The Lost Boards part 4 January 29, 2013 12:17

There used to be a Dr. Seuss-ish creature that lived in Crood Valley - a tiger with an unusually long tail.  He slept during the day with his tail across the trail, waiting for an unfortunate creature to trip over it.  Once tripped, the tiger would awaken and go on the hunt.  Grug's son, Thunk, is arguably the dimmest of the Croods.  The rock in the foreground of drawings is Thunks favorite hunting rock.  Even though it is indiscernable from a million other rocks, Thunk likes this one because it is famous - more Crood hunters have died with that rock in their hands than any other.

So Thunk is about to retrieve the rock, and of course steps on the incredibly obvious tail, alerting the tiger and starting a lot of trouble for himself.

If you are inclined to be a board artist there are some things to make note of.  I learned a few things from Disney board artist Burny Mattinson that help the legibility of these panels.  Burny taught me to fade background lines away when they collide with a character - this helps the character read against the background, boosting the clarity and keeping the image from being too busy.  When the character is actually in contact with something, like the tiger's tail, then its okay to have all the lines connect.

The other trick Burny would use is shading places and elements you need to pay attention to.  You may have noticed that on the 2nd and 3rd drawings in the Eep VS Plant series.  I shaded the plant on the 2nd drawing, and Eep's elbow and the plant's head in the 3rd drawing, so they read quickly when the series is digitized and placed in the story reel.  Drawing 15 is also shaded - Eep's foot and the plant face are what you need to see, so they are shaded.  Your eye will always travel to the point of highest contrast.