Hand-Drawn to Computers: The Animated Film

Hand-Drawn to Computers: The Animated Film

Let's take a break from the real world and see what started animation in media - we all need some bright colors.
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When you compare where technology was in one era and where it is now, it is obvious that things will be improved in ways almost unimaginable. Less than seventy years after the Wright Brothers made their first flight, Neil Armstrong took his giant leap onto the Moon. Comic books were propaganda machines during the Second World War, but by 1989, famed graphic novels such as Watchmen and Maus were top sellers. Film is the same way, with technology and techniques changing almost every year. Among many shining examples of this is animation. What began as simple drawings and music has evolved into almost lifelike computer effects. While the combination of animation and live-action is notable, this is going to focus on entirely-animated films, with some exceptions. So, how did animated movies become a mainstay of the industry?

In 1906, the first animated short film appeared – Humorous Phases of Funny Faces, directed by J. Steward Blackton. This project used chalkboard drawings put to film and sped up in order to give the appearance of motion. This, in turn, led to others trying to jump in on the cartoon market, and “traditional animation” was born following the release of the French cartoon Phantasm. A massive boom in animation started, with political cartoonists started taking animation jobs in the rising film industry. During the silent film era, studios would package cartoons with their releases, making a typical movie-going experience as seeing a cartoon or two, then a few serials (half-hour “chapters” not unlike a television program), a newsreel, another cartoon, then the feature film. In 1926, the oldest surviving animated full-length film was released, being The Adventures of Prince Achmed. Many of these films are lost, with only frames or rough descriptions available. However, at this point in time, none of the features used all hand-drawn animation for the entire project.

Meanwhile, Walt Disney was running an animation studio when it went bankrupt. Disney formed another company and produced the Alice Comedies, which combined a live-action girl with animated characters. He also created Steamboat Willie, which introduced Mickey Mouse. Warner Brothers started bringing in people to work on their cartoon packages, and Disney kept his people working. In 1934, Disney announced his first feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. During the production, the animators who were working on Betty Boop cartoons were brought in, as Disney's team was not used to animating people. These animators had a vastly different design for Snow White, a modest dress that showed her ankles and fuller facial features. Disney declared this too “risque” for the audience, and the design was changed. Going over budget countless times, the project was almost set to be a failure. This would be proven wrong following the 1937 release, to widespread acclaim. Walt Disney led his company to produce at least one film a year, in addition to countless shorts. At Warner Brothers, Mel Blanc and Tex Avery were just starting out, and the Looney Tunes followed shortly thereafter. Disney and Warner Brothers became fast competitors, a rivalry that continues to this day.

To achieve the lifelike motion of the characters, Disney employed live-action models for the films. A difficult to draw scene would be filmed with some props and actors in full costume, and then the animators would use that to work the scenes out on paper. This method would be used and expanded upon in a process called rotoscoping. A live-action reference was filmed, then animators drew over the frames of the actors to match the cartoon – think of it as early motion capture. The controversial Song of the South and the less-remembered Reluctant Dragon were the first features to have actors directly interacting with animated characters. As time went on, more and more techniques were used, and the Japanese film industry began producing animated films and television programs. To go into an explanation about every innovation and new territory the animators found themselves discovering would be almost impossible. The world of animation exploded in the Cold War era, leading to more and more people trying to push the limits. One of these people was none other than George Lucas, visionary behind Star Wars.

During production on The Empire Strikes Back, George Lucas established the Graphics Group as a division of Industrial Lights and Magic (ILM). They were tasked with finding new ways of creating images for film, using any and all resources. The 1982 Disney film Tron introduced computer-generated environments and pushed the Group to attempt it themselves. Meanwhile, John Lasseter was fired from Disney and showed his plans for a computer-animated film. Working as a freelance animator, Lasseter made The Adventures of Andre and Wally B. Around this time, Lucas was finalizing a bitter divorce, and Lucasfilm was losing money due to the decline of licensed merchandise for Return of the Jedi. After the team developed the Pixar Image Computer, Lucas began shopping the company around, eventually making a deal with Steve Jobs, then recently fired from Apple. The Graphics Group was renamed Pixar in 1985, and Lasseter continued to work with the team to produce computer animation, winning Oscars in the process. Eventually, this led to an attempt to create an entirely computer-animated feature. In 1995, Toy Story took the film industry by storm and launched a multi-billion dollar empire for Pixar.

American animation began leaning towards CG, while Japanese animation (anime) was still a traditional medium. Studio Ghibli's famed string of hit films continued to keep hand-drawn animation afloat in Japan, such as Kiki's Delivery Service. By the early 2000s, Dreamworks entered the scene as a competitor for Pixar. Disney, who had distributed the Pixar films, wanted total ownership of the studio, and when they refused, Disney created Circle 7, a failed animation studio that would have produced sequels to Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles. Eventually, Pixar and Disney were able to strike a deal, and Pixar was free to make the sequels at their leisure. The last traditionally animated mainstream American film was The Princess and the Frog – while there are others, it is the last one to be given true fanfare and promotion. Since then, the studios have moved to only CGI.

In the last one hundred or so years of film, animation has changed as dramatically as any other tool or method. From simple flipbooks to Moana and Frozen, the cartoon has become a mainstay of cinema. Since the anti-Axis propaganda of World War II, we have evolved animation into a powerhouse and a genuine respected form of art. All because of some artists trying to test the waters of what early film could do, Walt Disney was able to create a studio that now owns one network, Lucasfilm, Pixar, and the list goes on and on. Every year, the Academy Awards features categories for features and shorts made by a team of artists, digital or hand-drawn, using cartoons to present their story to the world. Considering all these advancements in technology, we must wonder what animation will look like in another one hundred years.

Cover Image Credit: Walt Disney/Disney

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37 Drake Lyrics From 'Scorpion' That Will Make Your Next Instagram Caption Go Double Platinum

Side A makes you want to be single, Side B make you want to be boo'd up.

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We all knew Scorpion was going to be the summer banger we wanted. However, Drake surprised us with two sides of an album and two sides of himself. Mixing rap and R&B; was genius on his part, so why not dedicate 37 of his lyrics to our Instagram captions?

1. "Don't tell me how knew it would be like this all along" — Emotionless

Definitely a "I'm too good" for you vibe.

2. "My mentions are jokes, but they never give me the facts" — Talk Up

This one's for my haters.

3. "I wanna thank God for workin' way harder than Satan" — Elevate

For when you're feeling blessed.

4. "I promise if I'm not dead then I'm dedicated" — March 14

In Drake's story about his son the world knows about now, we get a lyric of true love and dedication

5. "My Mount Rushmore is me with four different expressions" — Survival

6. "Pinky ring 'til I get a wedding ring" — Nonstop

7. "I gotta breathe in real deep when I catch an attitude" — 8 Out of 10

This first line of the song is about to be spread on the gram like a wildfire

8. "Heard all of the talkin', now it's quiet, now it's shush" — Mob Ties

9. "California girls sweeter than pieces of candy" — Sandra's Rose

This is gonna have every girl who has ever stayed in Cali all hot and heavy, watch it.

10. "I think you're changing your mind, starting to see it in your eyes" — Summer Games

Y'all know how these summer games go

11. "Look the new me is really still the real me" — In My Feelings

When you've got to profess that you've changed 200%

12. "Only beggin' that I do is me beggin' your pardon" — Is There More

13. "Shifted your focus, lens lookin' jaded" — Jaded

14. "Back and forth to Italy, my comment section killin' me" — Can't Take a Joke

Necessary for when you've got people hyping you up already

15. "People are only as tough as they phone allows them to be" — Peak

Y'all can't have this one, I'm stealing it

16. "Work all winter, shine all summer" — That's How You Feel

Put in the work so you can flex on 'em, summer 18

17. "Blue faces, I got blue diamonds, blue tint, yeah" — Blue Tint


18. "I stay busy workin' on me" — Elevate

19. "Ten of us, we movin' as one" — Talk Up

The perfect reason to get the largest group picture you've had on your gram

20. "October baby for irony sake, of course" — March 14

This statistically applies to 1/12 of y'all reading this, so take that as you will (we October babies are the best)

21. "She had an attitude in the summer but now she nice again" — Blue Tint

22. "I know you special girl 'cause I know too many" — In My Feelings


23. "Gotta hit the club like you hit them, hit them, hit them angles" — Nice for What

24. "She said 'Do you love me?' I tell her, 'Only partly,' I only love my ____ and my ____ I'm sorry" — God's Plan

If you haven't used this one yet, get to it

25. "But I'm blessed I just checked, hate me never met me in the flesh" — I'm Upset

26. "It's only good in my city because I said so" — 8 Out of 10

Follow this up with a location and shoutout your hometown

27. "My haters either on they way to work or they arrived" — Can't Take a Joke

28. "I always need a glass of wine by sundown" — Final Fantasy

Has Drake ever been more relatable?

29. "It's your f***in' birthday. Happy birthday" — Ratchet Happy Birthday

Let's go get kicked out of an Applebee's

30. "I move through London with the Eurostep" — Nonstop


31. "I stopped askin' myself and I started feelin' myself" — Survival

Mood all summer 18

32. "They keep tryna' get me for my soul" — I'm Upset

33. "I'm tryna see who's there on the other end of the shade" — Emotionless

34. "Only obligation is to tell it straight" — Elevate

35. "It don't matter to me what you say" — Don't Matter to Me


This line from the King of Pop (MJ) will give you chills. R.I.P.

36. "I'm the chosen one, flowers never pick themselves" — Sandra's Rose

37. "Say you'll never ever leave from beside me" — In My Feelings

Couple goals, amirite?

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi / Instagram

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The Dallas Cowboys: 10 Things You Need to Be Watching For this Offseason

Without #82 and #88, how will the Cowboys look in this upcoming season?

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Will this finally be the year that Dallas returns to the Super Bowl? It's too early to say, but some fans are hopeful.

1. Dak Prescott

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Dak had a surprising rookie season in 2016-2017, followed by the infamous sophomore slump. Coming into his third season, he has Zeke and the running game solidly behind him again, balancing the pressure that was on him during Elliott's 6 game suspension in 2017-2018. Also, now that Dez is out of the picture, I hope Dak can focus more on his other passing options instead of making questionable passes to the veteran WR desperate to show off what he once was to the franchise.

2. Ezekiel Elliott

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After his time training in Mexico during his suspension, I have high hopes for Zeke's potential in the upcoming year. Fresh and ready to prove himself, with RBs Rod Smith, Tavon Austin, and Bo Scarbrough behind him, I hope to see Dallas' rushing game strong this upcoming season.

3. Cole Beasley

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Beasley's been busy this offseason pursuing other hobbies with the release of his first rap album, The Autobiography. However, I (along with all other Cowboys fans) am hoping that the WR comes into this season aiming high... specifically looking back to his 2016-2017 season that included 75 receptions. Now that Dez is gone, his ranking within WRs may be liable to change up a bit, and he needs to capitalize on it.

4. Jaylon Smith

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The foot brace is officially gone. Seemingly fully recovered from the tragic knee injury that caused nerve damage and drop foot in his last collegiate game at Notre Dame, I am eager to see Smith in his full form. In 2016, Dallas made the gutsy choice to draft the then out-of-commission linebacker in hopes of what his recovery could lead to. I can't wait to see Smith at his full potential this upcoming season.

5. DeMarcus Lawrence

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With 14.5 sacks in 2017-2018 (tied for second best in the league), Lawrence was Dallas' best pass rusher by far. Using their franchise tag to keep him a year longer, Lawrence needs to continue putting pressure on QBs this year.

6. Sean Lee

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Sean Lee led Dallas in tackles last year with 118. There's no doubt that he is not only talented but also a leader of the defense. However, injury seems to plague him. Looking at stats comparing the defense with and without Lee is astonishing. With Lee, the defense allowed opposing teams to score an average of 18 PPG. Without Lee? 35 PPG. Obviously, this defense excels with him leading it. Let's hope conditioning in the offseason allows him to strengthen the faulty hamstring and keep him in the game.

7. New Coaches

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I want to highlight 3 new coaches that Dallas added to their arsenal this offseason. First is Kris Richard, from Seattle, as defensive back coach. He will primarily be in charge of coverages of the defensive backs and linebackers. Also, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said that he's a good acquisition, and that's all I really need to hear. Second is Sanjay Lal, the new wide receiver coach. With Dez gone, this is one of the biggest question marks of the whole team, so I'm excited to see what Lal does with this batch of WRs. Lastly is Kellen Moore, the new quarterback coach. Moore is no newbie to Dallas, being a backup QB for three seasons. With the familiarity of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and his own fresh player perspective, I hope Moore proves to be a good sounding board and mentor to Prescott.

8. The Offensive Line

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Dallas' offensive line has been a consistent part of the team, quality wise, for the past few years. Hopefully, this year will be no different. With three pro-bowlers (Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin), and La'el Collins steady at tackle, second round rookie Connor Williams is the only real wildcard.

9. Tight Ends

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Witten is gone (tears). Without him, that makes way for new TEs to get the spotlight and step up. Options for tight end include Geoff Swaim, Blake Jarwin, and Rico Gathers. None of them have much experience, so this position is up in the air for the season to come. While definitely a shaky area for the Cowboys, hopefully, they've learned a thing or two from Witten and new TE coach Doug Nussmeier can add a new perspective.

10. Young Defense

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With second-year players Awuzie and Woods showing promise in their rookie season, the defense has a lot to look forward to. They will be accompanying 6-year veteran Jeff Heath and 4-year veteran Byron Jones in the backfield.

Cover Image Credit:

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