Saturday, 26 March 2011

GoAnimate hits YouTube | Video

So news on YouTube this week is that they have added animation tools that allows you to create your own videos without ever picking up your camcorder. The site offers three animation packages; Xtranormal, Stupeflix and GoAnimate. So having done a bit of video editing and have a keen interest in making films I gave it a look.

Each package offer very different looks and feels and my personal favourite is GoAnimate. You get pre-designed sets, people and props to use that are all real easy to use. Special effects like cuts, pan and zoom work real well and additional effects are very good too (but don't over do using them when making a film!).

This first video I put together though YouTube to just play with the idea and see how it works. As you can see you can use a special text-to-speech tool so you don't even have to record your own voice. Its a little clunky and flat but plays quite well.

After making this video I found that while trying to make a second I could not add any more text-to-speech. I was told I could purchase more but that was a coming soon feature. So I guessed the tool is limited by how many effects you can add or that this new feature on YouTube is limited somehow. I've not been able to find out what these limits are however, as there is no details on YouTube or GoAnimate about limits / usage which is poor!

So I joined the GoAnimate site and made a second video over there. Again features appear to be limited. As you use special features these use up credits. You can get more credits form completing tasks and getting views - I think. Again I have found the details of what you can do limited and hidden from my searches. There is lots of info on going pro and paying to get 'GoBucks' that pay for this stuff but I can't tell you how much a single text-to-speech credit will use up so could not work out how much credit I would need for a video. Oh and you are limited to 2 minutes which means your making shorts, not videos.

Personnel I feel GoAnimate should have a nice page explaining what charges get applied when stuff is used, and how many hits gets you credits back. If people want to use it long term then details need to be clear - or maybe I'm just thinking like an engineer too much?

So why should you and why was I interested in animation? Well there are a number of great shows out on the web right now including; Videos by Jeri Ellsworth, EEVBlog and Jeremy Blum as well as news channels like 'Hay' etc. But these are all quite hard work to put together. Editing is going to be needed and with animation you can avoid all the filming, lighting and sound stuff and get straight to it.

I've been asked by a few people if I was considering doing a show also - well I have no intention of appearing on screen and do not have the audio kit to record good audio with. So when GoAnimation came in front of me - well I'm tempted. But my content is free and so if the time I spend on them so investing in a service like GoAnimate is not for me when its going to hit my pocket. Hopefully GoAnimate will make charges visible and then maybe... Well who knows...

Anyway this is the second video that is hosted on GoAnimate (Free-?): monpjc screen test two | show idea by monpjc

Like it? Create your own at It's free and fun!


Anonymous said...

I had the same not enough credits message when using the Youtube interface, and sent an email to their tech support. The next morning I got an email informing me they had fixed the issue. (No fees via Youtube.)

BUT: I have crashed the flash plugin twice ... losing all the work done. ISSUE: There is no way to save your work UNTIL you publish when using Youtube interface.

BOTTOM LINE: I very much like the ease-of-use and text-to-speech quality -- but the current Youtube interface is not useful other than to test drive it a bit.

Wendell Dryden said...

I had the same problem. First 60 second video was fine - but also a learning experience. Then, when I tried a 2nd video, I was told I had run out of credits.

People are allowed to charge whatever they want on their websites, but there's no excuse for not stating limits up front.

(I'd delete my account, but, again, there's no info on how to do that.)

All in all... disappointing. :/