You Can't Do That on GoAnimate Challenge

At the beginning of December 2010 I was inspired by another discussion to issue a challenge to any GoAnimator that wished to participate. The challenge was called 'You Can't Do That on GoAnimate' which I posted in GoAnimate's Forum.

Several newer members had been complaining that they found GoAnimate limiting because many character actions that people would like just weren't available. For me part of the fun of GoAnimate is working out how to overcome those limitations and make the characters do things beyond what their pre-animated actions allow.

Hence I issued the challenge in two parts as follows:

Part 1: [ for everyone ] Suggest an action scene or sequence that you think isn't possible to achieve on GoAnimate in the studio. Suggest as many things as you want. e.g. a fight sequence using only comedy world characters. (short sequences/scenes only please)

Part 2: [ for super awesome animators ] see a suggestion that you think you can animate? Go ahead and give it a try. Keep it under a minute then post a link here and show everyone how it can be done. Show us just how awesome you are.
There was no prizes for completing a challenge it was just a chance to showcase your animating and problem solving skills.

The forum took a while to get going but once it started quite a few interesting challenges were made and animated. One GoAnimator made this suggestion:

Notice Argetlam wes's reply. Not to be deterred I decided to take this particular challenge on myself and this is the resulting animation:

Zombie Loses it's head! by etourist

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

GoAnimator SnakeYukin was first to describe in detail how I did it:

Yeah, I can see that you used a brown square (or some shape) on the head on the ground. The lines of the boards are no longer visible. The actual head decapitation had the body (with the head) just rotated off screen very quickly to give the illusion. If you go slide the slider slowly through the :12-:14 area, you can see that the head is still attached to the body and there's a headless version behind it.
You can also see that headless and with head body if you slowly go through at :28-:30.
I really wouldn't have noticed if I didn't go frame by frame to see it: though you can briefly see it while going at normal speed. Great effect work though.
He pretty much had it right. The whole section where the Zombie actually loses its head is movie sleight of hand. Here's what I wrote in response to SnakeYukin:

@SnakeYukin - you're pretty much right. I made two versions of the character in the CC - one headless.
With a bit more effort I could have hidden those brown squares completely but you really only notice them once you start looking for how the whole effect was achieved.
Same with when the head gets chopped off. You only start to notice that at normal speed if you're looking to see if you can see it. I could've removed the body completely by uploading a custom head but I was trying to keep this whole effect within the reach of a basic account user.
Something a little harder to spot is the two extra bodies (out of shot) I used in the final shot of the zombie attaching its head (when you hear the squish noise) so I could have two arms reach up and adjust the head into place.

This was probably one of the most complex challenges issued with exception to The Matrix 360 degree spin that people wanted to see in an animation (which I eventually also demonstrated could be done too).

With the many challenges that were put forward I think we clearly demonstrated that despite GoAnimate's limitations most obstacles could be overcome in one way or another with a little bit of compromise and creative thinking.

Who said GoAnimate is for people who lack creativity!

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