Book Review: Set the Action! Creating Backgrounds for Compelling Storytelling in Animation, Comics, and Games

Set the Action! Creating Backgrounds for Compelling Storytelling in Animation, Comics, and Games


Set the Action is a book on creating backgrounds authored by Elvin A. Hernandez.

It's text heavy with plenty examples and they are well explained. Focus of the book is on it takes to make the environment believable, and hence the story believable. For example, if a character is a dirty fellow, his home should not be spotless clean. There's stuff on what props can be put into the scene, coverage on the different art styles, textures. The perspective section is surprisingly quite brief.

There's not much on talk specifically on animation and games. In particular, games nowadays feature such realistic environments I suppose there would be something to talk about.

This book is more for the intermediate and above artists who already know how to draw characters and just missing information on how to create backgrounds.

I've found some preview pages from Google Books and have embedded them below. Read some pages to get a clearer idea of the book.

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This book was borrowed from Basheer Graphic Books for review purposes. You can order the book from them. Check with Basheer on Facebook or visit their website.

Set the Action! Creating Backgrounds for Compelling Storytelling in Animation, Comics, and Games is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

Set the Action! Creating Backgrounds for Compelling Storytelling in Animation, Comics, and Games
There's an ongoing comic throughout the book that's used as an example to explain some points.

Set the Action! Creating Backgrounds for Compelling Storytelling in Animation, Comics, and Games

Set the Action! Creating Backgrounds for Compelling Storytelling in Animation, Comics, and Games
The section on perspective is a bit brief but at least the topic is explained clearly.

Set the Action! Creating Backgrounds for Compelling Storytelling in Animation, Comics, and Games
The section on putting multiple characters into the scene could use even more examples and elaboration.

Set the Action! Creating Backgrounds for Compelling Storytelling in Animation, Comics, and Games
This is about how style can affect how viewers understand the scene.

Set the Action! Creating Backgrounds for Compelling Storytelling in Animation, Comics, and Games
Suggestion on using blueprints to make it clear where characters are.

Set the Action! Creating Backgrounds for Compelling Storytelling in Animation, Comics, and Games
An example of an alternative Santa Claus and how to make him believable.

Set the Action! Creating Backgrounds for Compelling Storytelling in Animation, Comics, and Games
Different sort of styles that can be use for background art.

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This book is available at:
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.co.jp | Amazon.cn | Bookdepository.com

This book was borrowed from Basheer Graphic Books for review purposes. You can order the book from them. Check with Basheer on Facebook or visit their website.

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