Star Trek - Laundry Day

In February of 2009 the Star Trek, Quogs theme came to GoAnimate and of course I had to try it out. As per usual my first idea was anything but predictable.

As soon as I saw the bridge background for the Star Ship Enterprise I had a vision of Captain Kirk relaying his directive, "Mr Sulu, prepare to start the rinse cycle."

I don't know why I thought of that, maybe it has something to do with how far household technology has come since Star Trek first graced our TV screens. All the flashing lights on modern technology and all the flashing lights on the bridge of the Enterprise.

In any case it was just such a funny idea and, one custom washing machine prop later, Laundry Day just kind of wrote its self.

Star Trek - Laundry Day

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It's the simple ideas that are my favorites and Laundry Day is just that. It references some accepted Star Trek themes and juxtaposes them with a bit of my own humor from left field.

Be sure to watch Star Trek Laundry Day Episodes 2, 3 and Episode 4.

Barrack Begins

Many people were disappointed when my highly successful Bikini Proposal series ended just as it was starting to really head off into the absurd. However I needed a break to give me some time to soak in some new ideas and to start looking for humor in America's new President.

As a self confessed Batman fan, as soon as I thought of the title Barack Begins as a parody of Batman Begins I had to use it. Barack is a known comic book fan with an interest in both Spiderman and Batman so whilst my opening joke may seem tenuous, at best, to link Barrack with my title, who knows? Maybe in his quieter moments he does pretend he's a superhero - just for fun.

Pt 1: Barack Begins

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When I started putting this animation together I decided to retain everything that people recognized from the Bikini Proposal including the Text to Speech voices (TTS). Originally I had planned to continue the Iraq war theme too but then I remembered the controversy that occurred when George W. Bush won his second term in office and thought; what if George Bush refused to accept he was no longer President?

The idea made for much better humor.

You may also be wondering how political satirist and comedy legend, John Stewart, ended up in there? He became a part of Barack's new administration simply because GoAnimate has yet to create characters for the new government's administration. (One wonders what will become of Dick Cheney's animated image in the future?).

Also, for those of you that don't understand the Golf reference, George vowed not to play golf whilst the Iraq war continued as a mark of respect for the troops and their hard work. I kind of assumed that he'd probably start playing golf again now that he's no longer the Commander in Chief.

AKON On GoAnimate Right Now (Na, Na, Na)

I'm not an AKON fan. I need to say that right up front however when AKON's theme arrived at GoAnimate it was an opportunity to have a go at making a music video.

My video tries to follow the lyrics of the song to some degree and it also includes some Zoom and Panning experiments that are more complex to create than they appear.

Right Now (Na Na Na) - Akon

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It's not the full song because the theme only includes samples of AKON's music. As well it doesn't permit members to upload their own sounds or music so I had to work with what I was given.

Since I made this the AKON theme has been extended with more characters, backgrounds and props which I would have used had they been available.

I'm not that interested in creating more AKON animations but the AKON GoAnimat character has a touch of Will Smith in it's look so you may see him in a future movie parody or two.

George Clooney Makes a Movie... Again!

Anyone who's ever achieved any kind of popularity on a social network/user generated content style site like GoAnimate, YouTube, MySpace or others may have come across the 'enthusiastic promoter/spammer'.

This kind of person is someone who uploads content frequently (sometimes several times a day) and then proceeds to tell all their online friends to go view their content by posting comments on their friends profiles. They'll particularly target popular users whether they're a friend or not and ask them to view their content as a way of leveraging the popular users audience to their content.

That was the inspiration for Imagine If... my animation staring George Clooney (or at least his head).

The animation isn't targeted at anyone in particular but there are many GoAnimate users that don't understand that telling everyone about every single animation they make starts to become a spamming issue regardless of how genuine the person is in sharing their creations around. My animation simply tries to highlight what happens if this practice was taken to the extreme.

Imagine If...

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I did get a bit of flack for using George in this animation. One person commented that I should have put my own head in there. However I felt the point need to be made with the assistance of someone who most people would recognise as a person who doesn't crank out content at speed and then promptly gets out on the promotion trail.

Replacing heads with celebrity heads (or even your own) is a nice feature of the GoAnimate platform and one I want to use more. This was my first opportunity to try the feature out and was also another chance to feature Super Rica, Rashy and their Mom and Dad too.

Street Fighter: Joyce fights Ryu!

The Street Fighter theme was released on GoAnimate and I have to admit I was underwhelmed. Don't get me wrong it's a great theme but I'm just not into the characters or the video game - especially not the game.

However, when you've been asked to be a beta tester for a web site then you do feel compelled to at least try things out. Naturally I wanted to do something a bit different stamped with my brand of humor.

I'd already established GoAnimate's in house character, Joyce, as a bit of a odd, rebel with attitude type of girl when I pitted her in stand off with Santa in
Bad Santa - The Unhappy Customer so she seemed a great match for Street Fighter's Ryu.

Joyce fights Ryu!

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The spare arm comes from GoAnimate's Monsters Mayhem theme. I kind of picture Joyce as a bit of a Goth who'd be completely unphased by dismembered body parts. Plus I think she would kind of like the intimidation factor of possibly attacking a foe with what might be the remains of your last victim.

If Joyce had a few more fight moves I'd definitely consider a rematch. I can totally see her wiping the floor with all those street fighter pussies!

Underdog: The Copier

My first Underdog animation, UnderDOG NOT UnderFROG, was a little bit of a rushed job whilst the Underdog theme was still in beta test on GoAnimate. My animation was okay but not a particularly original story line.

Once a theme is released site wide on GoAnimate they always seem to throw in a few extra characters, backgrounds and more. One of those was Simon Bar Sinister, the evil, plotting scientist (pictured right). It seemed a good time to try a new story.

Underdog - The Copier, Part 1

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Traditionally in the Underdog cartoons Simon was the criminal mastermind however my love affair with Rashy as The Boss of Everything, specifically Rashy sitting behind that huge bosses desk, seemed like a great opportunity to bring him in for a bit of an unexpected plot twist.

Underdog - The Copier, Part 2

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I'm not entirely sure where the idea of the copier came from. It's not exactly original but perhaps it was just that GoAnimate had a background with a copy machine that led me towards the whole idea. The story arc is fairly good with logical steps for Underdog catching Simon. As wel all the loose ends are tied up with Rashy dodging the long arm of the law.

What I really like about this story is the fact that we know Rashy is really the evil mastermind yet Underdog and the rest of the good guys remain unaware of his plans for world domination. Whilst you might expect Simon to talk, he doesn't because he knows Rashy is not to be messed with. Plus he's probably hoping Rashy's legal team will help get him off with a warning.

There's a continuing story for Rashy and I'm sure this is not the last time you'll see him trying to become the boss of everything.

Improve Your (Go)Animations

One thing I notice a lot of in the early months of GoAnimate's launch was that a lot of animators had good stories to tell but didn't really know how to tell them in a way that was easy to follow.

Speech balloons had so much text in them it was either too small to read and/or you didn't have enough time to read it. As well, two or more characters would have speech balloons appearing at the same time with no logical order of reading them. Not even the conventions for speech balloons in comic books were being observed.

I figured that, because GoAnimate allowed even the most inexperienced of animators to get involved, a little bit of advice in the story telling department couldn't hurt. At the very least I might get to watch a few more animations all the way through because, hopefully, my advice would inspire some improved story telling.

The first thing I tackled was those long wordy speech balloons appearing in a single scene with no change of camera shot from begining to end. I decided to employ the use of two of GoAnimate's Classic Characters, Jay and James.

1. GoAnimate Better - The Scene

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My second animation tips, this time using Match Boy and Match Girl, was even more focussed on speech balloons but this time it demonstrated proper usage and conventions. I particularly like my 'slide in, slide out' scene changes in this:

2. GoAnimate Better - Speech Balloons

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Both these animations have been used by GoAnimate on their Video Tutorial page.

However, if you're a GoAnimate user and you want to get into some really advanced GoAnimate tricks and techniques, you can't go past these two following tutorials by GoAnimate user Conis.

It is intended that you copy these tutorials into the GoAnimate Studio editor to find out how the tricks are done. If you don't know how to do that then you're probably not ready to learn these tricks!

Conis: Animation tricks #1

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Conis: Animation Tricks #2

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