Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Animation made easy?

Edward Tufte said "Power corrupts, PowerPoint corrupts absolutely." Computer software places powers that had previously been held only by well-trained professionals in the hands of amateurs. Templates have already allowed non-designers to create their own PowerPoints and Blogs. Now the power of animation has been reduced to selecting from a cast of pre-designed characters, backgrounds, sounds, and music made avaliable free to everyone by GoAnimate.

Animators will hate this because it is pre-designed and hokey. If you are someone who wants to do animation, however, and no one teaches it in school or anywhere else you know of, you will love being able to create real animation stories by piecing together characters and backgrounds to make your own stories. I think the only ones who can rightfully complain about these canned programs are those who provide students another way to learn animation.

Interestingly, this is pretty much the way Saturday morning cartoons are made today. For a program like Blues Clues, for example, they have a library of all the buidings, rooms, furniture, characters, etc. they have ever used and they piece these together to make the weekly show. This saves them from having to redraw the living room every week. Most of the work, as always, goes into writing a good story.

GoAnimate, or something like it, might be a way to get elementary students started in animation if you don't know how to do it yourself. Then they could move on to serious animation lessons like those provided by Acme Animation founded by Dave Master.

Click on the heading above to see an annoying preview of GoAnimate.

1 comment:

Nicolas said...

Hi Martin,

Thanks for writing about GoAnimate.

ha ha... True that some animators may hate us at first (one or two angry ones came to our booth at Comic-Con), but the way we see it once we open the platform for any animator to add their own content and characters, GoAnimate will offer a new way for Flash animators to interact with story tellers. Maybe scary, but at the very least a very interesting experiment.

We will also be adding famous licensed characters to the platform for existing communities of cartoon fans to interact in new ways...

Thanks again for the post.


Nicolas Lassus
Product Manager

PS: Any feedback on why you find our demo annoying? We always want to improve...