Friday, 9 November 2012

A-Z of Free Online Stuff - 7. Go!Animate

Image from Duncan C, under a CC
BY-NC licence
Sorry this A-Z has been on hold, and it's been a while since 'F'...

G is for Go!Animate

Go!Animate is a great tool for creating online animations quickly and easily. You get a range of characters and situations, and can really let your imagination run riot. Paid accounts get a better selection of components to work with, and the ability to create longer animations, but there's plenty of scope with what you can get for free. There is also a Go!Animate for education package, which is aimed and schools and creates a more controlled, moderated environment for learning.

Animations can be made either by recording your own voice, or typing text to speech. The latter is actually very effective, and a range of voices, both American and English accented, are available as default.

The simplest way to create a video is to use the "Quick Animation" tool, in which you select two characters and type in their script. An example is below, and took just minutes to produce...

Go Animate demo for blog. by PeteCICS on GoAnimate

Animated Presentations - Powered by GoAnimate.

The other way is to use the complete Video Maker, that acts like a studio, in which you can select characters and fully configure how they act. Movement, facial expressions, camera angles, sound effects, music, interaction with objects - all this can be achieved, and it can be as complicated as you need it to be. Be aware, though, that in this mode you get a finite amount of text-to-voice "credits" to use per month in the free version, and you're restricted to two minute videos. You've also got a fairly limited amount of default characters, but new ones can be purchased (including custom characters).

Here is an example of the kind of things that can be achieved. Making a video about something that you need to explain could be very time consuming using traditional means. Go!Animate allows you to create short, humorous videos which, with a bit of imagination, allows you to explain a point. Below is an example of video I put together that could be used to explain to students about getting filming permissions for video-making.

Filming Permissions Fail by PeteCICS on GoAnimate

Video Maker - Powered by GoAnimate.

I really like Go!Animate, and it's a great way to make videos that, while being slightly silly, can actually give across information and make serious points using humour.

Claire Beecroft, a colleague in the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) has used Go!Animate for real-life purposes very successfully. She used on an Integrated Learning Activities (ILA) Masterclass, using it as an alternative for role-play for students. The students had to write a script for a consultation between a doctor and patient, and Claire animated them, with the finished videos watched as a class. Claire says, "needless to say the students were very taken aback by this, but they really enjoyed it."

ILA Beecroft by Claire on GoAnimate

Animation Software - Powered by GoAnimate.

So, if you've never used Go!Animate give it a go, and if you've used it in learning and teaching, or see some potential for using it, let us know.

And I'll try not to leave it so long before 'H'...

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