Men In Black 2 - Part 5

This installment, part 5 of my parody series, Men In Black 2, Rashy launches his evil master plan with devastating results but for who? Find out in the video below. Note: be sure to watch the video below before reading further as my behind the scenes notes WILL spoil the final scene of this episode if you haven't seen it.

Pt5: Men In Black 2 by etourist

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

When I started making part 5 of MIB2 I had three objectives:

  1. Explain how George and Dick came to be working for Rashy despite being on his 'hit' list in episode 1.
     
  2. Get Rashy into the White House.
     
  3. Break Barack and Joe out of their cell so they could start heading back to Earth and expose Rashy's brilliant disguise.
     
The first two were pretty straight forward. George and Dick did in fact mess up after a practical joke by Barack and Agent A. Rashy's ingenious disguises meant he'd have no trouble getting to the White House (and the loss of communication with the real Barack and Joe gave Rashy the perfect explanation for their disappearance on the spaceship).

Unfortunately the last objective was a problem because no one was really looking for Barack and Joe since Rashy returned disguised as Barack with a kill-bot disguised as Joe. I also couldn't see a way Barack and Joe could really break themselves out, believably, since their cell looked pretty secure and they had no access to any weapons or tools.

With no ideas forth coming I settled for a lame joke and turned my focus back to Rashy and his evil plan.

Initially when I started MIB2 I had no idea what Rashy's plan actually was but, like most evil geniuses. assumed it was probably world domination. Once Rashy became President of the free world it was crunch time. I had to think of something as his objective.

On part 3 I joked in the comments on GoAnimate:
Rashy just wants to make the world a better place by being its Leader... so he can send all the bad people to their rooms until they promise to be good... and so no one can send him to his room until he promises to be good ;-)
It was actually a throw away line. I never realized it would become part of the story.

However I thought about it more and the thing that started Rashy on the path of being an 'evil genius' as a character for me was my original Rashy animation, The Boss of Everything, in which Rashy is sent to his room but dreams of becoming the boss of everything so he can send everyone else to their rooms! I decided to remain true to Rashy's character.

Rashy is really just a child so the idea of him wanting to send everyone to their rooms is not that outlandish or unbelievable as an objective for him. Though strangely his access to some pretty great resources like 'kill-bots' and a spaceship doesn't seem beyond belief either!

The ending of this part with the record scratch sound and sudden cut is meant to indicate that this is not what anyone was expecting him to say... least of all Rashy's partners George and Dick. You'll see how this sudden turn of events affects them in the next episode.

Start Your Own Animation Cartoon Business

Have you ever wanted to start your own animated cartoon studio business but thought such an idea would be too complex to set up and, besides that, you need to be able to draw, right? Well, not necessarily on both counts.

Recently animation sites GoAnimate and Xtranormal announced new Commercial Use Packages that include re-seller accounts i.e. accounts that allow you to create commercially licensed video animations with their studios for clients to use in their business.

GoAnimate is a site that specializes in allowing anyone to make 2D cartoons (e.g. such as Saturday morning cartoon style animation) easily with no drawing skills required. It relies on pre-drawn and automated characters that you simply drag, drop and position on pre-drawn backgrounds. There's plenty of room for customization to give your final cartoons their own unique style.

Xtranormal specializes in 3D cartoons (i.e. 3 dimensional characters and sets generated from wire frame models - not 3D as in 3D movies and television). Like GoAnimate it relies heavily on pre-made characters and sets but there is still room for customization - even more if you download their desktop application State. Again, like GoAnimate you don't need to know anything about 3D modeling to make an animation with Xtranormal.


Both sites allow the recording of human actors to voice their characters and feature auto lip-syncing with the recorded dialogue.

The commercial potential of GoAnimate and Xtranormal, as a low budget option, for businesses to incorporate eye catching animation into their marketing and promotion, is being discovered by more and more businesses that do not have the budget to employ expensive animators and animation studios to create fully customized animations.

Not only that but the fast turn around to make a GoAnimate or Xtranormal animation means it's very hard for commercial animation studios to compete with their high quality animation that will obviously look better but take far longer to produce at a much higher cost.

To become a GoAnimate or Xtranormal re-seller you'll need to sign up for a re-seller account. This is not free as effectively, with both sites, you're paying for a commercial license to use the site for commercial purposes yourself (i.e. your own Animation Cartoon Business).

At this time GoAnimate is the cheaper option with reseller accounts starting at US$199.00 per quarter (three months) where as Xtranormal charges US$75.00 per month. Both fees represent your main ongoing expense outside of maintaining an internet connection, computer equipment and utilities.

Optionally you could start a website to showcase your work but, since both sites allow exports to Youtube you may as well use your free Youtube channel as your portfolio.

After that it's just a case of showcasing what you can do with either or both sites, depending on which one(s) you decide to sign up with. Your first job should be making an animation to promote your animation cartoon service and posting it to Youtube. Make sure you use a good descriptive title and relevant tag words so people searching Youtube will find you.

From there you can then scout the many freelance job networking sites (such as elance or odesk) for animation job opportunities.

Find out more about GoAnimate for Business.
Find out more about Xtranormal for Business.

Hire TET to create your next GoAnimate or Xtranormal Business Animation. Click the link to see samples of my work and for more information.

Binfer - File Transfers without the Middle Men

Binfer is a desktop Java application that allows you to transfer large or multiple files to any internet connected device directly - bypassing the need to upload or temporarily store anything on a server 'in the cloud'.

You can even transfer files directly to devices and computers with a modern web browser that do not have the Binfer application installed. As well those same devices can send large files directly to your Binfer Desktop application simply by filling out an online form.

Built into the desktop application is a simple text chat feature allowing you to chat directly with other Binfer desktop application users in your contact list.

Files transferred are AES 128 bit encrypted by default - which can be turned off if you wish.

There's no limit on the number or size of files you can transfer although Binfer limits the amount of data you can transfer based on your user license. A free license will allow you to transfer up to 200MB of data.

File transfer speeds will vary depending on the speed of the internet connection between devices and the number and size of the files being transferred. Transfers can also be resumed if the connection drops out.

The only caveat here is that it requires the computer with the files to be transferred to be turned on at the time and during the transfer. Which kind of makes sense of why a file transfer program has a chat feature - so you can see when people you're exchanging files with are online.

Binfer desktop application interface.

An application like Binfer is not something that I would use very often. Being a solo creator it's rare that I need to transfer large files over the internet. However I would find it useful for sending copies of completed animated videos to my clients.

The good thing is that my clients would not have to install Binfer (or anything for that matter) in order to receive the file. All they need is a modern web browser. To send a file from the desktop you just send an email to your recipient right from within the application. They receive the email with a link to the Binfer web site where they can initiate the file transfer by clicking a link.

For this review I thought I'd test out Binfer's ability to transfer files to and from a mobile device. I have a seven inch, Android 2.2 tablet that I use for playing videos. It also has a camera from which I can record video.

First up I sent a 13MB MP4 video file from the Binfer desktop application to the tablet simply by sending a message to my gmail account. I then accessed my gmail account on my tablet clicked the link and downloaded the file from my desktop computer through Binfer's site (noting that you only initiate the transfer from Binfer's site. The file its-self is not stored on the site). The file took about 5-6 minutes to transfer.

I then used the Binfer website to transfer 1MB 3GP video file from my tablet back to my desktop. Which I realize is a very small file but I really just wanted to go through the process. Entering my Binfer login email address meant the message and file went straight to the Binfer desktop application and appeared there within a few minutes.

Whilst these transfers weren't exactly a strain on the software it does demonstrate how you could use Binfer to extend your network, keeping your home or work desktop switched on then using internet connected mobile devices to transfer files back as you work.

Initially I found this application to be a little confusing (I didn't really understand that you can send a file to any email address, not just people in your contacts), but once I understood how the messaging system worked to transfer files it was very easy to use. I could certainly see how Binfer would be especially useful to anyone working collaboratively over the internet from different geographic locations.

Not having to wait for a file to upload to a server before you can then download it would also save a considerable amount of time on medium to large files.

There's not too much else to say. Binfer does the job of file transfers using the familiar process of sending a message. There's no need to mess around with FTP software, get server settings or spend ages looking around for a file sharing service that can handle large files. Almost anyone should be able to set the software up and start transferring files within minutes.

The interface can be customized with various skins if you like your software color scheme to match your desktop etc. You are also given the code to embed Binfer's web drop form into any web site so you could set up a page for people to send files right on your site.

The applications range of paid plans seems quite reasonable with plans to suit most levels of use including pay as you go and monthly options.

If you have a need to transfer big files on a regular basis then Binfer could be just what you're looking for. Definitely an ideal tool for collaborators with a need to share a lot of files with a minimum of fuss.


Men In Black 2 - Part 4

This installment, part 4 of my parody series, Men In Black 2, Rashy's disguise once again doesn't fool Agent Obama and the chase is on but who really has the upper hand? Find out in the video below.

Pt4: Men in Black 2 by etourist

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

Spoiler Alert: Make sure you've watched the episode before reading further!

Initially this whole episode was going to be Barack and Joe chasing Rashy. I wanted there to be lots of action and comedy in the style of many cartoon chases you see, such as the classic 'hallway of doors' where the pursuer and those in pursuit run between numerous doors across a hallway, almost impossibly emerging from different doors each time.

Then, as I thought about the episode more, as a viewer I'd be disappointed with a long, drawn out chase scene where the story doesn't really progress. Plus I already kind of did the same thing in the first Men In Black series with Rashy travelling to the same crime scene as Agent's AKON and Obama but unnoticed in the background by them - for the whole episode.

When I scratched that idea I'd already made the beginning (the two agents leaving the bar in pursuit of Rashy) and ending (or what I thought would be the ending) scene where Barack and Joe are about to be overpowered by Rashy's robots. I was then going to fill out the middle with the big chase.

It wasn't long before a new idea emerged that would make sense of why Rashy was in the bar with the two people looking for him, knowing that Obama would probably see through his disguise. Clearly if Rashy could get Obama out of the way he'd be free of the one person who can destroy his plan to be leader of the free world.

As this idea grew it was obvious Rashy wouldn't want the agents to be chasing him for too long - in case they did actually capture him before he lead them onto the spaceship.

My problem then became, how do I fill the rest of this installment given that the chase is now so short and I've still got a good minute and a half to go?

I solved part of the problem by having Barack communicate with MIB headquarters what they were doing. This also allowed me to not only make the chase scene a little longer but also enabled me to skip having a scene of Barack and Joe actually boarding the spacecraft. As well it gave me an opportunity to have the MIB Director warn about the spaceship being a trap (just to get the viewer thinking about the possibility of a trap ahead of all the robots appearing).

The rest of the problem I solved by realizing that, with Barack out of the way, Rashy would be completely free to impersonate the President and fast track his way into the job he set out to get, initially by impersonating Newt Gingrich and trying to win the election. (Side note: Hence the Witch in part 3 trying to get Sarah Palin to run. The Witch, as one of Rashy's class mates at Bison's Evil Genius Training Camp, is also plotting to become leader of the free world).

That did leave another problem. If Rashy didn't get on the spaceship, who is he working with that has a spaceship? I didn't have to think too hard to come up with George Bush and Dick Cheney - who had already been established as aliens in the first MIB. Though in the original series Rashy was trying to kill them but I promise this will be addressed in Part 5.

People with an eye for detail may notice in some scenes in part 4 both Barack and Joe have custom heads. This is because I'm not able to attach their sunglasses to the characters - the glasses are designed for the much bigger character of Boss in GoAnimate's Full Energy theme. When the characters run their heads bob up and down. It was just easier to make a custom head with glasses attached than to try and match the movement of the glasses to the movement of their head when they run (you can see the problem in the closing scene with the walking Joe Biden Bot. As he walks his head moves up and down whilst the glasses remain completely level).

That covers everything I want to mention behind the scenes for this episode. Part 5 will hopefully be out before Christmas.

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