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The Christmas Animation Rush - Five Apps to Create Your Last Minute Animated Holiday Messages

Who Dunnit TET Christmas Card CA4.
Merry Christmas from Animation and Video Life. 
It's the most wonderful time of the year... well not yet. The Nightmare Before Christmas is not just the animated Tim Burton movie, it's also the nightmare of trying to make your own animated holiday messages in the week before Christmas. Animation takes time. Why didn't you start those in November?!

If this sounds like your nightmare, here are five free or low(ish) cost apps to help you back to sharing the joy of the season with animation, so it truly will be the most wonderful time of the year.

Cartoon Animator 4 (or iClone7)

Reallusion Marketplace search 'Christmas'.
Reallusion Marketplace search 'Christmas'.

If you're already a power user (or even know your way around it a little bit) you'll know CA4 is one of the fastest ways to make completely custom animations. The Reallusion Marketplace has a bunch of Christmas content you can utilize, just don't be too ambitious. Drop in a background, throw in a Santa character, record a short message for him to say, animate him with premade motions and you're good to go!

It's pretty much the same workflow for iClone7 if 3D animation is more your style. Check out all the Christmas Marketplace Content available.

Animaker - Christmas Video Maker

Animaker Christmas Template.
Animaker Christmas Template.

I've favorably reviewed Animaker in the past. In particular I like the art style of much of their content library which leans toward a more friendly cartoon style than corporate infographics. Animaker has a special Online Christmas Video Maker available for free. Just start with their scene templates, add your own customizations and you're done.

Renderforest Christmas Animation and Slide Show Maker

Christmas Deer Opener Template.
Christmas Deer Opener Template.

Renderforest is another cloud based app that I've not only reviewed several of their animation tools before but actually use myself. They have all kinds of animation and video templates that you can further customize which you can view here. Videos can be downloaded, with watermark, for free at 360p or you can purchase the video in 1080p and no watermark for a one time fee (if you don't want a paid subscription).

FlexClip Christmas Video Maker

FlexClip Boxing Day Template
FlexClip Boxing Day Template.

FlexClip is a similar service to Renderforest with their own set of Christmas templates. A lot of the templates here are a little more geared towards businesses, so if you have a last minute holiday sale to promote or want a fun video invite to the office Christmas party this may be the app for you. Free exports are in from 480p up to 1080p if you're willing to have FlexClips intro cards added to the front of the video. Upgrade to a plan to remove this.

Jib Jab eCards and Holiday Video Maker

Jib Jab Twerkshop animated card.
Jib Jab Twerk shop animated card.

Jib Jab has been around for quite some time and specialize in putting you, your family and friends into eCards and videos. You can sign up and edit cards with a free account but you cannot share (or even fully preview) anything without an annual membership which is USD$24.00 per year. It's a little frustrating but the cards are so easy to make (literally minutes) you may just go for the subscription and use it for occasions all year round.


Finally, as a Christmas Bonus, if you do need some Christmas Audio Barrie McDermid (who has also been featured in this blog before), has a Christmas pack of speech samples and music available from Garry Pye Creations, Props n' Stuff online store.


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