Between Films

Movies are very entertaining. They’ve been around since around 1900. From action to comedy, documentary to romance, most people find a bit of joy in sitting down with a bowl of popcorn and watching a good flick. However, what many people may not think about is, what happened before the movie was released? It’s not the same for every film. There are traditional animation, digital animation, and live-action productions. Something less people may think about is, which kind of film is the hardest to produce?

Traditional animation has plenty of supporting points to argue its case for being the most difficult. Traditional animation has been around since 1906. Back then, we did not have much technology. Traditional animation does not involve a great amount of technology, but that is why it is something to marvel at. Traditional or drawn animation is completely hand-drawn on paper. Each drawing is slightly different than the one before it, giving the illusion of movement, like stop-motion. Once a picture is drawn, it is redrawn, or in later years, photocopied, onto celluloid transparent paper called ‘cels’. Then paint is applied with a colour chart predetermined for each character or element. This type of animation is usually run at 24 frames per second. Frames are the slides or pictures that were mentioned before. With 24 frames shown a second, there would be hundreds of thousands of frames, about 129, 600, in a typical movie. This means that 129, 600 pictures or slides must be drawn and prepped in order to produce a typical traditional animation movie.

One astonishing example of drawn animation is the Walt Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This blockbuster was the first feature-length full-colour cartoon ever made. It used over 1 500 000 individual pen-and-ink drawings and water-colour paintings. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs brought a new sense of perspective and distance into animated motion pictures with a special camera used to capture the cels that took Walt Disney three years to build. This camera was able to photograph the background and foreground of the scenes accurately. It used separate pictures coloured red, green, and blue that were layered on top of each other to create a full-colour spectacle.

Digital animation is a more recent form of filming. It got big when Toy Story came out in 1995, a technological wonder. In order to play apart in developing a digital animation movie, you need a great deal of technological training. With digital animation it is possible to do two-dimensional and three-dimensional animation, while with drawn animation you can only create 2D films. One type of digital animation is cut-out animation, where characters are created using separate drawing for each part of the body, including the head, neck, torso, arms, and legs. Then these drawings are digitally rigged together, like a puppet, using a computer. Another form of digital animation is paperless animation, where you hand-draw characters, frames, backgrounds, and layouts on a computer with an electronic pressure-sensitive drawing tablet. This is similar to traditional animation, but digital instead. That doesn’t mean it’s easier: skilled artistry is still needed. A third kind of digital animation is 3D animation, where characters are built and modeled with a three-dimensional software. The characters are rigged with a virtual skeleton. When you produce a 3D production, you need a fair amount of programming to make fully formed backgrounds and characters that move. The last type of digital animation I will mention is motion capture, in which the movement of a person, often the performance of an actor, is recorded, and using the recorded information, animating a 2D or 3D character.

Live-action movies are a worthy contestant for this competition. For live-action movies, you need to find actors to play each part, including the ‘extras’ for gatherings of people in stores or streets. Casting can take a long time, because the producers have to find the perfect actor or actress for each role. Make-up artists are also needed to define each character’s appearance. You also need to film in actual locations, which means that elaborate sets need to be constructed, and there may be quite a bit of worldwide travel, which can make live=action budgets quite a bit larger. While you’re filming, you need the cameras positioned correctly, and no other equipment can be visible in the recordings. Proper technology is required, and many takes, up to several hundred, may be acted to get each scene perfect. Live-action productions require a great deal of editing. Each scene needs proper light and audio, as well as impeccable acting. Visual effects may also have to be added digitally if the movie is fantasy or science fiction or action.

All movies, regardless of how they’re created, must capture emotion, produce audio effects such as soundtracks and scores, have elaborate character planning, a theme at its core, scripts for the dialogue, and a large crew for production. No matter what kind of film it is, it requires a great deal of work.

Yet which requires the most? Hand-drawn traditional animation, techy digital animation, and elaborate live-action films all have their difficulties. Hopefully by now you can develop an opinion of your own…

Bibliography

Traditional Animation: Toon Boom Learn. learn.toonboom.com/modules/animation-techniques/topic/traditional-animation.

The Making of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Popular Science (Jan, 1938). blog.modernmechanix.com/the-making-of-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs/.

“Digital Animation: Toon Boom Learn.” Digital Animation | Toon Boom Learn, learn.toonboom.com/modules/animation-techniques/topic/digital-animation.

Page, Travis, and wikiHow. “How to Make a Movie.” WikiHow, WikiHow, 3 Mar. 2021, www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Movie.

If you want more information on movies and are interested in making one of your own, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Chinese Translations

Hello! Today I am going to be blogging about Chinese translations. I am no expert on Chinese, and find it difficult to discern from  Japanese, and I suppose I can’t expect any better of Chinese with English. However, I can’t help chortling when I see some of the translations.

My family uses Amazon a great deal. We signed up for monthly things like shampoo and toilet paper. We often order little things like false nails and pot holders from there, and some are from small brands, many of them Chinese. For example, we ordered snaps for sewing, and the instructions were a bit confusing at some points:

The instructions are a bit blurry, so I will type them out:

  1. Ready buttons
  2. Perforated, put the female button
  3. After the female button is placed
  4. Press with a slightly larger force
  5. Female button part completed
  6. Perforated, put the male button
  7. After the male button is placed
  8. Press with a slightly larger force
  9. Male button part completed
  10. Accomplish

Due to the ‘slightly larger force’ part, I had thought you needed to press the perforating part in order to get it through the material, and ended up squashing its tip. It also goes a little bit into Family Life, unintendedly. I am not making fun of the workers at Suntatop, but merely amused by the translation. I suppose in Chinese ‘male’ and ‘female’ are also used to discern objects. I would also like to mention that these snaps work very well and are easy to use!

I just find translations sort of amusing. Language is fascinating, and I can’t believe how complex and individual some languages have become. If I tried to write Spanish or French, even though they, like English, stem from Latin, I bet I would make many mistakes.

If you would like to order these snaps, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

 

Tropical Smoothie

Hello! Today I will be teaching you how to make a tropical smoothie. This smoothie is really simple if you have the right ingredients, and has a wonderful fruity, tropical flavour.

  • Preparation time: 5-10 minutes
  • Total time: 10 minutes
  • Yields: 1 1/2 – 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 banana
  • 1 snack-size carton of peach, orange, or pineapple yogurt
  • 1 navel orange or 3 mandarin oranges
  • 1/4 tsp. coconut extract

Step 1: Add all of the ingredients to a blender, slicing the banana and peeling and segmenting the orange.

Step 2: Blend the ingredients, pulsing at first, then blending on low for 30 seconds.

Step 3: Pour the smoothie into a large glass and serve. Enjoy!

 

If you want more smoothie recipes, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Township

Hello! Today I will be blogging about Township. Township is a fun interactive town-building game that can be played on PC as well as mobile devices. Here is some basic information:

  • Producer: Playrix
  • Age: 10+
  • Available on PC and mobile devices
  • Cost: free

Township is a town-building simulation game. I play it because it is satisfying to have your little world that you created and manage. It’s nice to have something that you can control no matter what.

In this game, you level up as you develop your town. With each level, you unlock new buildings. Your town includes factories such as feed, paper, fabric, dairy, and bakery factories, a wide variety of houses, from cottages to mansions, stores, facilities such as Laundromats, barbershops, and cafes. The Town Hall contains your editorial options (avatar picture and town name) and achievements. You can buy land expansions when you need more space, and build roads and pavement in edit mode.

In Township, you can personalize your town by adding decorations like trees, fences, and playgrounds. You can rearrange buildings at any time, and design complex layouts for what you want your town to look like.

Township is not just about building; you need to develop your town, provide for your citizens, and keep your population happy, too! Plant things like wheat, carrots, corn, and plenty of other things in your ever-growig field to manufacture goods in your factories. Feed your livestock to get things like wool, milk, and eggs. You can fill orders from citizens by helicopter, and trade by train for building supplies needed for constructing community buildings. You can also fil cargo holds in the airport to earn gems needed for advantages like earning more coins from helicopter orders or receiving more goods from your fields.

As you progress in Township, you can unlock features like the co-op, the mine, and the zoo. In the mine, you can dig up valuable metals and forge them into bars for building and trading. Once the zoo opens up, you can fill orders and collect animal cards to open new exhibits.

There are many interactive games in Township. Once you reach level 19 and can open or join a co-op, you and your team can compete in regattas against other co-ops for prizes by completing tasks around your town. You can also make ‘friends’ in Township. You can see your friends’ towns, and if they can’t fill an order, they can ask you for help, and if you have what they need, you can lend them items. There are also themed worldwide solo competitions such as Snow Ride in which you play levels or races to gain points and prizes, and climb in the leaderboard against other players.

Township is a very enjoyable game. You can keep on climbing levels and unlocking new privileges and options, and watch your very own town flourish before you eyes!

If you are interested in owning this game, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan