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Happi Distraktions

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September 2016

modded Minecraft then and now.

modded

 

Minecraft has been successful since the very beginning but nothing took off more then the addition of user made modifications to gameplay. very soon after the release of the game tons of java developers got to work on making mods so big that in many cases they could be a game all by themselves.In the youtube Minecraft community all the videos that did the best had some aspect of modded in them.The game became a big thing partially because the platform allowed people to do anything, and that includes making the game their own.Inside the community there were a handful of developers that cornered the market on modding and they had the largest franchises like tinkers construct or thaumcraft.These mods were used to create mod packs which were an accumulation of hundreds of mods all added into the game. These packs give the player literally infinite possibilities on what they can potentially do.This travelled well into early 2014 until the addition of the 1.8 version of Minecraft. In past updates the modpacks would work on a earlier version of Minecraft until some of these newer updates changed the way the code was written substantially. After that updating the packs to work on newer systems became painfully tedious.It became quickly impractical for the modded developers to update their mods.Essentially they would have to completely rewrite the mods from scratch in order to have a newer version of it. As a result the mods updated to 1.8 became extremely limited and not as expansive as the mods available on the previous version. All the staple mods that were seen in previous packs were either not in the new update or they were smaller diminished versions of what they were. The result of this is most of the modded community have decided to stay on the older versions rather then trying to adjust. This has caused some real issues in the community because of how important the modded community is to the whole franchise.The modded players were all looking for word to playing on a better version of Minecraft with better performance but instead they are forced to stay on an outdated version in order to continue enjoying what they did before.Possibly newer versions of the game like the upcoming windows 10 version will create a more friendly platform to build on for a new generation of modded developers

Art Evolution in Western Animation

Genres

Cartoons fell into specific categories that ultimately depended on what network it was broadcast on or what studio produced it. If it was by Disney, it was probably a spin-off of a film. If it was by Hanna Barberra, it probably had at least one talking animal. If it was by Warner Bros, it was either a spin off of a film or another spin-off/reboot of Looney Tunes. If it was on Cartoon Network, it would be original content. The most common type of cartoon you’d find in the 90’s, though, were cartoons based on popular films. Ghostbusters, Men in Black, Beetlejuice, even Back to the Future all found themselves broadcast on the smaller screen covering less controversial topics in order to appeal to a younger demographic. Now, cartoons based on films are less common while original content is more common and preferred by the typical viewer.

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Yes, this was a thing

Opening Themes

Opening themes aren’t as long as they used to be, averaging out to be somewhere between 40 to 50 seconds. Some cartoons don’t even bother animating an opening sequence, opting for a simple title card at the start of the show. Cartoons that do put a little more thought on their opening sequence sometimes even get its run time cut short, like Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.

Older opening themes had lyrics, and if the opening sequence reused animation from the show proper, its catchy tune would make up for the lack of effort put into animating it. If Duck Tales‘s catchy them tune never once got stuck in your head, then you’re lying. That isn’t to say that modern opening themes forego lyrics completely. Phineas and Ferb had a catchy, jumpy tune matched with non-recycled animation. Steven Universe actually went above and beyond your typical cartoon and had two different animated opening sequences paired with two different opening songs (okay, the second song is a remix, but I feel that it still qualifies). While this is the norm for anime whenever it transitions into a new season, I believe this is the first time I’ve seen this done with a western-produced cartoon.

Homages to Anime

In the past, references to anime were either done subtly or in an over-the-top manner. Now, cartoons are more liberal in their homages to classic anime works, either through simple shout outs or through its animation style. And by animation style, I mean the kind that would blend in with modern anime, not the kind that over-used anime-style expressions a la Totally Spies. Even Teen Titans lessened its use of signature anime expressions once its tone shifted to a more serious one in later seasons.

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Where we are Today

Taking one look at the redesigns Mickey Mouse has undergone over the past few decades should give a rough idea of how the art style for cartoons has evolved. Animation style is uniform, as all of the hired animators for current cartoons come from the same animation school, CalArts. Characters are drawn in a smoother manner, favoring circles over squares. Gone are the sharp edges and varied shapes from Genndy Tartakosvky’s time.

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Because of their decision to hire animators that have all graduated from the same school, the animation style for a lot of modern cartoons broadcast on television lack the variety they had in the past. They move the same way, they emote the same way, and despite having varied character designs, they somehow retain this signature look to them that prevents any one show from really setting itself apart. But one can hope that this is simply a phase, one that will diminish with time.

 

Art Evolution in Anime

Anime has a number of signature staples that set it apart from western animation. The way eyes are drawn, the way expressions are made, the way characters move and talk;  and like all forms of art, the typical anime looks has evolved over time. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and observe whats sets retro anime apart from modern anime.

Expressions:

When characters are mad, they gain a large, pulsing red vein and their face is colored piping red hot with smoke coming out of their head for good measure. To further emphasize their rage, sometimes their head’s size increases to a comical degree when they’re yelling. In current anime, when a character is angered, you’ll more likely see a small vein pop up on a corner of their face, maybe multiple if they’re really mad. Their brow will be furrowed and their face may be slightly darkened to emphasize how furious they are.

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The sweat drop, an expression tied closely with anime, usually represents confusion or exasperation to emphasize just how done (or dumbfounded) a character is with the current situation. The sweat drop is usually large, appearing next to the character’s head. Their expression usually differs depending on the situation, but more often than not, the look on their face will be a cartoony, comical one. In current anime, sweat drops have been diminished to a more realistic size, usually taking up a small corner of a character’s face. Sometimes multiple will appear, depending on the situation. There are still some sweat drops out there that are fairly large, usually in gag anime, but often times the size isn’t quite as big as they used to be.

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An expression that hasn’t changed much over time is when a character is happy or in love. Flowers surround them, their smile becomes unrealistically big, their eyes change shape and they may or may not have a blush sticker tacked on their cheeks. If that character’s is in love, even to this day, a character’s eyes change shape (they may increase in side, become heart-shaped, or crossed to indicated excitement) , they’ll emit a bright, red blush, and tiny hearts surround their body. The sillier the genre, the sillier the character’s expression will be.

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Modern comedic anime have also taken it upon themselves to create more creative, silly faces. The kind you probably wouldn’t see in even the silliest comedies in older anime. While they’re still hilarious to see, these expressions tend to divert away from the shows typical style to emphasize just how out of place it looks for added comedic value. Just what kind of expression am I referring to, you ask? Here’s a good example:

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How Genres Affect the Art Style

Speaking of genres, how cartoony a character’s expression will be really all depends on what genre the show is. If it’s a comedy or a series with a younger demographic in mind, then they’ll more than likely stick to the type of expressions anime is typically known for. If it’s a drama or a series with an older, more mature demographic in mind, then don’t expect to see any semblance of cartoony expressions.

Even within older anime that had a more serious tone, like Cowboy Bebop or Evangelion, silly cartoony expressions still popped up every now and again. That isn’t the case for anime that fall under that genre today. Shows like Terror in Resonance, 91 Days, and Psycho Pass all went through its entire run without its characters ever emoting in typical anime expression. Even more light hearted shows like Hyouka or Tales of Zestiria the X tend to stay away from typical anime expressions. While the characters do make some silly faces on occasion, for the most part, the expressions they make are fairly realistic.

The Shift in Art Style

The creator of Astro Boy, know as the “Father of Anime”, Osamu Tezuka cited Mickey Mouse and Betty Boop as his inspiration for his art style, hence the reason why anime characters often have large eyes. And while there are still anime shows out there that still adhere to this style (usually shows geared towards young girls), most anime have decreased the ratio between head and eye. Characters still have that distinct anime look to them, but the way their eyes are drawn aren’t quite as outrageous as they used to be. There are even some anime that stick to a more realistic style. As mentioned earlier, these type of anime are typically the ones that have a serious tone with an older audience in mind.

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What Do All of These Changes Mean?

Anime is evolving to appeal to more demographics. Anime has always been a form of media that didn’t adhere to a single genre or a specific demographic, but its cartoony style certainly has turned away potential viewers in the past. The more realistic look that modern, adult-oriented anime has taken has led to a higher viewership even among non-anime fans. And while modern anime that have a younger audience in mind can still retain its previous viewers through persisting with the techniques of its predecessors, it can also gain new viewers by being not quite as obviously cartoony as the anime of old. This makes anime much more accessible for both current and new consumers.

Minecraft 1.11 snapshot release

 

Mojang is calling the newest version of minecraft the exploration update,its very exciting to those of us dedicated to the game.Of all the new edition si think the shulcker shell chest will be a new mechanic we will play with for a very long time. I’m excited for what the community will do with this tool. the shucker chest is made from killing a shucker and getting their shell. you surround  a chest with the shell and create a shucker box. The valuable thing about the shulker box is that it will allow you to break the box and retain the components inside it similar in nature to an ender chest thus allowing you to carry another inventory with you as you explore. I think most people will find the alpacas to be the most exciting. people like their pets and the alpacas are definately interesting. The features are all surrounding exploration for sure. Th cartographers make it more fun because it gets annoying aimlessly walking to find something that is super rare but with a cartographer you can find the location of things like ocean monuments and the new mansions easier and discourages people from cheating and using different structure finding tools in minecraft which is great.as far as updates go its not a massive one but its got some things that will most certainly keep us interested for a while.

Japanese Street Food: Video Recommendation

If you’ve ever sat and watched someone make some kind of street food, then you’ll know it can be quite entertaining. Searching through the internet (YouTube rather) I came across a number of various videos of people  simply filming their food being prepared on the street, mainly from festivals or street establishments. One video that I found to be relaxing and just plain cool is the video linked below.

Apparently, according to the video the food made in the film  is as follows…

Hashimaki – Okonomiyaki on a stick                                                   Takoyaki – Octopus Ball
Yakisoba – Fried buckweet noodles
Okonomiyaki-  Japanese pancake containing a variety of ingredients

The video is 14 minutes long, so just let it play and enjoy the the preparation.

 

Jonathan

How To Cake It Youtube Channel:Recommendation

I’m not the one to be adept at decorating cakes in new and innovative ways, so watching and learning from others that devote their talents to this craft is always a pleasant experience for me.

Yolanda Gampp is such a person. She hosts a YouTube channel called “How To Cake It”, (an obvious play on the phrase “how to make it”) where she posts videos of her making elaborate  and unique cakes.

With Holloween just a little over a month away, I found two videos from HowToCakeIt that are perfect for the festivities that await…and I’ll think you’ll agree. Check out the Brain cake and the Human Heart cake videos below!

 

P.S… Her cakes are awesome, but her humor in my opinion is meh, I often find myself skipping the interludes between the actual construction of the cake and her humor bits, just FYI!

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Jonathan

Journey’s Soundtrack – Album Recommendation

WOW! Here’s a big throwback. Except I’m not focusing on the game, I’m making a recommendation on purely listening to the game’s soundtrack. The game itself was a beautiful journey (pun totally intended), but we can’t argue that half the journey was through its auditorial experience. Thanks, Austin Wintory.

The whole soundtrack is telling a beautiful story through each song, and I can’t stop from feeling like I’m on some kind of magical adventure. It’s a great album to go through when studying or working on assignments because of the lack in lyrics. But, there’s also no harm in listening to it just because.

This recommendation was brought to you by Aimee.

Daoko – Artist Recommendation

I first discovered Daoko through her work in “ME!ME!ME!”, but fell in love with her after hearing her again in a sequel work “GIRL”. If you’re unfamiliar with the video titles, they were animated music videos originally posted up on animatorexpo and got attention through its, let’s say, “interesting” content alongside the colorful art style done by Studio Khara. The original full videos have now been taken down due to the site’s “open period” exhibition system, but I’m pretty sure reuploads of the full videos are floating around the internet still.

Here’s a medium length ver. of “GIRL” that was uploaded on Daoko’s official Youtube channel though:
*warning: may include content some people consider inappropriate (partial nudity)

I wanted to give more attention to this Japanese female artist due to her unique vocals. Her voice exudes a dream-like quality that I’m attracted to. Plus, she just released a song working with TeddyLoid again. (TeddyLoid also participated in the making of “ME!ME!ME! and “GIRL”.)

Here it is:

This recommendation was brought to you by Aimee.

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