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Summary:

GoAnimate, a New York City-based startup, launched a snazzy web-based animation creator at Comic-Con this weekend. Today we talked to GoAnimate founder and CEO Alvin Hung about his company, for which he’s raised $1.4 million in angel funding and is currently trying to add $5 million […]

GoAnimate, a New York City-based startup, launched a snazzy web-based animation creator at Comic-Con this weekend. Today we talked to GoAnimate founder and CEO Alvin Hung about his company, for which he’s raised $1.4 million in angel funding and is currently trying to add $5 million in venture funding (one VC firm is already committed, he said).

Hung described GoAnimate’s tools as easy to use for anyone who has a story to tell, whether they’re an artist or not. Check out this how-to for an impressive demo (albeit with some heart-rate-raising high-tension music in the background). “Essentially you’re erecting a video shoot, and just placing these actors on stage and asking them to perform for you,” Hung said.

Taken together, GoAnimate’s Flash-based tools seem like a good mix of templates and detailed power-user options. They are pretty serious considering they’re running within a web browser. Users create tableaus and scenes from GoAnimate stock animation, themes, music and effects, as well as from their own work. Sample animation starters include politicians, celebrities and classic cartoons.

To tell a story, users can employ speech bubbles or dial a phone number to record a voice-over, upload their own sounds, and soon (within the next week, according to Hung), use a text-to-speech tool. The company just cut a deal with Entertainment Rights so users will also be able to incorporate Underdog, Richie Rich and Mr. Magoo graphics and characters starting in September.

Web-based animation sites for user-generated and higher-level content like Aniboom (which does have its own basic animation creation software), MyToons, and Channel Frederator are growing in popularity, but GoAnimate is oriented more towards the creation side. There are also lots of web-based video- and photo-editing platforms — some good ones are Flektor and Animoto — that aren’t focused on animation.

GoAnimate employs 20 people in New York City and Hong Kong. The company plans to make money through advertising, subscription services for premium effects, and white-labeling its animation tools to other sites (read: it hasn’t picked a business model). Hung said to expect more content deals to be announced soon as well as new shows from political commentators. It’s a good sign that the platform has already spawned some episodic shows: Bush TV and Super Rica & Rashy (embedded above). Hung also mentioned that people uss the tools to create e-cards and invitations, which sounds about perfect for my level.

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  1. Chris Albrecht Tuesday, July 29, 2008

    Hey! The Super Rica and Rashy cartoon embedded here was done by famed animation/comics writer Paul Dini!

  2. Hey Liz,

    Thanks for the review!… did we overdo the music in our GoAnimate Demo? Oops…

    As you mention, we clearly focus on animation creation as we believe there is a great opportunity letting anybody use animation to express themselves… especially as we bring popular characters to our platform. It also becomes a brand new way for license owners to interact with their communities.

    Wanted to mention as well that we have a contest going on the website right now. Any user creating an animation from now until October 1st can have a chance to win a US$5,000 cash prize.

    Nicolas Lassus
    User Experience and Product Manager
    GoAnimate
    GoNickName: Nicolas

  3. Ecco come Creare e Condividere i Tuoi Cartoni Animati con la Piattaforma Online GOANIMATE Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    [...] GoAnimate raising cash for snazy tools – (NEW TEE VEE) [...]

  4. Animasher Launches Animation Tool « NewTeeVee Tuesday, August 12, 2008

    [...] result is a bit crude, and the tools aren’t as robust as those available at GoAnimate (another recent entry into the do-it-yourself animation space), but they’re perfectly fine [...]

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