WOW! ThankyouThankyouThankyou! You've given us enough material to answer a dozen questions and pose a gross more! I'll save most of them and skip to a couple of things I'd like to comment on.
When I first discovered GoANimate through a trek site I had no inclinations to make animations. I saw the Star Trek theme as a way to tell a story though. Something I'd always wanted to do. But I think because the characters are quogs a lot of people can't get past the cheesy kids stuff attachment. SO it's hard to work with. There's not many trekkies there either. Most have left after the novelty wore off. My most popular and viewed animation on there was a Star Trek spoof face of the enema. I think it got popular because the kids love the poo aspect of it lol.
[Techie question: what's a Quog? a Flash character?] Hmmm Every business has to get past that slump after the initial "rush" has finished - they need to have a definite niche, something that they can do that others can't. I think they seem to be playing on the "anyone can do it" card rather than developing it as a film-making tool - unless this new premium service could be such a development? Trekkies (and I include myself in this) aren't the best at accepting satire but it can be cool in moderation.
But something made me stick with it and try out other stuff- not just Trek or sci fi. There's a guy on there -Reddplague who made really good props and new characters he imported that I wanted. And I asked him to make a Romulan but he was too busy. I think he was the only person using flash at the time and everyone was asking him for a prop- poor guy. So I decided not pester him and learn flash myself. I've been using it since october 2009 and only now am I starting to feel comfortable using it. I spend far too much time using it, but i find its so easy to use once I've learned it. Learning it is difficult. I used youtube tutorials and manuals and Reddplague. GoAnimate Staff were very helpful and looked at my source (fla) files to see I had them correct. It's important to have the right format or else importing them to GA studio can cause the studio to crash.
S'truth! You can crash the site? That could make you very
unpopular I'd think! What you've done, learning Flash as you have, is an amazing achievement though! It opens sooo many opportunities! I can see that you've spotted the Enterprise Flashed
videos of LilRedHead, who unfortunately we have seen since 2005! He seems to be moving on to bigger and better things, all the EF episodes are still in the video gallery of his new site
though. If you want some real inspiration remember, Jamie Farr
started off just like you on Xombie
in 2003 and he is talking to Dreamwork
s about a movie deal now!
GA has really changed a lot since I joined. And sometime next week there's going to be a better system where you can subscribe for a plus account with new features. The best feature so far is the character creator. It lets you choose body type and facial features clothes hair accessories with a lot of actions. Its still quite limited and could do with more actions. Overall GA has its limitations but also is a really good platform to start with for someone wanting to learn flash. It's helped me with my approach to animating a lot.
interesting. I can't help but see a resemblence between GoAnimate and Lego - you've got standard "building blocks" that can be put together in simple or complex ways - there have been some cool Lego brick movies as well! I agree that the character generator sounds like a way of adding flexibility into the system so that its sort of like a way of making custom building blocks. As you say, it sounds like a good learning tool - one that is fun to use as well!
Being a Beta tester allowed me to upload flash. myself.I created the
cast of TNG I had no idea how to draw someone walking so I used cam recording software and captured all the moves of the GA characters then I took stills of each frame they moved and traced over them in flash. It was a very long and boring process. Thankfully flash has line tools which lets you moves line around to follow shapes. Rather than hand drawn even though you are hand drawing the lines. I still couldn't draw a person walking from scratch. I guess I could learn that at college. I do hope to take up web flash design this year.
What you've done sounds like rotoscoping
- so you are following in the footsteps of professional animators there! Don't for a second think you are cutting corners or that your work is any less creative than someone else's - You could even say that it is a sort of amateur MoCap
system! I'm incredibly impressed!
More than the animating itself; GA is a really friendly site and I made a couple of really good friends. Its weird too becasue there are young children and 60 year olds all interacting which is something I've never experience online before. its a nice balance actually.
I hope you'll find TrekUnited just as friendly!
I do wonder if I'd be on that site still if I hadn't learned flash. More than likely I'd have left it as it is limited. But because it was a platfrom to test my flash props easily compared to Adobe flash studio I have grown really fond of the site. I will of course in time make my own stuff without GA. Especially with regards to a new project I have for a Spin off Trek series. But I really enjoy working with the studio on GA. And am looking forward to the new changes to the site next week.
You'll have to keep us posted about your projects otherwise I will have to send out the agents of the House of L'Stok to spy on you!
If you check my latest work on there you can check out a lot of new props I made, like the JJ Abram's bridge and the excelsior bridge which I think look great. Also the Tholian homeworld is something I'm pleased with, and because its vector based it doesn't lose resolution if its shown on a large screen. This is also an entry into a contest to create a trailer for a film. Mine is a fantasy Trek movie The Tantalus Device
I'll check it out shortly - good luck!
Its interesting you mention how people develop over time. I was watching STarmada my first animation with voices and its really cringeworthy looking at it now. The audio part of GA is not the best. It has 4 tracks which is limiting to what sounds you can have. And synching them is difficult sometimes. I learned a lot from that and it helped me to make the sound on Face of the Enema as close to perfect as possible.
I know you will be tempted to change it but please don't! Your real fans will judge you on your current work and the rest of mere mortals need encouragement that everyone has to start somewhere! (Even Jamie Farr says that about his first episode!)
I watch other people's flash animations on the net and I'm in awe, and hope to get to their level one day. I wish there wasn't a culture of snubbing goanimate amongst Trekkers. It must be hard to look past the Quog characters when telling a Trek story. I am planning on a new spoof TNG series -City on the Edge of a Fishfinger. It will be interesting to see what happens. If it is popular then I will know that the Quogs are best a medium of humour. I started making a non quog typeSisko. I'm too sure of the style. I don't want to carbon copy the TAS style characters.
I'll tell the truth. There are so many GoAnimate clips around that are, well, not as good as they could be, that it tends to stereotype the whole thing - take heart that it is like fan fiction in that respect! But, like fan fiction, this makes the good ones stand out!
There's a few good Trek stories and funnies on there by other people. Here's the cream of the crop
Mojochi's Enterprise Physicals
Armalarm's priceline Shantner piss take
Armalarm's Wrath of Bush
RoTV's aniamted graphic novel- Sirens Carnage- and I'm an orion girl on cover of issue 3
I think I've seen that first one, it was good, and I've seen RoTV's animated graphic novel - he's another animator who is taking the GoAnimate tool and using it in an original way! I'll have to catch up with the rest.
Sorry I can't talk more, I'll PM you in a sec, but you've given me a new take on GoAnimate that makes me want to try something on it! Thanks again for the wealth of information.