Here's a reminder with one of my best Xtranormal videos using some of their Star Trek based characters.
I enjoyed Xtranormal quite a bit but its pay as you publish business model and the need to purchase themes made it expensive. Particularly if you graduated to the downloadable desktop version, State, which gave you more functionality, increased possibilities and an even lighter bank account.
Last year, around mid 2013, Xtranormal closed down its website with a promise to rethink its business model and maybe make a come back. As it turns out Xtranormal is no more. Its intellectual properties were liquidated and, early this year, sold to a new company called Nawmal. Presently Nawmal is still in the process of assessing how best to move forward with their purchase.
Somewhere in the interim of Xtranormal's demise State Plus was born. An application that turns Xtranormal's State into an independent piece of software and includes the majority of Xtranormal's themes and other content entirely for free. It even allows you to mix themes and has features added or unlocked that weren't part of the original application. You can see many example videos of what State Plus can do on the Emergent Animation YouTube Channel.
The State Plus promotional video below shows a selection of characters from different themes all in the one scene.
State Plus allows you to run the Xtranomal desktop application, State, with no need for a user account or even an internet connection. It is the result of much hardwork by dedicated Xtranormal user, Glenn Saunders, who has been closely involved with the liquidation and sale of the software.
Glenn's motivation is the hope that State Plus would one day be released in an official capacity as a serious animation tool that is relatively easy to learn. It has the potential to create dialogue driven movies of all types and, in my opinion, the animation of Xtranormal's characters was the most natural and second to none with the site's peers.
Presently, with the sale of Xtranormal's Intellectual Property, how long State Plus can be distributed for free is uncertain.
If you're prepared to weather an extremely large download (anywhere between 9-16 Gigabytes depending on how you download it) and possibly struggle with getting the software running correctly it's probably worth pushing through to experience everything and more that Xtranormal's software was capable of.
If you do run into trouble installing State Plus then the support forum is active and you should be able to find help.
Update: 12 May 2014Since posting this article the State Plus Forum website is no longer accepting any new sign ups therefore making State Plus no longer available. Here's an update in the form of a few extracts, from the State Plus forum, posted by Glenn, explaining this new development:
"Hello everyone. Some of you recall that early in the year I began working with Xtranormal's liquidator. This amounted to a temporary amnesty for State Plus, and in exchange, I restored, reorganized, and assessed their file archives. This greatly helped facilitate the sale."
"I always felt that if Xtranormal were to be sold, that the best home for it would be back with one of the founders. I'm therefore happy to announce that Paul Nightingale, Xtranormal's original Vice President, is the new owner of Xtranormal's intellectual property."
"When Xtranormal shut down, State Plus held the proverbial torch. Up until now, if anyone wanted to find out what happened to Xtranormal, they'd eventually wind up here, where they could get back up and running again. But I knew if it were sold that the torch would need to be passed back to the new owner, and that time is now."
"I began my journey of State Plus because I had a vision for where this kind of animation software should go. And I took it as far towards that ideal as was possible, considering that I was limited to manipulating it only from the outside. In talking with Paul it is clear that our vision of the ideal tool is the same. And just as Xtranormal's IP has gone back to where it started, it's now necessary for State Plus to join it. I am transferring ownership of State Plus itself to Paul. By doing this, State Plus should now be classified as an extension of Xtranormal's IP [Intellectual Property]."
"State Plus is now collaborating with Nawmal, the new owner of xtranormal's technology. For information and to be kept informed of any upcoming releases sign up to the newsletter at www.nawmal.com"