Create Your Own Animated Videos: PowToon, GoAnimate and Xtranormal

I’ve written before about how much I love PowToon, a clever online tool that lets you create an animated infographic-type video to demo your product, promote your event or simply amuse your colleagues. Another way to liven up electronic communication is to create an animated cartoon. My two favorite tools in this category are GoAnimate and XtraNormal.

I’ve played around with both tools several times, and they’re really cool. You pick everything from the background to the characters to the expressions on their faces and the way they point at each other. You type the dialog and pick the funny robotic voice of your actors — or even record your own voices for a more personalized video. A short piece without a lot of fancy touches might take you less than half an hour to create, or you could probably spend hours on the little details.

Both GoAnimate and XtraNormal have free-ish plans, which means you can play around with some very basic templates before shelling out any money. If you’re going to use the videos for your business, you’ll need to consider the subscription levels for professional use, which start at about $25/month.

Here is the first Xtranormal video I ever saw, “I’m Training for an Ironman.” It’s still makes me laugh every time.

Warning! It has, well, colorful language and is probably not safe for work. But my husband just finished his first Half Ironman event, so now this video is even funnier.

You can also add a little twist to your marketing with a fun cartoon. ToonDoo has templates and characters that you can drag and drop into a variety of cartoon formats. You can even put several cartoons together into a flippable cartoon book that reminds me of Issuu, my favorite magazine maker (see a sample here).

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