Animation is a method in which pictures are manipulated to appear as moving images and a part of our daily life. Also it is a key component regarding the Film and Game Industries. In this essay I will firstly talk about animation in the Film Industry in comparison to animation in the Game Industry in some certain aspects, moving on how the film industry affects the economy of the United States and lastly but not least how the Game Industry affects the economy of the United States.
History of Animation in Films
The journey starts way before the development of cinematography, with the history of animation. People managed to achieve the offering of famous shows, which demonstrate moving images and the outcome was the manipulation by hand or some mirror mechanics. The two ways they did that was the use of shadow play and the magic lantern. Therefore plenty manufactures of optical toys used the small magic lanterns, by inserting them to toy film projectors in order to produce loops of film and by 1902 many were produced. They did that by tracing live action film footage, which lead them to the rotoscoping technique. Also some early filmmakers experimented with stop-motion animation since 1899. For example the short film named Blackton's The Haunted Hotel (1907), which was the first huge success that managed to amaze and entertain the audiences, with showing objects that were moving by themselves and that alone inspired other filmmakers to practice the stop-motion technique.
Techniques of Animation in Films
Moving on to more animation techniques, we have the Traditional animation, which can be called hand drawn animation. It was the procedure that was used for most animated films during the 20th century. There are plenty examples of traditionally animated films, but it splits into two categories, first it was the traditionally animated feature films, some example were Pinocchio (United States, 1940), Animal Farm (United Kingdom, 1954), Lucky and Zorba (Italy, 1998) and The Illusionist (British-French, 2010). Then the traditionally animated films but this time produced by using the help of computer technology, which some examples of films were The Lion King (US, 1994), Akira (Japan, 1988), Spirited Away (Japan, 2001) and The Secret of Kells (Irish-French-Belgian, 2009).
Also there more techniques which are full animation, the limited animation, rotoscoping and live-action. However computer animation comes into play by combining the arts of computer graphics, 2D animation and as well as 3D animation in order to be able to create computer generated characters and surroundings that come into life. Computer animations translates into film by two common uses, firstly by producing fully computer projects, for example Pixar films and secondly by utilizing computer generated images in live action films, for example the cyborgs in the film called Terminator.
How Computer Animation is used in Live Action Films
The common known faction analysis of computer animation that is used for live action films is generated imagery (CGI) or known as GG in terms of the motion picture industry. Therefore GG is used in a way to create something that if it’s done physical, it would let to large costing and being also time consuming. By utilizing this method the producers are able not only to save time but most importantly money on large set pieces, scenes and backdrops. Also it can be used to create amazing special effects that otherwise would not be possible to achieve and not to mention it could have a negative impact regarding the visual ‘‘feel’’ of the current film they are working with.In addition to that speaking about CGI effects, which also use the same method in completely computer animated projects. Therefore during many situations live-action actors and crews are working for the most part with a CG backdrop, like for example in the films ‘‘Sin City’’ and the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
The Animator responsibility in Film Animation in comparison to Game Animation
The animator main responsibility is whatever it is shown in the view of the shot camera, when it comes to animating in film. To put it into simple words they only have to worry about one camera angle at a time. For an example when you are watching a movie you can't rotate around to look at the whole set, leading to the audience viewing whatever the camera is showing. With this being said that allows in a way for the animator to cheat in many ways, because the shot will only be shown from one angle at a time. Therefore that’s what matters, if it does look great from that specific angle, then is decent for the animator.However animating for films is not easy, but on the other hand there are certain difficulties that rise with video game animation that can be very different than the difficulties that rise when it comes to animating for films. Some people might think that animation for video games and animation for films are really the same thing, but that is a fairly usual misconception. Even though the same tools and principles of animation apply to both mediums, the processes and techniques that needs to be done actually differ greatly between the two.
Animation in the Game Industry
The Animator responsibility in Game Animation in comparison to Film Animation
In general video games should be more interactive, in order for the player to have a full experience of how the character and the camera, can be controlled, leading the player to drive the story forward and actually make the character to move, take actions and interact with the environment. With this being said the animation must look good from every possible angle. For example, if the game is in third person view, the player is able to experience the run cycle of their character from a completely new angle. These are concerns that a game animator needs to keep on mind and take into consideration, so he will be able to make sure that their animation holds up to whatever the player may try to do in the game. Therefore animation in a video game must look decent from every possible angle in comparison to an animation in film, which is what the viewer sees from just one angle.
Creating Game Animation
Game animators will have to face many more types of animations than what is usually found in a film like Pixar or DreamWorks production. They must be able to create animations for fantasy creatures, giants, combat manoeuvres, scripted events and also many different types of cycles, not only walk and run cycles. In addition to that plenty of games will need to have a breathing cycle, an idle stance cycle, which translates to when the character is standing still, crouching, walking, running while aiming a gun, laying down, crawling to any direction and so much more. An example of this cycles is Bringing the Hero to Life for the Indie Game Development Pipeline article. Other important factors are the body mechanics and the timing of each animation also play a huge rule on how realistic, enjoyable and also how big of a challenge is going to be for the player.
Working with Motion Capture in Game Animation
Starting off the most emphasis is given on the body mechanics, but as the hardware gets updated, the story need to be pushed forward and that leads to most games becoming story driven. With that being said games like the Uncharted series or The Last of Us, they are great examples of story-driven games. Also video games can be described as more realistic style of animation, because of the fact that the player is even more engaged in the gameplay. In order to make sure that the game is as realistic as it can possibly be, animator’s use the technique of motion capture, which is especially useful to create the subtle acting cut scenes that people see in video games. Additionally motion capture is being added in the arsenal of many studios, so therefore game animators should be familiar with the technique. However animators should keep in mind that traditional animation is not needed at all.
How the Economy of the U.S is affected by the Film Industry
The economy of the United States has been greatly affected by the Film Industry for a long time and is a huge part of society today. As soon as a film makes it to the theatre or to the shelf of the local blockbuster, for the most part people see the big names of celebrities, the famous directors and producers. However there is so much more to the Film Industry than just the actors or the people associated with directing and producing the film. Therefore films can benefit from a high economic growth due to high demand on engrossing things, for example ticket sales, theatre concessions and film merchandise.The most economic impact of the Film Industry is the Box Office sales, which during an opening weekend managed to produce millions of dollars by just one film alone. In order to dive deeper on how this work, the overall ticket sales, per year is on an average between 1 billion dollars. For example during 2011 the average of the total box office gross was $9,408,333,214, which is around 1,181,951,407 film tickets, at about an average of $7.96 per ticket, according to ‘‘US Film Market’’. Also ticket sales from way before have been so important, for example by looking the box office ranked movies, Star Wars is still ranked at number four, which came out in 1977 (IMDB). With that being said is simply amazing to think that so much money is made off from ticket sales alone, without even putting into consideration any further merchandise that comes with the film.
By knowing their fan base Film studios can make more money from film-related merchandising than they do from the films themselves. They are able to achieve that by merchandising products such as posters, action figures, blanks, t-shirts, jeweller and more. Some examples of films that have shown major success in merchandising revenue would be Star Wars, E.T., Batman, Harry Potter, A Bug’s Life, and Toy Story. In addition to that major studios came to the realization that these products can be used to effectively promote films and even usually 40% of film merchandise is sold before a film is even released.
How the Economy of the U.S is affected by the Game Industry
According to a new study from Economists Incorporated reports that the Game Industry added $4.95 billion to the United States Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the last year and even the entertainment side of the software world is growing considerably faster than other segments of the economy. However between 2005 and 2009, the real annual growth among game makers topped 10 percent, which is seven times the growth rate of the United States economy, according to the study. From the employment point of view, while other industries have been cutting back their payrolls, there was a hiring boom going on in the video game world. Also the total number of people, working in games has increased by nearly 9 percent annually, since 2005. Now days, there are more than 32,000 people directly employed by publishers and developers in 34 states and they are well paid, too. Moving on salaries on average, industry employees receive an annual compensation of $89,781, with the industry total hitting $2.9 billion. After all there is a lot more to the gaming world than those who simply produce the product, of course. For an example indirect employees who are dependent on the industry for their livelihood, such as workers that their job is being a retailer at GameStop.
Not to mention California has seen the most benefits from gaming’s growth, since so many companies, including two major being Electronic Arts and Activision are based there. Also entertainment software companies added roughly $2.1 billion to the state's economy and grew by a real annual rate of 11.4 percent from 2005 to 2009, according to the report, but during that same period, the state’s overall economy had negative growth.
Equally important Texas has the second highest amount of gaming personnel, for the reason being that the state is a favourite home for development studios, including id Software, Gearbox and Disney property Junction Point Studios. Another important place is Washington, which is the home of Microsoft and Nintendo of America and is the third most popular state for game employers. Even so the numbers could shift in years to come, due to the realisation that plenty states have started to offer economic incentives to bring game makers close to them.
In conclusion, I talked firstly about animation in the Film Industry in comparison to animation in the Game Industry in some certain aspects, moving on how the film industry affects the economy of the United States and lastly but not least how the Game Industry affects the economy of the United States. Equally important it opened many new opportunities for jobs, ideas, styles and techniques and gave a whole new perspective to the creative media industries. In addition to that it had a positive impact in culture as well globally. To sum up Animation is a vital factor and a key role in the Game and Film Industries for all the reasons mentioned above.
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2.Pluralsight.com. (2018). How Animation for Games is Different from Animation for Movies. [online] Available at: https://www.pluralsight.com/blog/film-games/how-animation-for-games-is-different-from-animation-for-movies [Accessed 21 Dec. 2018].
CNBC. (2018). Video Games Impact the Economy More Than You Think. [online] Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/id/38644484 [Accessed 21 Dec. 2018].
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