Notes Storyboard

A Study of Generated Comics

Transitions are the basis of a story or narrative flow. In Generativity & interpretation: a study of generated comics, Chris Martens uses Scott McCloud’s list of transition types from Understanding Comics as a starting point for a model that randomly generates new comics based on a simple set of semantic primitives.

Human brains’ ability to fill in gaps is also why comics are simpler than animation in this respect: animations are expected to provide continuous motion between frames, whereas two comic frames need only be plausibly connected by some narrative justification. And that’s where transition types come in: when you exclude non sequiturs, they constrain the space of next panels to ones that “make sense.”

This also has implications for thinking about game design. Instead of emphasising generated artefacts in literal terms—how close they come to a ‘hand created’ artefact or how well they simulate a naturalistic phenomenon from a player legibility perspective—the use of panel transitions provokes a different kind of experience based on interpretation, plausibility and filling in the gaps.