Forum > Webcomic & Art discussion > Tips and resources for drawing action scenes?
Pages: 1
"Tips and resources for drawing action scenes?", 6 days ago, 5:43 PM #1
formerly Confettirainbowpony
User avatar
Hi there.

I suck at action scenes.

There. I said it. That's my dirty little secret.

Please help. ಥ_ಥ

I'm working on a story with a lot of action and fighting and the action scenes are EXCRUCIATING and I've already confused a couple beta readers and had to redo a couple pages just so they made some kind of sense..(╥﹏╥)

Does anyone have any tips/resources/tutorials/classes for drawing action scenes, fighting and otherwise?

It's not so much anatomy or stiff actions and soforth, I just can't seem to make the scene clear and ends up looking like a jumbled mess with characters in weird poses and you can't tell what's going on.

I thought about sketching cage matches and stuff and I found a couple books on the subject but they focused more on anatomy and other basic art subjects more than making a clear readable action scene and fight scenes that don't look like bodybuilding stage posing ( ≧Д≦)

Help meeeeeeee *buzz buzz*(༎ຶ ෴ ༎ຶ)
6 days ago, 8:15 PM #2
User avatar
Yeah action, especially fight scenes, can be quite tricky. I sometimes struggle with them (in fact, I'm currently struggling with one), especially the ones that actually go on for a while I don't end immediately with the other side winning.

One major tip I would give is to make sure each panel leads to the next clearly. I'll try using my own comic as an example.

See, in panel 4 Huldric grabs a sword from its sheat, in panel 5 we see him ride to the ghouls and raise the sword high in the air, and in panel 6 we see the strike from the sword.

You mentioned cage fights, so for example in one panel show one character throwing a punch with their opponent dodging or blocking, and in the next panel show the opponent counterattacking.

Also, detailing a fight in advance from start to finish before starting to actually draw also helps.

That's the best advice I can give. Hope that helps.
6 days ago, 9:23 PM #3
User avatar
OH! OH! I love action! I live and breathe it!


Read Arkin Blade here! (Banner coming soon)
6 days ago, 10:04 PM #4
User avatar
Already been mentioned to watch movies, 80s 90s hong kong action movies (they frame action better than americans, and by framing i mean the same thing you do in a comic panel)

Consider pro wrestling for moves, sequences an storytellign during a match.

video link to sam hargrave fightscene advice

Sam talks about movies but its the same thing you ahve to imagine and frame shots.
6 days ago, 10:37 PM #5
User avatar
I still go by the tip my bro told me ages ago.

Plot it out like you're plotting out a sports game. What makes watching sports fun is what makes watching fights fun.

Sometimes I literally keep score haha
5 days ago, 2:27 AM #6
formerly Confettirainbowpony
User avatar
really great tips so far!! thanks yall!!

@Deadly Assassin i never thought of preplanning a fight scene.. that makes sense.. <:'D

@Guy Percinn that post is fantastic! some really great ideas in there! thanks so much!!

@PandaCop Studying actual fight scenes in movies to see framing etc is super amazing advice, i never thought of that!! thanks!! <3

@Kokoneos i don't watch much sports so i'm not really sure how to go about that <:""D but if someone else does i think it would be super helpful!!
5 days ago, 2:50 AM #7
User avatar
This is old, and we've got a lot of new(er) people here, so I think there's gonna be more good advice to add, buuuuuuut, I am also going to link to this thread from a couple years ago that may give additional help (I keep it book marked, because I, too struggle with action!!)

Hope it's helpful.

(Again, I think there's fresh faces here that may add some new perspectives :3)
5 days ago, 2:50 AM #8
User avatar
Did you ever play sports? Coz I don't watch them either haha video games like smash bros should use the same logic.

The fights/races/sports that take a bit of struggle and stragety are usually the more rewarding

But basically you want to break the whole fight into a series of turns.

Team/person A gets a shot and team/person b get a shot.

Turns dont have to be in order, you can give people two turns or more but you want to keep the match fairly even. Even if you know who is going to win you don't want it to be too obvious (Unless you want it to feel like someone doesn't stand a chance)

((And with all things, you can make it too even. There's a reason they call it stalemate))

-use your surroundings
-show thought process
(Example: Person a sees electric fence then throws dude into it)
-think about your character's style
(Are they strong and slow? Are they light and energetic? Are they angry and aggressive?)
-dont be afraid to let your dudes get hurt. Doesnt have to be gory just an expression is enough.
5 days ago, 3:35 AM #9
User avatar
Okay, the absolute most important thing in an action scene is geography. The audience must understand where everyone is in relation to each other, exactly how far away they are, and what are the details of the area the scene is happening in. So first, you have to figure all that out.
Then, the scene has to have a rhythm to it. There's a certain push and pull, whether it's a fight scene or a chase scene or a heist scene or a battle with a big weird monster, there needs to be a rise and fall to the tension. You can't have it full blast tense all the way through, because that ironically becomes boring. In a fight scene, both fighters have to get hits in, there should be moments where either side seems to have the upper hand. In a heist scene, you should have sections where everything goes smoothly, and then have a close call or two, etc. etc. etc.
Then the last and hardest part is figuring out a way to communicate all of this information to the audience in a way that's exciting. There are no rules here necessarily, but think about the way the eye will be drawn around the page, think about which moments need to have the most impact and then figure out how to build up to those moments. Y'know, composition stuff. Personally I try to have big moments happen at the end of a page, because that makes sense to me and seems to work, but that's not a law or anything, it'll still work if you build the page around the "big moment".
But really I think when it comes to this kind of stuff the best thing you can do is go and analyze some other stuff, stuff you like, and really put a lot of thought into why that stuff works for you. So I guess my real advice is to go watch some action movies or anime or read some comics or something, ones you think are really good, and try and break down why the action scenes in those things work well, and like, how each individual shot or panel makes you feel, and how they connect to each other.
Some people will like, literally take notes but I just find that distracting.
5 days ago, 2:45 PM #10
User avatar
I have only one advice when your fights are a little bit more grounded.
Don't flip the 180 degree axis, if doesn't have to show a dramatic super powered action.

Here a little sequence of my own comic:
-=: Discord :=-

Expect the unexpected. Never take anything for granted. Scrutinise everything. Be open-minded. Learn.
5 days ago, 3:11 PM #11
User avatar
I found that the panel layout alone does wonders at depicting action scenes. I'm using very standard grid layout for anything else, but when the action scene starts the layout becomes more dynamic.
Blurring or fading out the backgrounds to focus on acting characters helps too. Diagonal/angular composition helps too, but that depends on how dynamic the scene in question is supposed to be.
5 days ago, 9:07 PM #12
User avatar
Greypoint mentions geography

In my comics more so when i started (motion comic) i just had a bunch fo fighting for so long people used to ask me if certain characters were still there or where this was happening.

I think it is important to show a wide shot every once in a while so you ca see where all the characters are and see the background again.

With setting try to remember the setting (in general not just for fighting) is a character itself. The spooky woods are a character they have a personality. Or same with a city a city itself is a being its own character. If this can be reflected also in fight scenes it can increase immersion and dont forget about enviromental hazarss like using improvised weapons from the surroundinga of smashing someone into a wall/tree.
Forum > Webcomic & Art discussion > Tips and resources for drawing action scenes?
Pages: 1