Module 4: Backgrounds

Intro: Perspective and Depth

Drawing backgrounds and environments can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to comics. In this module, we will look at different techniques in drawing backgrounds and using backgrounds in comics. We will also be looking at tools you can utilize to make background drawing much easier especially when it comes to perspectives and repetition.

One big thing about drawing backgrounds is using references. Look back at module 3 for more information on how to break down references. Note that when breaking down background references, you are taking in information about perspective and distance relative to the objects and characters in your scene.

Here are a few articles that explain more about the importance of perspective and depth when it comes to backgrounds, which I highly recommend checking out:

Kotaku Tips for Drawing Backgrounds

Point Perspectives

Using 3D Modeling for Backgrounds

Imagine this: You’re drawing a comic and there’s a setting that is being replicated through different panels and at different perspectives.

It would be tedious to figure it out on your own even with a reference. This is why many artists like to create their own reference through a variety of software so that they can manipulate the lighting, position, and perspective to fit their drawings.

Example of how an artist uses 3D modeling (Blender) to draw their backgrounds:

Here are some videos on how different artists approach this method for their art.

Maya + Photoshop (Time-Lapse)

Blender + Procreate

Using 3D Sketchup for Backgrounds and object/character placement

https://www.sketchup.com/products/sketchup-pro

Here are some more resources for 3-D backgrounds

Yuumei Art 3D Background Tutorial

And if you do end up creating a 3D object and would like to trace over it in photoshop, you can either just screenshot your model or import it into the program itself.

Exercise

Module 4 Ex 1:

Using one of the 3D model programs mentioned above, create a simple scene and use that to draw over it in the drawing program of your choice starting with a 1-point perspective. Do the same thing with a 2-point perspective. Additionally, add any objects and characters from your story and place them into your scene.

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