Holy crap. Tell me this isn't going to become the biggest thing ever.

This reminds me of a PC game from Lionhead Studios called, "The Movies." The idea was that you would manage your own movie studio and make your own movies, using templates for settings, backgrounds, costumes, and actors. I absolutely loved the idea, but it was far too complicated to really work, far too techy and geeky.

Do-it-yourself animation really would be the greatest thing to hit the internet EVER. It just needs to be easy enough for anyone to start creating. I don't know yet if Xtranormal will be the breakthrough, or if it's only the next step forward. All I know is that I want to goof around and make my own Lego People cartoons.

This is what the computer revolution does. It shatters barriers and democratizes everything. I say bring it on.


J.R.D.S. said...

…But if one wanted to do that, couldn't they just use actual Lego people in stop-motion?

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Well, I'll tell you what. We'll give ourselves 30 minutes to create someting - you with your Lego's, me with Xtranormal.

The idea is that just about anyone can create something, using various selections of scenery, characters, facial expressions, camera angles, and dialog. Heck, you can just start writing right away and have your very own cartoon in mere minutes.

Ideally, such software programs must be easy and accessable enough for the non-techies to grasp, intuitive enough so you can feel free to play around, and diverse enough to enable you to realize anything.

I don't know if Xtranormal will succeed in that - the company has suffered heavy layoffs - but even if they don't, they will have paved the road for whoever comes next.

I can't tell you how quickly I want to goof around with this and create my own cartoons. It's just too fun to pass up.

And I see no reason why, either today or in a few years' time, we can't have software programs that create cartoons with production values on par with South Park or Family Guy. It really should be easy enough for anyone to give it a try.

Skilled animators, I'm sure, would not be happy with such a democratization of their art. But I think this would be similar to the rise of punk rock, and its gospel of "Do It Yourself." This has all the makings of a revolution, if only we're allowed the chance.

willborough said...

In my opninion this seems to be to animation what clipart is to comics. Without a doubt you could make fun animations with it but ultimately it would be boring as it lacks personality. It could prove to be a good personal testing ground for developing ideas or storylines though.


Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Yes, that's very true that Xtranormal points towards a clip-art animation style. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Get Your War On was entirely the product of clip art, and it's the most scathing and funny comic from the Bush/Cheney era.

A skilled artist can create from any tools. This is just a new box of crayons, which will enable people to draw and create with relative ease. And anything that brings art to the masses is a good thing.

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