Skip to main content

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.

Popular posts from this blog

Featured Animator: Christian Haynes - 'Zack In Time' An Original, Independent, Animated Series on the Rise

Christian Haynes - Zack In Time.  If you've ever wanted to create an animated TV series staring your own original characters and stories then Los Angeles based writer, director, and animator, Christian Haynes is taking those next steps of putting together a team, developing a pitch/trailer for their series, Zack In Time. Featuring professional studio quality animation, they hope the show will get picked up by an animation studio for an official series. The path he and his team are taking is one you could easily follow as they deal with real life commitments, and building a following on Instagram and Tik-Tok showcasing their work behind the scenes. TET: Tell me a little about yourself. Who you are, and why you started animating? My name is Christian Haynes and I've loved animation ever since I was a kid. I would constantly be drawing cartoon characters from TV shows and movies and making my own little homemade comic strips.  As I got older, I became a lot more interested in st

Reallusion Releases Cartoon Animator 5 - One Version, More Features, Lower Price!

If you're serious about producing 2D animation as quickly as possible, while still achieving professional results, Reallusion's Cartoon Animator 5 makes the most compelling case yet as your animation studio/tool of choice. Cartoon Animator's point of difference has always been its ease of use and accelerated workflow. Creating fast, 2D animation using puppet, bone rigged based characters and props, on a stage with 3D depth for easy scene parallax effects. As it has developed Reallusion has incorporated more advanced features like motion capture for both face and body as well as being able to export scenes to post production tools like After Effects with the addition of plugins. After moving away from Flash based vector image support for a few years, Reallusion is back with full .SVG (scalable vector graphics) support for resolution independent graphics. They've also added Spring Dynamic physics and Full Form Deformation tools, both of which make it ridiculously easy t

Shotcut - Free Open Source Video Editor for Windows, Mac, and Linux

Shotcut Open Source Video Editor. I've been on the hunt for a while now for the best, free, open source, video editing application out there. In Shotcut , by Meltytech , which has versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux, I think I may have found a real front runner. This won't be a feature filled review, rather it will be my first impressions after having used Shotcut on a few of my YouTube videos so far. One of my key criteria for a video editor is the ability to import any video format directly into the project. This may seem like an odd focus initially but having convert video to something your video editor can use is annoyingly time consuming, and it creates a new generation of footage, potentially with a loss in quality if you don't really know much about video format specs (that's this guy right here!). Shotcut will happily work with my OBS recordings (.FLV), and .MOV, .MP4 files that I get from two different cameras. Not only that but Shotcut doesn't hold me up

Eric W. Schwartz: Cartoonist, Animator and Amiga Die Hard

July 1992 Edition, CU Amiga Featuring Amy the Squirrel. American Cartoonist, Eric W. Schwartz , (whose unofficial Amiga Icon, Amy the Squirrel, is pictured on the July 92 edition of CU Amiga cover on the right) is my only real animation hero. Sure there are the big names like Disney , Chuck Jones , Tex Avery and even Preston Blair whose influences can all be seen in my own cartoons but Eric did what none of the others could. He showed that really great 2D computer animation was within my reach with little more than an Amiga Computer , a copy of Deluxe Paint and Moviesetter . This was at a time when computer based animation was in its infancy (outside of computer game animation) and Flash was something that lights did. There were many great Amiga artists but Eric was really the only one consistently making very funny, traditional style animations. His humor and drawing style is heavily influenced by classic Warner Brothers and Disney cartoons but he managed to build on this,

Make Disney/Pixar Style Characters with Reallusion's Character Creator and Toon Figure Bases

The Extraordinary Tourist Classic Coat outfit created using Reallusion's Toon Designer for CC3. I've talked before how I've wanted to get into 3D Disney/Pixar style character animation since I first saw the animated cutscenes for the very first Tomb Raider game back in 1996. It's why I initially bought Reallusion's iClone 3D studio app as soon as I could afford a computer that would run it. But then Reallusion released their 3D Character Creator (CC) for iClone and I wanted to create my characters with that (and I did try with Bat Storm ). But the focus of CC was realism, even with ToKoMotion's stylised body morphs . Now with Reallusion's Cartoon Designer bundle for CC3 which features two packs, Toon Figures , and Toon Hair , designing Disney/Pixar style 3D characters just got a whole lot quicker. The two packs are the bare essentials for creating Toon style characters. Five body morphs (2 male, 2 female, and one adolescent body morph that w

Review: Headshot Plugin for Reallusion's Character Creator 3

Headshot for CC3. Quite possibly the best 3D Avatar I've made of myself in any 3D application. Creating a realistic 3D human avatar is a whole lot easier with Reallusion's new Headshot Plugin for Character Creator 3. The plugin is an AI powered extension that can generate 3D digital humans from one photo. Which sounds like an amazing proposition but, in practice, if you're trying to achieve a specific likeness to an actual person, Headshot will give you an excellent base to work from. Headshot has two modes, Auto and Pro. Auto Mode Auto is well worth a try if you have an ideal photo of a front facing person that is properly lit and posed to Headshot's optimum requirements. It's also the only mode that will take a crack at generating a hair model. I grabbed an image of Harrison Ford, dragged it into Headshot without changing any of the default settings (other than specifying 'male' and selecting an 'old male' setting) and this is what I

TimeBolt: Fast Video Editing for Anyone Creating Online Courses, Podcasts, or Vlogs.

I resisted making tutorial videos for a long time because I don't like editing. Specifically I don't like editing me teaching as I step students through a process during a screen record. I have a tendency to insert long pauses not just in the middle of sentences but between multiple words in the middle of sentences as my pace matches what I'm doing onscreen. This makes for very long and very slow paced video tutorials. To counteract this I have to edit out all the pauses. This can take hours, or even days on particularly long tutorials. For example, when I created my main course, The Lazy Animator Beginner's Guide to Cartoon Animator , I literally injured the thumb on my right hand, operating my mouse, as I spent weeks taking out all my pauses (seriously, I had to wear a thumb brace for a few weeks to fix the pain). Recently I came across TimeBolt , a very affordable, fast editing application with the featured purpose of removing all the pauses from your video (and even