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I'll preface this with an apologetic acknowledgement: since I don't keep a constant eye on the movements of TDW and haven't for years (or maybe never have just to pre-emptively nip that in the bud), I might be retreading old ground here, and if so, my apologies for that.

I've been a Netflix member for a long time but only today did I start to use it to take some screencaps for TDW. First I made an updated Mr. Coconut, then updated an old pic that was long overdue . Seriously, is Gwuncan still so taboo to the fanbase that most will only update it if it's absolutely necessary? :P I'm kidding, of course. But seriously, the original pic is dated January 29th 2009. It was screencapped straight off Teletoon's website during the very brief period of time where US visitors weren't blocked from those grounds. Their player was tiny, so as with many pics in TDW during 2009, some photo-manipulating finangling needed to be performed in order for the pic to at least be presentable. That's your history lesson for today!

However, if you're able and willing, look closely at the two pictures. Keep in mind they're basically the same frame and no cropping of my own was done.

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The old hug.

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The new hug.

I didn't notice it immediately, but you can see a good chunk more of the fan in the background in the older pic. You can also fully see Gwen's bent leg,  down to her knee joint for her other leg, and the hem of Duncan's trunks. Actually, Gwen and Duncan themselves look quite a bit bigger on the left, don't they? There was barely enough room for Duncan's mohawk for the new pic!

As I said, I didn't crop anything or alter the ratio. The only thing I did was a bit of color adjustment, because raw Netflix caps, at least for these TDA episodes, seem to have a more washed out color palette. I noticed it with some other new screencaps added to TDW recently, and it seems this is definitely a Netflix problem. Whether I have fullscreen activated or not, these are the parameters offered for TDA screencaps. I tried another scene from the same episode annd this time didn't attempt to adjust the coloring. I'm putting THIS on imgur. Webkinz Mania made the original. Here the color difference is very obvious, but the ratio/close-up distortion is especially noticeable. I was able to sort of mitigate this by altering the shape of my pic, but I quickly relaized how horribly annoying that would be to do for every single screencap. Poor Owen and Crazy!Trent look like they were put through Willy Wonka's taffy-pulling machine. :(

Oh yes, and behold my archaic program in which every contribution I ever made to TDW came from - Jasc Paint Shop Pro 8! I had this program since 2002 and I still use it today! Jasc isn't even a thing anymore in the corporate world! Crazy to think what can be accomplished with a 15 year-old poor man's Photoshop. This program's almost hold enough to be its own Total Drama contestant (or the non RR variety at least)!

But that's pretty much all I wanted to talk about. idk if this affects only the early seasons or even just TDA & TDI (it sounds like the newer seasons don't have these problems?). Sadly, there's no way to up the quality for the TDA episodes I've been watching on Netlflix and on many occasions it looks like it barely passes for 720p quality. The jpeg artifacts I've been picking up even on my initial shot of the new Mr. Coconut (which was a STILL FRAME) are quite telling. It's a pity, because the show definitely never came off like this while I was watching Netflix on my TV. If only we could get the pure, clean episodes directly from FreshTV, since they weren't shy sharing some of their character assets and top-notch screencaps that just so happened to depict a lot of the screencaps I took first in the early TDI days. :P I guess it's just sad that as far as the older seasons go, the terrible edited and 4x3 cropped Cartoon Network DVDs are probably better quality than this. Le sigh.

I was gonna post about some stuff before this came up. If there's an interest, I'll see about writing it up later.

Topics included my idea for a Total Drama story that never got off the ground formulated in early 2009 when TDA was still in its infancy (this was a story meant to be a full season with its own gimmick and everything!), aaaaaand I never did properly talk about Gwuncan here, did I? I feel like I shoud've, even if it's beating a dead horse at this point since I'm one of the few who supported it (and shipped it since before TDA even happened).

I also wanted to post my thoughts on the whole Gwen/Courtney friendship thing, both in TDWT and TDAS form. Though if you're a member of the Total Drama club on Facebook, there's a good chance you may have seen it from me.

That's all for tonight. Just less than a month now before it's anniversary time! Maybe I should encourage this community to keep me posting to maintain that enthusiasm for a month. You never know what kind of crotch-kicking devestation from the man who "leads" my country will pull to give me even more reason to fear for my job's livelihood. >_<

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