Skip to main content

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 be able to create animated characters and props that I could import onto GoAnimate.

Koolmoves has a dedicated Cartooning and Illustration mode which turns on all the software's advanced features. This can be a bit daunting so, if you're really new to the software, it's probably worth trying out the wizard and basic modes first and just seeing what you can do with that before taking the plunge into full on cartoon animation. Try some of the tutorials and task assistants as well.

This review isn't intended to be a step by step guide to creating characters with Koolmoves. Instead I'll just highlight features that I liked and point out any difficulties I've had.

For my very first animated character GoAnimator, Cool34606, agreed to let me turn his custom character, Kung Fu Cat, that I'd animated with before, into a true flash animated character. I chose his character because it was an original design and because Cool's drawings weren't too complex but weren't overly simple either.

The first great feature, that I assume is standard in most cartoon animation packages, is the ability to import a bitmap image so you can trace it with vector lines. That meant I could just load in Cool's original drawings to trace my base figure from.

The only problem I've had with this feature is that if you change magnification of your drawing it'll no longer match up with your trace image. Thus you have to choose a magnification before you start and then stick with it.

Once you have the base figure it's relatively easy to animate most moves without having to redraw every frame. You just move the vector lines around on each new frame. The ability to 'onion skin' i.e. see previous and successive frames (shown below) comes in real handy.


You can see as many previous or successive frames as you need. You can also view your image in wire frame mode if objects are obstructing lines on other frames that you need to see.

Koolmoves does have a character 'bones' feature where by, in theory, you create a skeleton for you character so that instead of moving the vector lines themselves you just move the bone limbs around and the software will move your lines correspondingly. However I found it clunky and unusable and haven't tried to use them since. To be fair though even the user guide says their bones system is primitive so hopefully future versions will improve this feature.

I've only delved into Action Script at a most basic level with my characters, using commands such a 'stop movie' and 'gotoAndPlay'. GoAnimate characters don't really support advanced action script commands. Koolmoves supports both Action Script 1 and 3 so if coding is your thing the software is very capable.

Exporting your creation, options include; as straight flash movies, Flash/HTML embed, frame captures and Scalable Vector Graphics.

Below is my GoAnimate demonstration video for Kung Fu Cat which shows all of the initial moves I created for him using Koolmoves.

KFCC 2.0 - First Test by etourist

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

It would be fair to say I've barely used Koolmoves to it's full potential. It includes many fantastic effect tools to create animated and 3D text. Drawing tools include the ability to create gradient fills, transparency, adjust line thicknesses and more. You can import video, audio and indeed, create entire flash animated cartoons with Koolmoves alone that you could upload to Youtube.

The program is still a little buggy and has on occasion crashed on me but, if you save your work often this will hopefully not be an issue. For the shift into paid flash software from the extremely buggy  Pencil Animator it is one giant leap for very little cost. I would definitely recommend it as an animators tool and for anyone who wants to try flash without the high cost of Adobe's Professional software.

Note: If you're a GoAnimator reading this review, as of the time I wrote this article only GoAnimate Beta Testers are able to upload flash objects and characters. This may change some time in the future but, in the meantime, why not try Koolmoves and learn flash animation for yourself.

Comments

  1. Great review. I've been using KoolMoves for a while now, and I'd have to agree with everything you wrote.
    Just another note to GoAnimaters- You can't create Characters in the cartooning mode.
    KoolMoves is great for small stuff like making Sprites, but it seems to take a lot of system resources, and if you have too many objects on the scene it can get pretty slow. Also, if you have too many programs on while using KoolMoves it's bound to crash--even says so in the user manual-lol.
    The other thing is I'm finding it hard to learn actionscript because everything teaches it in Adobe Flash terms, which is really too bad.

    You're definitely right about it being a great price to find out if you want to move into Adobe Flash Pro, I've come to love working with vectors and hopefully will be moving into getting an Adobe Suite.

    I'd recommend purchasing KoolMoves to anyone who thinks they'd be interested in Web Design or Cartooning and animation.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the comment and additional information Coady.

    I haven't really tried to learn actionscript on Koolmoves because I just don't need it beyond the most basic of commands like being able to loop an animation back to a specific frame instead of the begining or to stop an animation from looping.

    Not sure what you mean by not being able to create characters in cartooning mode though? I use the software in that mode all the time.

    Koolmoves is missing a lot of advanced drawing tools that CS5 has so anyone who's serious about flash will probably outgrow Koolmoves over time.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

I welcome, read, and respond to genuine comments relating to each post. If your comment isn't that save me some time by not posting it.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Popular posts from this blog

Animating Warwick Hays Skateboarder Ed Character for Cartoon Animator - Can Ed Kickflip?

Skateboarder Ed. Character by Warwick Hays. Warwick Hays has built quite a sizeable collection of characters, props, and backgrounds for Cartoon Animator that I've yet to really explore, however, being the tragic skateboarder that I am, it was surely fate that I would buy his Skateboarder Ed G3 character as my first purchase. Now I don't know a lot about Warwick but, based on the design of the skateboard prop that comes with Skateboarder Ed I'm fairly certain Warwick doesn't know much about skateboarding, and/or probably didn't use a good reference when designing his skateboard. Bart's skateboard has changed over the years, though curiously, even later versions, barely get closer to what an actual skateboard looks like. To be fair, Warwick's holding up a tradition of animators who clearly haven't seen a skateboard or noticed how skaters actually ride them. Just check out Bart Simpson's flat plank of wood with wheels from the opening int

Real Human AI Text to Speech Voice App by Replica Studios - AI voice actors for games + films

Replica Studios TTS App. Image: Replica Studios It really pays to attend Reallusion's free animation demonstration Webinars. At a recent webinar, host, Kai DeNeve, featured Replica Studio's A.I. Voice Actor system . Replica uses Artificial Intelligence to learn a real voice actor's speech patterns, tone, and inflection, which can then be used with their Text To Speech (TTS) system to produce the most realistic computer generated voices yet (or at least that I've come across). You can even fine tune how individual words are said and more. Their TTS system works through a downloadable desktop app for Mac and Windows. There are also bridging apps if you want to use their system for voices in UnReal and Unity Gaming systems. Sign up for a free account and get 30 minutes of free voice downloads (that's 30 minutes of recorded audio - not 30 minutes to download audio - that you can download a line at a time). After that you can purchase 4 hour blocks for just USD$24.00.

My First Anthropomorphic Character with Reallusion's Character Creator 3 (Pipeline) & Reviving My TETAnimations YouTube Channel

Skateboarding Cage Monster - Heelflip. Reallusion's Character Creator 3  is a pretty incredible application for creating any kind of human digital 3D character quickly. Its power comes from the way it can totally deform a standard human base template character into a seemingly infinite number of body types and shapes. While I wouldn't recommended it as a your only 3D character sculpting tool, it is very powerful with just how much you can edit a character's form at the vertex/mesh level. I've experimented a little with CC3's Edit mesh functions, mostly using it to hide areas of an object I don't want seen. Bat Storm's cape is a good example where I used the ability to hide vertices to completely remove the assassin's hood from the neckline up. Just on a whim I wondered if I could create my Cage Monster character entirely in CC3 (with exception to his skin textures which I edited in Krita). The character is basically a stylised human body with a monster

#XPPenanimationchallenge - How I Created My Entry for XP-Pen's First Animation Competition

XP-Pen's Mascot, Fenix, in A Change of Art by TET. XP-Pen , the makers of a range of pretty sweet pen display monitors, and Reallusion , the makers of some pretty sweet animation apps, teamed up for XP-Pen's very first Animation Challenge with the theme of 'Change'. Any form of animation was acceptable with entries needing to be a minimum of ten seconds in length. Entries closed on June 16th, 2020 (sorry, this blog isn't really a breaking news site, I probably should've mentioned it back in March when entries submissions opened) so it's too late to enter, but I wanted to tell you the tale of how I ended up creating my entry in a really late evening, the day before the deadline. Watch my entry below. Remember the theme is 'Change' and XP-Pen suggested in the rules that including their mascot, Fenix, somewhere in the animation would be looked upon favorably.   The Ideas Scenes from Skater - My First XP-Pen Competition Idea. This was not my first idea

Stylish Stick Figures for Cartoon Animator 4.2 - New Characters by TET

Stylish Stick Figures by TET. Animating stick figures is almost a right of passage for any animator who has ever made an old fashioned flipbook or discovered the free stickman animator app, Pivot Animator . There's also the hugely popular viral stick figure animation, Animator Versus Animation  and its sequels by Alan Becker that continue to inspire variations more than 12 years later. Back when Vyond was GoAnimate they had a stick figure theme that was popular site wide despite having many other themes with much more refined Saturday morning cartoon style characters. I even had my own stick figure series, Harry Chalk , on GoAnimate. Long story short, I was looking through the Reallusion Cartoon Animator Marketplace and discovered there really weren't any well designed, traditional looking stick figure characters. That's not to say there weren't any at all but I wanted something similar to GoAnimate's stick figures which included full facial features and male and

After Effects for the Rest of Us - Reallusion Release Cartoon Animator 4.3 with Game Changing Export Modes

Now you can add 'After Effects' to your Cartoon Animator 4.3 projects in any video application. This blur and halftone effect was applied in Shotcut Video Editor. Reallusion released Cartoon Animator Update 4.3 with much fanfare about its new Adobe After Effects plugin which is a game changer all on its own.  The ability to export a CA4 project with its layers intact into AE for additional video compositing should be a head turner for industry pros looking to take advantage of some of CA4's more unique features and reduced workflows. For those of us not in the Adobe ecosystem (and there are a lot of you out there) Reallusion did not leave you without something to get excited about. Also in the 4.3 update is the ability to export your project as an Object Based Sequence . Essentially this exports each element of your project to its own folder, audio included. If an object has any animation on it at all it will be exported as sequentially numbered, transparent PNG files. Thi

Your First Look at Bat Storm Animated and Launching My Patreon

Bat Storm. Traditionally my Bat Storm character has always been a parody of whichever movie Batman is in the limelight. Back in the GoAnimate days that was Christian Bale, but now we have a new, upcoming Batman with Robert Pattinson. What better way to greet the new guy than with Bat Storm's own 'camera test' teaser just like Robert Pattinson's suit camera test. This is actually the very first public release of my new Bat Storm character model animated. Prior to this it's only been 'leaked' still images (does it count as leaking when it's the show creator deliberately posting images publically?). Anyhow Bat Storm pays homage to two Batmen ahead of their time (Val Kilmer and George Clooney) who had the balls to wear nipples on the Batsuit. Clearly a diversionary measure designed to disarm unsuspecting bad guys with laughter.  If no one is taking you seriously that's clearly an advantage! Visit my Patreon Page for more information. L