Wednesday, May 23, 2007

OK, so a few things I've discovered today while reading Richard Williams book The Animator's Survival Kit.

The Animator's Survival Kit: A Manual of Methods, Principles, and Formulas for Classical, Computer, Games, Stop Motion, and Internet Animators

First I think I finally understand the technical meaning of timing and space. Its really very simple now, although that doesn't make me an animator in any way, shape, or form. However, it does help me understand why I try to work out the actions (timing and space) in a sequence of illos for my graphic novels.
I think I have learned more doing my graphic novel shorts (short skits) where I have to tell a short story, or convey an incident in a few panels. For instance, in the Virtutus Key time and space may not seem as immediately important, because at first thought it seems I have a full length book with which to tell the tale. More on this later.
But, for the weekly themes listed on PictureBookies, I try to challenge myself to tell a story, or part of a story in just one page. In essence I think its more accurate to say I try to show a scene, or limited series of sequential scenes on a 8 x 10 sheet of paper.
Why is this so important for me? Well, because it forces me to really try to analyze not only the story that's running around in my heart/mind, but it forces me to do so as efficiently, clearly, emotionally and dynamic as possible. (I'm still working on the dynamic part.)
OK, so back to timing and spacing. While studying Extremes and In-betweens, I realized what's always drawn me to animation (beside the obvious grace, power, and beauty of visual storytelling). Animation helps me understand the importance of panel timing and spacing between scenes and scene changes, as dramatically as possible, yet clearly and gracefully too. Well, at least that's my personal goal.
Too much in-between in a GN (graphic novel) will bore my readers, too little and the story is hard to follow. If the spacing and timing between my scenes is too short from one action(extreme) to the other, the panels become jumpy, chaotic, and the sequence of events seems interrupted.
I think there must be flow between scenes, even where the scenes require fast, dramatic changes. This is where we have what the animators refer to as spacing and timing , extremes, in-betweens and slowing in and slowing out. These spaces...places are very important in the pacing of the story. Example to self. Tender moments, or moments of reflection, seriousness... etcetera on the part of my characters, moment, or event I wish to focus on, where I need to slow the pace down and give the story a breath. This is opposed to say a fighting scene, or a place in the story where I wish to speed the action up..the Extremes.
Note to self. The more in-betweens I have the slower the intervals between scenes, the less In-betweens I have the more accelerated the scene becomes.
Oh, and as far as The Virtutus Key, it is just as important to really analyze each scene in a full length novel as it is in a short skit, other wise there will be places where your story will either drag, be too chaotic, bore, and/or will make little sense to the reader. Yep, timing and spacing, very important stuff.


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