Accommodating for Distance

When trying to depict a character as being far away, we tend to draw that character smaller. Consider also accommodating for that distance by dropping details and creating a simpler version of your character. Observe the varied levels of details depicted in the main character in Jake Wyatt’s Necropolis in the image at the head of this post (and below the fold). For that matter, consider how Wyatt does the same thing for the background elements: note the detail in the windmill in panel one and compare it with the same structure as drawn in panel seven. Also in that last panel, notice how the paved road and countryside is depicted in the foreground (the space in front of the character, in this case) and in the distant background. tumblr_nnl82jSeTO1qee52wo1_1280 tumblr_nnl82jSeTO1qee52wo2_1280 The Steven Crewniverse Behind-the-Scenes Universe blog features a post that explains the concept:

When a character is seen in the distance, too much line complexity will create an over-complicated image. We drop detail to simulate the effect of seeing a character far away. If you’ve managed to notice this already, you’re not just seeing things- it’s quite intentional. Because the show is animated by hand, we prefer not to scale down a complicated drawing- it becomes unclear and messy. Instead we use a distance model, which is a simplified version of that character. Also they’re really cute.

tumblr_n2p4htqvwW1smn4pqo5_1280 tumblr_n2p4htqvwW1smn4pqo1_1280 tumblr_n2p4htqvwW1smn4pqo3_1280

Compare this normal Steven Model Sheet with the distance models below:tumblr_mvtne2HxFn1smn4pqo1_1280tumblr_n2p4htqvwW1smn4pqo4_500

Here is a very quick and crude mockup I made using

the images above plus a background to get the basic point across:

crude quick mockup


Lead Character Designer: Danny Hynes Character Designer: Colin Howard Color: Tiffany Ford Color Assist: Jasmin Lai Distance Guide: Ian Jones-Quartey