In the last few weeks, we’ve highlighted writing from several of our students. Ahmed weighed the benefits and dangers of guns, and Dalal told the story of her family’s frightening boat trip. Tsutomu described possible causes for the end of a friendship. You can check out work from all of our writing students in the July/August issue of The Globe, IEI’s student newsletter.

This week, we’re sharing an essay from Bobby Dong, a Chinese student from our Writing 5 class. He describes the complex process of creating animation.


Animation is really popular now, it has become an industry and a part of people’s lives. You might not realize it, but really, you can see it everywhere. For example, you might have seen ads with a dog who talks, and that’s animation. So, however, the animation industry starts growing bigger and bigger. And today, we are going to talk about: how animation is made.

No matter how long the animation is, it takes a lot of different jobs to produce it. You might feel like animation doesn’t take too much work, you know, there is animation movies anywhere, the animation movies are anywhere, that’s true. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to make one. Animation is a jobs that takes a lot of work, time and money. After I explain all of the steps, you are going to think differently about the animation that you see every day. It’s such a hard thing to explain because there are a lot of steps and all of them are important. However, let’s get started.

First of all, you need a story. Well, everyone knows that, but do you know how important it is? It’s easy to write a story, but it’s hard to write a good one. For animation, you need a story that makes people feel whatever you want them to feel. Then how to make them feel whatever you want them to feel, well, you need to build a world that makes people feel like there is really such a place, then how to build a nice world? Make a lot of characters with different traits, and how many character you need for a story? Around 50. So, now you see how much work it takes, but, this is only the first step, let’s keep moving on.

Second is to make a sketch of the entire story, sometimes this takes more time than making a story, because the sketches have to show every little detail, the character’s faces, what they are doing, what they are thinking. If an animation team doesn’t have a guy who can make a good sketch, the making of the animation is going to become harder and take more time. So, if they don’t have a nice sketch, making animation is going to become a big challenge for a team.

At the same time, another team is working on something else. That thing is called “Modeling”, which builds model of the characters, a story might only have 1 or 2 protagonists, but do you know how many costars they have? Thousands of them. Do they need models? Yep, they do! Now you see how much work it is.

On the other hand, at the same time, there is one more team, yes, one more team building the “background”, such as a little village, a volcano, a temple and all the things like that. There is probably only few place for a story, but that doesn’t mean it was easy to make them, the light and all the little details change every second, and you have to work on every little detail, so I guess this is not the most exciting part for animation making.

And then they need to make other things which is called “movement”, it’s really interesting that when they are building the model, they make the muscles and bones, and when you are creating movement, you also need movement for muscles and bones, because they find out if you have muscles and bones moving, that makes the character look cooler and more realistic.

Then the thing is dubbed, the voice actor needs the voice that can match the character, you cannot let a little girl become a muscle man’s voice character can you? If you can’t find the voice that can match, that’s pretty much just unfortunate, because that might take years to find the voice you need, and the public time of that animation might just be postponed and postponed over and over again.

And then a trailer is made that can make people feel like they should watch this movie. Making a trailer is not that hard but you have to think which part can make people want to watch it. However, it should not tell people the whole story, and this is not easy to do.

After all of this work the movie is ready to go public! So, as you see, making animation is not as easy as you think.

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