Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yo! Animate This!

Okay, I think this is actually so cool that I was at first tempted to just keep it to myself, but after playing around with it a little, I decided that it was so cool that it would be a public disservice not to share it with you and I think the company that developed it deserves proper mention for a job well done.





Confession time: Here's the sad truth, ladies and gentleman, traditional filmmaking is my thang, but I've always secretly longed to also be an animator, but three formidable obstacles have long stood in my way-

  1. Despite early promise in grade school, I suck at drawing
  2. I simply don't have the patience to work 6 hours to create 6 seconds of finished footage
  3. Merely thinking about high end animation software makes my brain hurt

Up until now, I've been haunted by this unfulfilled longing, but now the good people at Fuzzwich have created a virtual Fantasy Island for wanna-be animators like me. The relatively new filmmaking art of Mechinima has recently filled the longing for some computer-saavy wanna-bes. (See my previous Machinima post.)

However, I think Machinima is still not yet evolved to my "idiot-proof just-give-it-to-me-now and make-it-easy-and-intuitive like-my-ipod" kinda level. The new app I want to tell you about will have you cranking out clever humorous animations in 10 minutes flat from scratch. All of the animated clips on this post were created using it.

In a matter of minutes you can create and share a very cool, professional-looking, and creative animation with music using their funky-fresh brand-new still-in-Beta-testing, only-tell-people-you-like-about-it online app called Minivid.

Who Can I Turn To


I've seen other interfaces for various animation applications, but they were always fairly static and limiting. I think the people at Fuzzwich have actually nailed it here. They've actually made it super-easy for anyone to create a simple animation, have it look and play good, share it, and offer enough options in music, backgrounds, characters, and actions that everyone's cartoon creations can feel unique.

The interface is pure Down and Dirty- simple, effective, and not overcomplicated. After watching just a 2 minute video tutorial (see below) I was able to quickly get a cartoon up and running. The more I played with it the more I could see this app sucking up vast chunks of time without even realizing it as I try to top Pixar's latest effort from my laptop. (Reest assured the animators jobs at Pixar are still safe...for the moment.)

How to Create Your Own Minivid

How to Minivid! from fuzzwich on Vimeo.


Nevertheless, there's plenty of room to really grow this app with even more character choices, the ability to add your own music and pix, animate mouths seperately, etc., but it's a great start for us pencil-challenged wanna-be animators. Give it a few more versions and even us- the non-graphically artistically-challenged can become serious animators too!

It stands alone as just plain silly creative time-wasting fun- (especially with the likes of characters of George Bush, Barack Obama, and a Chewbacca knock-off thrown in!). However, a Down and Dirty DV filmmaker with the proper application of imagination and perhaps some creative post-hacking of a finished Minivid could easily incorporate such video animations (not the music) into a larger online filmmaking effort...assuming there are no legal issues with using finished video, of course.- If there are just remember you didn't hear it from me.


Le Ballet De Pug



Please leave your comments or point us to your Minivid creations below.

UPDATE:
So, had I have stopped playing with Minivid long enough, I would've noticed their upcoming offering, Animator which apparently can do all the things I said that I'd like to see in future versions of this program. It's in a very private Beta at the moment, but perhaps you will be one of the lucky ones selected to participate.

I am intrigued and excited to check out the results from the beefier application. I think this really is revolutionary and a great leap forward for Down and Dirty filmmakers everywhere. If anyone has any Animator projects online, please feel free to link to them in a comment on this post.

Animator BETA Preview Video:




The Fuzzwich Screencast from fuzzwich on Vimeo.

1 comment:

Chris Patton said...

Hey Anthony,

Glad that you're picking up what we're throwing down here at the Fuzzwich ranch.

Speaking of a new versions, I don't know if you had a chance to see it, but we are working on a more fully featured (but still easy to use) animation app unceremoniously called "Fuzzwich Animator". If anyone's interested, there's a quick screencast here: http://www.fuzzwich.com/animator and a 3 minute tutorial here: http://www.vimeo.com/929792

I totally love your idea of doing post processing on a Minivid to make some interesting video. If anyone out there in DV land does something like that, I want to see it! I expect great things from you vid kids.

Thanks for the love!

If anyone has any questions, thoughts, flames, etc for me. You can hit me up at:

chris at fuzzwich dot com

-
Chris Patton
VP Business Development
Habit Industries, Fuzzwich.com