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How to Get Popular on GoAnimate

At the time of writing this post I am the third most viewedGoAnimate Member of all time and the most fanned, non staff member of all time (second only to GoAnimate CEO, Alvin Hung).

I get asked a lot - how I did I get so popular on GoAnimate? Whilst others, like GoAnimate member, gipsy, have created excellent web sites like Gispy Tips devoted to how to make the most of GoAnimate - including getting popular - I thought I'd share my secrets.

Below is everything I've ever done to get me to where I am today on the site, listed as tips for how to get popular. I'll preface it with 'slow and steady wins the race'. I wasn't always at the top. It's taken me two years of releasing, on average, two animations per month.

I've passed members on the site who are easily at the same technical level as me (and probably better in their own ways too). How did I do it? Read the tips below - it ain't rocket science!

Tell a good or funny story.

Tell it really well. Edit …

Ep1 Pt1 Bat Storm: Financial Crisis on GoAnimate

Anyone who has followed Batman in the comics will know that my title 'Financial Crisis' for episode one of Bat Storm is a kind of play on words of the 'Final Crisis' DC series of comics. However from there, beyond the obvious parody of Batman himself, Bat Storm doesn't draw much from the Dark Knight's legend.
Bat Storm is a single dad, working class superhero fighting crime with his superhero daughter Bat Flash. Funding their crime fighting through children's party appearances. In episode one, part one, money becomes tight when two REAL superheroes and a clown muscle in on their turf.

Ep 1/ Pt 1 Bat Storm: Financial Crisis by etourist on GoAnimate


The idea for Bat Storm's series began with the Will Smith superhero movie Hancock. One of that movie's key themes was the destruction created by Hancock whilst carrying out his business of fighting crime. Who actually pays for all that collateral damage?

This question makes you look at films like Christopher…

Xtranormal - Easy Animation for Writers.

Xtranormal is an animation site that claims if you can type, you can make movies. It's a bold claim but it certainly delivers with its online 'text to movie' animation studio.

I would liken the experience to writing a twitter conversation where the status update box is shaped like a speech balloon. You simply select which character is speaking, write their dialog in the balloon, then add the next speech balloon to the list for the next (or even the same character) to say something.

In fact if you keep log files of your various online conversations you could use Xtranormal to turn them into movies.

Once you've entered all your dialog, click the preview button and you can see your animation come to life using fairly detailed 3D characters and sets. All the camera angles will be automatically selected and I have to say the automated camera works pretty well. The shots it chooses do make your animation look like a professional movie. It's not always perfect but it'…

The Dark Stormy Knight - Behind the scenes on a GoAnimate Summer Blockbuster

After my recent success in GoAnimate's Creating for a Cause competition I hadn't planned to enter their next official competition. However when it was announced that the theme was to create a trailer for a Summer Blockbuster (for a real movie or even a completely fictional one) I felt this was the perfect excuse to play around with my Bat Storm cast without having to write a script.

Up until now I've resisted ripping audio from popular Youtube memes and creating my own GoAnimate interpretation because often I watch this kind of video by other GoAnimators and feel a little disappointed. Only because it feels like that person is riding on the success of someone else's content. It's kind of silly really because just about every animation at GoAnimate is a mash up of other peoples content. Why should mashing in an audio track make any difference?

Having got over that I decided, wouldn't it be cool to see my Bat Storm cast interpret the audio from the official Dark…

Police Car and DoInk Flash Props for GoAnimate

Working on the first episode of my upcoming Bat Storm animation I discovered that GoAnimate didn't really have any suitable Police Car props. There were a few poorly cropped .jpg images in GoAnimate's community props section and a really awesome but stationary police car by GoAnimator, SolarBaby, but nothing suitable for a police chase.

After making an animated motorcycle for Demon Biker I figured, how hard could an animated Police car be? Rather than go for my local police car style I thought I'd go for the more recognisable Dodge Police car that's been seen in so many movies and TV shows during the nineteen seventies, eighties and even early nineties.

Unfortunately I couldn't find a good side view of a Dodge Police car to trace so I ended up tracing this image of a Dodge Nova and converting it into a four door Police Dodge, based on other images of Police Dodges I had.

Finally to demonstrate my animated, custom Police car I created this short GoAnimate cartoon:

Poli…

Create Animated Flash Props for GoAnimate with Pencil

GoAnimate recently went through some major upgrades that has given more users access to uploading flash animated props. Unfortunately if you're not able to purchase Adobe CS5 or even the cheaper flash animation alternatives like Koolmoves there isn't a lot of great free flash animation software out there.

In fact Pencil Animator, which I've reviewed before, is pretty much it. Whilst it may not have all the bells and whistles of even the lower end commercial flash software products, is quite buggy and prone to crashing, it's still pretty powerful. In fact it can hold its own with the quality of the flash it produces when in capable hands.

Considering Pencil Animator is quite easy to learn, it's own manual leaves a lot to be desired, making the program seem more complex than necessary. If you just want to know enough to make great props and backgrounds for your GoAnimate animations then this is where I come in.

The animation below demonstrates an animated car prop th…

Enigma Sunshine, Facebook Socialite on GoAnimate

In a some what futile effort to get my partner, Enigma, interested in GoAnimate I created a GoAnimate Custom Character based on her Facebook profile avatar. That's her avatar image on the right and in the image below is Enigma Sunshine, the character - whom was also named by my partner.
The character is actually meant to have green eyes, as in the avatar picture, but for some reason in the final animation the pupils show up black.

My partner spends a lot of time on Facebook so it's not hard to see where the inspiration for Engima Sunshine being a Facebook 'socialite' comes from.

I'm not a big fan of online social networks myself. I'd call myself a 'reluctant' participant. Particularly when it comes to real time chat. I prefer the old style message board forums to live chat (or even Twitter for that matter). I found coming up with a script for the first episode of Enigma Sunshine fairly difficult as result.

In fact, to try and find some inspiration, I cre…

Demon Biker 2.0 by Charles Zippel and TET on GoAnimate

Demon Biker is technically my second GoAnimate Flash character after Kung Fu Cat since I started work on him before I started work on Hoot. However with Demon Biker being much more complex, Hoot was released first.

Designed by GoAnimator, Charles Zippel, I offered to turn his bitmap, GoAnimate prop 'stop motion' style character into a a true Flash animated character because I saw it as a natural progression from Kung Fu Cat. Charles' character was slightly more detailed but not by too much. There was also the challenge of creating and animating the characters motorbike as well.

Charles' original animation demonstrating his character is embeded below.

Biker Demon (New Character) (new tag) by CharlesZippel

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

Just like Kung Fu Cat I used Koolmoves to create my Flash animated version of Demon Biker. Although the character took longer than Kung Fu Cat I did find him easier going as I had learned a lot with the …

Animation Careers: eHow Video Series by Tim Hodge

I stumbled across this video series by Tim Hodge which he put together for web site eHow in which he gives short glimpses into the world of the professional animator.

Tim Hodge is a writer, director and animator in Nashville, Tenn. He worked for many years as an animator and story artist with Walt Disney Feature Animation. His most recent work includes writing and directing several entries in the popular Veggie Tales animated program.

I describe the videos as 'glimpse' because each one is quite short and briefly touches on the topic of the title without going into it in any real depth. However as a series it makes for a good insight into the career of a professional animator.

As someone who is learning traditional style animation using flash the first video in the series I watched was Episode 12: How to create a walking animation (embeded below). Despite having access to many examples of how to make a character walk I seem to struggle making my own characters walk. Often they…

Anagram Fun with Hoot on GoAnimate

Hoot the Owl and his Wisdom Tree are a creation of GoAnimator, TheseStars. I'm not sure if I just happened across her first animation of Hoot or if she asked me to watch but in any case I liked the idea a lot.

I thought the idea of using GoAnimate to share a love of anagrams was both original and a great use of the site. The only problem was, in TheseStars original animation Hoot and his tree was just a static drawing. (a still from the original is shown below)

.

This wasn't very engaging to look at in the sense that it wasn't animated - something you would expect on an animation site. I had a feeling the character would have much more appeal if some movement was added.

I was in the middle of working on Harry Chalk 2 but, looking at the drawing of Hoot I thought I could probably make an animated version with the most necessary basic moves very quickly. So that's what I set out to do. In the space of an evening I had created (in flash using Koolmoves) Hoot's Wisdom …

Harry Chalk is BACK on GoAnimate

Almost as soon as I finished the first Harry Chalk I knew that the animation would end up being a series. In fact I remember thinking, crap! I've started another series.

The original has been sitting within GoAnimate's top nine animations of all time for four months now and spent several weeks of those months in the number one spot. It has been viewed more than 11,850 times. Not bad for a small side project.

To get some idea of Harry's popularity I released Harry Chalk 2: Bill's Revenge on May 25th, 2010 and, five days later it's sitting at number 2 in GoAnimate's top animations of all time. That's a record for any of my animations.

In this new adventure Mathew is learning the history of John F. Kennedy's assassination which prompts him to imagine Harry escorting the Presidential motorcade. Things kind of progress from there.

Harry Chalk 2 Bill's Revenge by etourist

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

As you can see all…

Video Comes to GoAnimate with TET's PA

GoAnimate has been beta testing a new feature that allows you to add video objects to your animation. More about that in a moment. Just prior to the video feature's release to GoAnimate beta testers I made an animation called 'Moonlighting - TET's New PA'.
The premise being Jim Benton's Happy Bunny, from my GoAnimate Complaints Department, series decides to take a job moonlighting as my personal assistant. The idea came about as I way to humorously inform my fans of the status on some of my on going series projects like MIB and Harry Chalk as well humorously look at some of the problems of being a popular GoAnimator.
Moonlighting - TET's New PA by etourist

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

There's not much more that needs to be said about the above animation. It's basically the GoAnimate Complaints Department in a new setting with a trap door.

I discovered GoAnimate's new video upload feature on GoAnimate's Forum i…

Domokun Golf

It's golf but not quite as expected. Greg and Mr Usaji are having a quiet game of golf when suddenly Greg's ball starts to move all by its self.

This short animation was put together fairly quickly to give my Domo Animate fans, who had been asking when my next Domo animation was coming out, something new from me.

It's a rare occasion that I use anything other than Domo characters in a Domo animation but when I came up with the idea for this I was experimenting with the stick figure theme on DomoAnimate.

I imagine this could be how Mr Usaji first met Domo.

Domo Golf by etourist

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

People have asked me how I made Domo's shell break away when hit by the club. It's a simple slight of hand effect. Domo is still in the egg but hidden by a grass coloured circle that moves along the same path as the shell. Then a different 'flying' domo is used to distract your attention.

I would have like to developed …

Koolmoves, Kung Fu Cat and GoAnimate

Koolmoves is professional flash animation software at a budget price and is a great alternative to Adobe's Flash Professional CS5. At less than one twelfth of the price of Adobe's offering it's a great introduction for flash noobies to dip their toe into the water to see if it's for them without the pressure of a serious investment in software.

It's also great for people like me who only need a fraction of the software's capabilities. The cost of CS5 is unjustifiable whilst the cost of Koolmoves is a good investment should you discover you want to do more at a later time.

I bought Koolmoves back in February and I've now had some time to test it out. As I said I only needed a fraction of what this software can do so as a result I can only comment on what I've used. However if you want to program fully capable, flash web sites or make stand alone flash movies and cartoons then Koolmoves certainly appears to have everything you need.

Me... I just wanted to…

Bat Storm Coming to GoAnimate

Readers of my other blog will know that I'm a huge Batman fan. Specifically Batman on film as I don't read Batman comics at all. I've blogged about Batman many times. More about that in a moment.

When I recently saw the movie Hancock it struck a chord with something I had been thinking about when I watched the movie, The Dark Knight. That is the cost of the property damage many of these superhero characters cause in their quest to rid the world of evil scum.

Hancock creates a massive amount of unnecessary property damage that becomes a major cause of concern for the city he lives in. The cost of cleaning up after the heroes misadventures is a real issue.

If you look at the opening scenes of The Dark Knight where Batman sends in the Batmobile to 'terrorize' the criminals, the car crashes through a wall and fires missiles into what looks to be a toll booth office of the multi story car park they are in. What is that costing the rate payers of Gotham?

Enter my new su…
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