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Harry Partridge, GoAnimate - What I Observed


GoAnimate, MJ's Gay Lobster Arm
by Cut Paste Anime
I don't wish to harp on about a subject having already been accussed of PR speak for GoAnimate but now the issue of Harry Partridge Snubs GoAnimate is over being a hot topic I felt a review of would give me some closure. So here is what I've observed from the whole she bang.
  1. Harry Partridge is an awesome animator. I've seen Harry's work long before his jab at GoAnimate. I wouldn't class him as one of my heroes but he definitely knows his craft. He does some fun animations and has a great sense of humor.
      
  2. The majority of people who commented in support of Harry's GoAnimate Video on Newgrounds, Cartoon Brew and especially on Youtube really had no idea what GoAnimate is or what it can do yet they felt they had enough knowledge to call people who use GoAnimate 'lazy', 'untalented' and ignorant of what professional animators actually do to make cartoons. Not to mention all the trollish hate speech and unnecessary name calling (mostly on Youtube).
      
  3. Of those commenter's who said they did try GoAnimate out, all of them reported making a really bad cartoon in minutes and based this as justification for their negative comments. Most people who discover GoAnimate and enjoy what it has to offer make really bad cartoons in the beginning and often delete them as they make better work.
      
  4. My video response to Harry's video made the point that GoAnimate's ability to respond to a hot topic quickly was a strength. Harry uploaded his video on April 21. I uploaded my response on April 25 just as Harry's video was reaching a peak as a hot topic having been posted on industry blog, Cartoon Brew the day before.
      
  5. Of all the video responses posted to Harry's video on Youtube mine received the most views and comments (excluding the Spanish fan dub - which wasn't really a response) with to date, 1417 views, 91 comments. Almost 3 times more views and nearly ten times more comments than another GoAnimate response by Cut Paste Anime uploaded on April 28 that included a custom animated flash prop especially created for the response (see video embeded below).

      
  6. Point 5 proves my point on speed. My video contained no custom flash and (with the exception of Harry's video) only used things created with GoAnimate. If my video was really as bad as the commentators said, it would not have inspired so much discussion. Another GoAnimate created response by The Comedy Quickies was released faster than mine on April 24 but it was so bad it only got 261 views and three comments. It agreed with Harry and deliberately set out to demonstrate GoAnimate's limitations but really only succeeded in demonstrating the creators poor film making skills and inability to use GoAnimate effectively (See clip embeded below).

      
  7. Another GoAnimate video response by Reddplague that included specially made custom flash did receive more views than mine (9833 views) even though it was released later (April 26 - see video below) however this was as a result of the GoAnimate version being featured on Cartoon Brew which has a fairly substantial readership and being Staff Picked on GoAnimate. Note that my view and comment figures in point 5 don't include the views and comments I received to the original GoAnimate version (to date: 508 views, 22 comments on GoAnimate).

      
  8. Many people who commented on my video thought I was being hateful and was attempting to prove GoAnimate was better than quality produced animation simply because it could respond faster. As a result they assumed my response was made in a few minutes with no thought or effort and was a 'knee jerk' response.
      
  9. None of the detractors seemed to make the connection that, if I wanted to prove how good GoAnimate was, I wouldn't use characters and backgrounds that look like Family Guy, mention Family Guy in the animation and use computer generated voices - everything those very same people didn't like about GoAnimate.
      
  10. I probably didn't do GoAnimate any favors by making a video that intentionally reflected back everything most people don't like about GoAnimate but if the negative responders weren't so lazy and took the time to think about what a video is trying to say before they typed their knee jerk responses... I hope I made up for it in the discussion on mine and Harry's videos on Youtube. 
Ultimately, after all the discussion I've been a part of, I've come to the conclusion that GoAnimate is actually a filmmakers tool that happens to use animated actors. Harry and his supporters seemed to focus only on the animation quality and the computerised voices but it's so much more than those two features.

Since the voices are optional - you can record human actors if you want - that leaves the animation - which is certainly limited to the filmmakers creativity and ability to overcome those limitations. Granted it will never be as fluid and smooth as a professional animator working from their own frame by frame drawings but does it really need to be?

GoAnimate was designed to make cartoons for online distribution. The idea was to make the ability to create animated cartoons accessible to everyone however that seemingly simple task involves so much more. GoAnimate encourages a single creator to:
  • Develop scripts for animation.
  • Design characters suited to their script.
  • Visualise, plan and animate scenes using various camera angles.
  • Design and edit together audio tracks with music and sound effects.
  • Work collaboratively with actors if choosing to record voices.
  • Encourages the use of external Flash and Paint software programs to add custom components.
  • Take advantage of the tools and support provided to help publicise animations on and off site.
  • Have fun bringing ideas into a visual/audio experience.
The list is by no means exhaustive but I do think it demonstrates my point that GoAnimate is a Filmmakers tool whether you view it as a beginners tool or not.

As far as professional animators using GoAnimate, there certainly are few, usually because it's fun and a little bit of a welcome break from using Flash proper.

A lot of commentators on Harry's video spouted that a wannabe professional animator should use professional software like Adobe Flash. I'll just finish by saying a professional animator should use whatever gets the job done for them.

Maybe it's wise to learn Adobe Flash if you want a career working as an animator for someone else but, if you're like me, and you consider yourself an 'indy' filmmaker, you can use whatever the hell you like. Whatever gets the job done.


Footnote - 11th August 2011

The video below is an almost word for word response I received to the above post by a reader. All I've changed is a word here or there for continuity so it translates better into spoken word from the written word. My response at the end is the opening line to the email I sent back after thanking the person for their feedback.

No, GoAnimate Still Sucks by etourist

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

I felt compelled to turn the message into a GoAnimation because it clearly was a rant that reminded me of the kind of thing Grandpa Simpson (of The Simpsons fame) might do in one of his letter writing frenzies at the typewriter. Particularly the way the message was signed off, with the polite invitation inviting me to email back should I wish to discuss this matter further.

Comments

  1. Please read the following comment, as I put half an hour into writing it. Note that I will be putting you in a bad position but that is important for my comment:

    Nope, GoAnimate still sucks. You should be ashamed of yourself. I laugh about how much time you put into making an article about how GoAnimate not being horrible etcetera. I prefer people making shitty flash films, than any GoAnimations.

    "GoAnimate encourages people to:
    -Develop scripts for animation.
    -Design characters suited to their script.
    -Visualise, plan and animate scenes using various camera angles.
    -Design and edit together audio tracks with music and sound effects.
    -Work collaboratively with actors if choosing to record voices.
    -Encourages the use of external Flash and Paint software programs to add custom components.
    -Take advantage of the tools and support provided to help publicise animations on and off site.
    -Have fun bringing ideas into a visual/audio experience."

    What? What the hell are you talking about? REAL animators have to do that too, but also:

    -Spend eight years trying to get better at drawing
    -Learn Flash, Photoshop and a lot of Sound Editing programmes
    -Draw backgrounds
    -Draw everyone single image FRAME BY FRAME
    -It sometimes takes a week to make 12 seconds of animation!
    -Take all criticism into consideration while maintaining calm, not getting mad at people rating their videos down
    -Hire voice actors, use music and credit those or taking years to learn an instrument and repeating the whole cycle for different instruments
    -Trying out tweens, actionscripting videos to suit their viewer's computers
    -Deal with people requesting videos more often who simply can't understand how much work goes into these videos

    Those are some reasons! Now, I don't hate goanimators, I JUST GET MAD AT THEM UPLOADING THEIR SHIT TO YOUTUBE!

    You suck. Harry Partridge is awesome. I watched some of your videos and they're horrible in comparison to his.

    Also, you call yourself an 'indy filmmaker'? I beg your pardon? You can't give yourself such a title! Why did you do that? You lack any kind of drawing skills, not to mention creativity!

    Youtube is SWARMING with GoAnimate videos, but people (like you) just don't get the simple fact that only people who use GoAnimate themselves like those videos! Don't you know that one of the only reasons that Google put advertisements on videos is because every 1 hours, 24 hours of video is uploaded to Youtube? I bet that 1 hour of those 24 is made by people who use GoAnimate! Just don't upload those videos to Youtube because that will only make google put more advertisements in more places <-- This is actually true.

    If you'd like to further discuss (well I'm the only one talking, but anyway) this issue, please do so and contact me at ngspabble@gmail.com

    Thanks for taking your time to read this! Normally I'm a very calm person, but sometimes I just need to 'rage' if you know what I mean. Again, you can contact me at ngspabble@gmail.com

    And before you ask, yes, I read the entire article.

    Good day

    -Spabble

    ReplyDelete

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