires practice, and takes much more effort and time, but it is sure to impress many more people. Why not give it, “a shot”?

 

gotit

GOT IT?

 

In the next episode, we are gonna dig deeper, into the art of, camera angles. How you can draw panels, that will talk to the readers.

See you next time!


Taiyo Nakashima