Friday, March 24, 2006


Everyone seemed to enjoy the discussions about Light and Shadow. I grabbed some screens from "Peter Pan" because they show a great control of values. The lighting in every scene is so simple and cartoony, yet the film feels beautiful and lush. Like everything else in drawing, values work best when they're kept simple. Less is always more!

Special thanks to Jenny over at The Blackwing Diaries for telling me how to do screen grabs on a Mac. We will share adjoining cells at the trademark-infringement prison.

Take a look: all the uses of value in these sketches applies to doing tones and values in your storyboards. Keep your values limited to three values: Black, White and a Middle Grey. At most, four values: Black, White, Light Grey and Dark Grey. Any more values than that and a drawing gets mushy. Save black against white where you want the eye to go first. In those light areas near your subject, put texture and detail to draw the eye to where you want it. Use dark areas to minimize detail where you don't want the eye to go. And block in dark shapes to help create a frame around your character.


Rocco said...

That's a great idea, converting the images to greyscale. You can better "see" what the layout artist was thinking when the scenes are presented this way.

It's similar to your idea of watching a movie with the sound off. By stripping away the layers you get right to the essence of what make the scenes work.

Thanks for another thought provoking post.

Goobeetsablog said...

Great Post.
I enjoy this blog and its many updates. Thanks again for the information.

RoboTaeKwon-Z said...

Great post Mark!!! These are great examples of not just lighting and value, but composition as well!

Dan said...

Yeah, exactly what I was thinking. Such great compositions.

mark kennedy said...

Glad everybody likes them! They were fun to do and I ended up doing a ton. I'll keep posting 'em.

Gabriel said...

I totally agree with rocco. Hey, maybe i should start watching stuff both with the sound off and in black and white!

Jenny said...

Terrific post, Mark--thanks!

See you in Sing-sing!

mark walton said...

It's amazing how those screen grabs look like illustrations - it's driven me crazy, lately, when Disney's done (in the hallways, in the "art of" books, in the DVD extras) these storyboard-to-film comparisons of our latest flms, and the storyboards are totally clear, and the finished frame is a mush of colors that have the same grey value, detail competing with the character, etc., etc. - you'd think this stuff would be basic, but it's like everyone's forgotten it lately!

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