Author Topic: Photonovel Format - Movie Stills vs Comicbook Style?  (Read 969 times)

Offline BrentS

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Photonovel Format - Movie Stills vs Comicbook Style?
« on: September 7, 2006, 04:58 PM »
After reading mfk's Cantina Comic, the format really got me thinking...

I'm just curious to get people's opinions on the format of Photonovels?  For those of you have seen both is there any preference on Photonovel Styles?  Traditional "Movie Still" with text underneath or "Comic Book Style" with panels and bubbles?  I'm really thinking about taking one of my stories and making a comic book version.

I was so fascinated by the Comiclife software I went out and downloaded the My Comic Book Creator demo for the PC.  I whipped together a sample of what one of my scenes in my PN would look like using this format. 

I'm curious on your feedback on this style and what readers would prefer.











Offline Jediknight760071

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Re: Photonovel Format - Movie Stills vs Comicbook Style?
« Reply #1 on: September 7, 2006, 05:49 PM »
I like the Comic variations better. Of the two I've read (yours and mfk's) I find it easier to follow...I don't have to read it through twice to catch everything, which may not be a problem for anyone else here, but the style I wrote in, which I borrowed from CHEWIE, just seemed a little hard to read. I've got major problems with posting the text in the thread itself and not the pictures since it's more difficult to duplicate and I rather don't like the look of it.

This comic style is new to me in terms of independent work, but I'm not a stranger to Star Wars comics, so I like it a lot more than any other style. I may have to check out that demo myself. :)

Offline Quazar

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Re: Photonovel Format - Movie Stills vs Comicbook Style?
« Reply #2 on: September 7, 2006, 09:33 PM »
I absolutely loved MFK's cantina comic and the above example sure looks cool, as well.

In my older photonovels (no longer available on line....at the moment), I used speech balloons and captions, more similar to a comic book.  I enjoyed that style.

But then, inspired by Chewie's great pictures (the movie still format), I switched to that format for my interactive photonovel.

As visually striking as the comic book format is, it suffers from one weakness - the static facial expressions of the figures.

In real comic books, the character's faces are extremely descriptive and evocative.  More is conveyed through the art than the dialogue, in most cases. 

I went back to doing "text below pictures" in order to make my stories more "novel-esque".  Because the visuals are limited, you can make up for those deficiencies with descrptive, well-written text.  In my versions, though, the text is part of the picture, not written into the thread.

this is essential for my Interactive story, where I need to convey a lot of information to the reader about the environment and events that are happening.

However, in the future, for straight narrative photonovels (assuming I ever get the time to do any) I may experiment with a hybrid - using limited text blocks when necessary, but also trying to employ the great collage/comic book visual style that MFK and others have done.

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Offline Combat Chuck

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Re: Photonovel Format - Movie Stills vs Comicbook Style?
« Reply #3 on: September 7, 2006, 10:06 PM »
Personally, I think both styles can be great, depending on the story you're telling. I like the look of the boxes and frames in the comic PNs, but plain pictures are sometimes easier to see. I've been trying to put together an OT comic book style PN for quite a while now, but i'm kind of a slacker. Give me a year or two...  :)

Offline TresobYr

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Re: Photonovel Format - Movie Stills vs Comicbook Style?
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2006, 08:05 PM »
Obviously, there's strengths and weaknesses to both styles.

My personal preference is for in-panel text balloons, simply because I find them more welcoming to read. It also requires that the script be more concise, and I'm all for artistic discipline. It keeps one honest.

On the other hand, still frames without any imbedded text are friendlier to people who can't spend money on software, and they also allow a greater focus on visual presentation. Another really attractive bonus is that it suddenly makes your comic show up in Google searches, since your text is being scanned by bots (Google doesn't do such a good job scanning text in a graphic).

In a more theoretical approach, I feel that when the text and graphics are separated, one is generally in the service to the other, often times resulting in images that are more like illustrated fan fiction. That isn't a criticism. When the text and the image are part of the same graphic, however, I feel that they reinforce each other more equally.

I also think it's really hard to do effective comedy with text and image separated since so much of comedy relies on timing. I didn't say impossible, just really hard (the Far Side is hilarious, even though the text and image are often distinct...but so few cartoonists are Gary Larson).

As for the issue with static vs. dynamic faces, I believe that a good photographer can get even a static figure to evoke emotion with the right angle and lighting. I'm not saying that I'm particularly good at this personally, but it can be done. (Actually, I find it's actually easier to do with lower quality cameras. The loss of detail means that the human eye will try to fill in the gaps, often with surprisingly effective results.)

Just my two cents.

Offline Darth_Ennis

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Re: Photonovel Format - Movie Stills vs Comicbook Style?
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2006, 08:39 PM »
Personally I can only do the movie stills style, because I have no idea how to do the comic version. I wouldn't mind venturing into that If I could find out how.

The one I used is inspired by Chewies. One day I will actually be able to finish my story.

Offline Artoo

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Re: Photonovel Format - Movie Stills vs Comicbook Style?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2006, 05:52 PM »
I'm fine with both, but I'll use the regular movie still version.
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Offline kirk_dougall

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Re: Photonovel Format - Movie Stills vs Comicbook Style?
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2006, 11:21 AM »
I prefer the Comic style, I find them alot easier to follow and prefer the look of them.
You could even print them out and make your own actual comic and also give your readers the option to do that aswell.
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Offline mfk

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Re: Photonovel Format - Movie Stills vs Comicbook Style?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2006, 05:06 PM »
damn brentS that looks really good. The thing i like most about the comic style is that the focus is put more on the imagery. With the quality of mold that hasbro is putting out these days, when you get in REAL close with the camera, you can really 're-create' that movie feeling which is what got me hooked on star wars in the first place. I've never been able to get into the novels because for me, the whole appeal of the star wars universe was the visual aspect.

Offline Artoo

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Re: Photonovel Format - Movie Stills vs Comicbook Style?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2006, 04:13 PM »
For my funny PNs, I'll probally use comic style.
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