Thursday, 26 April 2018

Cartooning - Creating Motion Blurs


I know we've all seen the whiz-lines cartoonists use to make things look like they're moving. They're simple but effective.

Motion Lines example taken from wikipedia
The joke in my latest comic relies on a background that looks like it's moving, but while this whiz-line technique is great for objects, it doesn't work so well for the whole background.

What Does a Moving Background Look Like?

It's easy to find photos with motion blur, and these are a great source of inspiration. The image looks like it's been smeared sideways, this tends to destroy detail and soften the focus.

Image from Dan Milnor's Photography Blog

Recreating The Motion Blur Effect

Start off with a relatively simple background, maybe add a few vertical elements so that the blur will be more noticeable.
My Starting Image
Then do the following:-
  • Selected a thin blur tool, then using the line drawing constraint, stretch lines across the page from left to right. (ensure all in same direction)
  • Add thin grey lines running across the page, but don't be too perfect here.

Motion Blue and Whiz Lines Added

It really captures the sideways smearing caused by movement, with the grey lines borrowing from the whiz-line technique in a subtle way.

Now, when I add a cowboy riding a rodeo bull, it gives the feel of movement and speed.
The Completed Image

The completed cartoon can be found here -->

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