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September 9, 2012 / carlispina

Make a Video in a Flash with Go!Animate

GoAnimateVideos and cartoons can be a great way to grab the attention of your audience, particularly when they are used in an unexpected way. And, luckily there are a lot of tools available for creating fun animation clips on any topic. This week as part of an online book club I am in (the Level Up Book Club), I had a chance to try Go!Animate to create a brief animated video and found it to be a great option for those looking for a quick and fun way to create cartoons on virtually any topic.

Go!Animate allows users to create animated videos through a simple drag-and-drop interface. One of the great aspects of Go!Animate is that it offers several different versatile tools all in one place. For those who want flexibility and advanced options, the Full Video Maker allows users to customize many elements of the their video while still dragging and dropping all of these elements. While many additional design elements can be purchased through upgrades, a full range of basic tools is available for free and will be sufficient to allow users to make most types of basic training videos and advertisements. Those looking to create longer videos even have the option to string multiple scenes together into a longer video that spans several scenes and settings. Videos can be previewed and then edited if necessary before they are finalized. Finished videos can be shared online to Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter or via URL or embed, and, if users upgrade, can also be exported to YouTube. For new users, both a video tutorial (I really appreciate that they also provide a transcript below the video for those who prefer to read the text or who use a screenreader) and a click-thru tutorial are available to walk through the video creation process. And, for those who want to upgrade to a paid account, Go!Animate offers a range of options for personal, business and education use.

Users in a hurry have the option to use the Quick Video Maker, which doesn’t offer the flexibility of the Full Video Maker, but does walk the user through the process of creating a brief video in a very short time (I created one in under 45 minutes the very first time I used the tool). And, while it does limit some of the options for the video, it still offers multiple settings, characters and voices and even gives the option to record and add in your own audio if that is preferable to the available voices. Once finished, the video can be posted to Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter with a single click or shared using the available URL or embed code. While this tool is self-explanatory since it is designed to walk users through each of the steps of the process, there is also a helpful video tutorial that highlights all of the available options (with a full written transcript as with the other video tutorial).

As a final option, for those who just want to create an avatar, Go!Animate also offers a character creation feature that offers a wide range of characters that can be personalized and then added to a Go!Animate video project or used as an avatar elsewhere. Users get to create one character for free, so this is also an option for users who have free accounts.

I was very impressed with how easy it was to get started with Go!Animate. Given my unusual situation of needing to create a video very quickly with little notice, I was happy to discover that Go!Animate really made this possible. Whether you opt to watch a video tutorial or just to dive into a project, the tools offered make it easy to find and use all of the available features and streamline the process of creating an animated video down to its minimum components. I particularly like the fact that the tool caters to a wide range of uses from professional to fun and from full-fledged video projects to shorter clips. Creating a video can be a daunting undertaking, but Go!Animate takes a lot of the stress out of the process and makes it an achievable goal for anyone who can drag-and-drop elements on the screen. I would highly recommend checking it out! (And, thanks to Level Up Book Club for suggesting it to me.)

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