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  1. #1
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    Sketching from Movies?

    I'm just curious about other people's stances when it comes to doing sketches from movies and possibly television shows.

    I'm not talking about finished pieces, but more work for your sketchbook.

    The advantages I'm seeing:
    - you could use it for a quick source of gestures (ie drawing while it's playing)
    - it allows you to freeze frame some more complex action poses that you usually don't even see in photography.
    - If it's a GOOD movie, you'll often get a wide variety of environments that fit within an overriding 'setting' for the movie. (even if they're not historically or regionally 100% accurate, they usually have a flow).
    - You get the 'key' and 'support' actors from various angles in various poses.

    The disadvantages I'm seeing:
    - Copyrights (although for a 'sketchbook' - I'm not sure whether that'd fall into "fair use" or not).
    - Photography flaw (working from photography is never as good as from life, because it's from one automated eye, rather than 2 eyes connected to a brain).
    - Motion Blur (depends on the amount of action, but if you still-frame you'll notice blur).


    There's very likely things I've missed...just curious about opinions though (contemplating it as another tool to use, since UNLESS you're dealing with really flashy special effects - it's like having a slew of continuous photographs).
    Alzorath's Sketchbook


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  3. #2
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    I like it. Since you can't always draw from life it's a very nice tool, and I love the versatility of people, environments, poses etc. you can find in a movie, like you said. Sometimes I fill a bunch of papers of my sketchbook with that stuff and I think I learn pretty much from it, allthough I should really draw from life more.
    I don't think a sketchbook has anything to do with copyrights, since it's for your own use and nothing commercial.

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  4. #3
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    i do this too! and people look at me funny. even other artists

    as long as you aren't copying verbatim what you see, the actors can't trademark a pose, or anatomy, so you are all good.

  5. #4
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    I sometimes do that too, but most of all I get a lot of inspiration from watching movies and sketching while doing so. for example watching Excalibur and going "damn! thats a pretty cool character design" and being motivated to create your own version.

    its not about drawing the poses or copying certain enviroments for me, its more like getting design ideas and inspiration from the overall look and feel of a movie. Like having to do a horror motive and watching evil dead while sketching to "get into the mood"

    "How do you know you're good enough?" "You know." "What if you're wrong?" "You find out."

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  6. #5
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    I imagine most people could learn a thing or two about composition, lighting, framing etc from good movies so I'd think it could be a useful exercise.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alzorath
    The disadvantages I'm seeing:
    - Copyrights (although for a 'sketchbook' - I'm not sure whether that'd fall into "fair use" or not).
    - Photography flaw (working from photography is never as good as from life, because it's from one automated eye, rather than 2 eyes connected to a brain).
    - Motion Blur (depends on the amount of action, but if you still-frame you'll notice blur).
    People worry about stuff waaaay too much.

    Tristan Elwell
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  8. #7
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    I use it for composition studies alot. Really quick studies.

    I have a list of great movies for composition somewhere...I'll see if I can find it and post it up.
    [][][][] DRAW EVERYDAY [][][][]>

  9. #8
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    i do this to , its great to use what this century offers you , i´m sure da vinci and the others twisting themselves in their graves while we doing this

    for example sketchin the godfather , where the hell do you get that amazing bunch of faces with great character in a nude drawing class?? huh??
    aviable for fulltime and freelance

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  10. #9
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    check out isair's sketchbook - most of his stuff (i think) are reffed from screen. It's great for learning lighting, expressions, poses and tons of other stuff. Really the only thing I see you missing out on is developing your ability to put 3d to 2d. That's it. Try grabbing stills from movies off the internet or just pausing to get some decent shots. Or just let the tape roll and try to do the gestures as quick as possible.

    - d.

  11. #10
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    ive done that quite a bit. But i would never do a finished drawing from a movie. Just quick little studies and stuff.

  12. #11
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    Yeah, love to sketch from DVDs, great source of reference. You get a variety of costumes and people, usually with good lighting and great poses. My teacher George Pratt used to get us to draw from stuff like Das Boot and Lawrence of Arabia. Also working from a good VCR can be helpful too because it'll only stay on pause for about a minute, gotta be quick!

    Also, you don't have to worry about copyright unless you plan on making money/publishing any of it. "Fair Use" refers more to using copyrighted material in the news or as a public teaching device.

  13. #12
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    I had no idea what am orc looked like so i popped in lotr and sketched away for like a second. =visual library+!
    I find its sometimes useful to only partially sketch it, without a render, and render it after, for the challenge.

    Films like Blade have vary dynamic lighting, worth watching to see it in use

  14. #13
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    I draw fom movies its a great tool if you dont have a model (or money for a model) you can just fast forward to the pose you want to draw. i also like that in film there are those frames which are very rarely captured in still photography from one pose to the next. Plus you get charachters and lighting effects that you would never find in a life drawing situation.

  15. #14
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    i once sat on my bed and doodled some stuff on paper...the tv was on and there was a boring austrian movie from the 60ies...Carnifex, maybe you know what i am talking about (Heimatfilm)

    I was too lazy to catch the remote control which was a few meters away on the table, so i started to draw people i saw in the movie, catching their poses and clothings...i had about 5-20 seconds for one drawing, depending on the scene...

    It was a pretty quick drawing training and i did it only once, but i think if you would to this regularly your skills will improve a lot...

    But i am too lazy for that shit

  16. #15
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    I used to freezeframe jackie chan movies and do gesture drawings from them. I did a 20 second animated sequence using this technique and it was very helpful in teaching me the motion of the actors.

    As far as copying to get final, frame-worthy images, I would think a good process would be to freeze the DVD on your computer and take a screenshot to reference.

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