aniBoom Virtual Production Studios:
An expanding new community of creators
The online animation network aniBoom provides a free platform for animators to create cartoons
, and a haven for all cartoon fans to watch and rate them. The most talented and highest ranking animators are given the opportunity to become partners with aniBoom and get paid to produce their own original videos. AniBoom has tapped into an ardent community of video animators to create cartoons of substance that have already interested some of the many regular members of YouTube’s audience. Exploiting this online cartoon video niche not yet targeted by YouTube, aniBoom is unique in that virtually all of the content on the site is created by the community of members. It provides its own free animation software
tool, Shape Shifter, which can be used to make professional quality animations. AniBoom has also recently created the Micro-Smotion tool, which is used to add simple animated segments to regular videos. While growing rapidly in popularity and traffic, aniBoom is counting on the abilities of its membership community to incubate and identify talented artists. The larger the community grows, the greater the potential for outstanding individuals with creative concepts to come forth and become partners with aniBoom.
Since most budding animation artists don’t have industry access or connections, aniBoom has created a “digital pipeline” that closes the cracks between the need for cost efficient development and production, and an international pool of resources. It’s this digital pipeline network that permits aniBoom to find, develop, test, produce, and distribute at a speed that outpaces the traditional offline animation production process and at significantly lower costs. AniBoom also sponsors contests for video partnership in order to create profit incentives for members to put their talent into action.Using the Shape Shifter WEB application
Any visitor to the site can use the free Shape Shifter WEB application to create frame-by-frame animation which is based on the manipulation of black and white geometric shapes. You can change the size, angle, color, and placement of the shapes in relation to the other chosen shapes, allowing the creation of animated characters or images of your choice. After creating images you can add sound, choose to save your videos to the website, and send the link to anyone. Placing your saved video on the site lets you receive ratings from the other viewers. This can all be done online without ever having to download Shape Shifter onto your computer.
To start the simple animation process you are provided with four shapes to create your animated image. Selecting shapes and placing them on the workspace allows you to arrange patterns and assign colors in order to create you image frame-by-frame. Although you can place as many shapes as you need to create your image, the number should be as small as possible in each image frame so as to maximize the performance. Since you are creating animated characters by only using four basic shapes, it helps to layer several shapes by either sending the shape to the front or to the back of the others. To streamline this process when you create an image you can rotate, pan, zoom in and out, and scale all the shapes together as a group, so that shapes remain as one unit. When you click on the name of the group, the group of shapes is selected. You can rotate, pan, zoom in and out, pivot or scale the shapes as a group as you do one shape. Panning is used to change the point-of-view from which you see the image, but is not used to create movement or to set the placement of the shapes.Creating Frame by Frame Animation
To actually transform geometric shapes into animation you will create multiple frames of images. Each frame should be similar to the frame before with slight changes in the image or in its position. Every slight change indicates a unit of movement. When placed in order and played back, the image(s) appear to be moving which creates the animation effect. New frames are created with a replica of the image in the previous frame. Slight changes to the image are made in the new frame, while you are able to save the image and replicate the current frame so that new changes can be made in the following frame. When designing your image you can only see the frame you are working on. In order to track changes it is helpful to see the previous and next frames at the same time. This animation technique is referred to as “onion-skin” because of an old cell animation technique. The tool lets you view multiple frames simultaneously.
Adding sound effects to the animation is done by inserting them individually in the desired frame or frames. Shape Shifter has four default sounds that can be used, but you can also replace the default sounds with up to four sounds that are saved on your computer. After constructing multiple frames you can play back the animation. When you decide you have completed your animation, save it on the aniBoom website so it can be seen in the BoomZone. You can play and edit your animation after logging in with your user name, and then send the link to your friends so that your creations can be viewed by multiple people.Participating in the Indie Cartoon Community
The contests offering cash prizes run by aniBoom have attracted quite a few submissions, proving that the international community of professional and amateur animators is eager for profits and exposure. Although there are a few other animation sites around, aniBoom is one of the only sites encouraging indie content. By promoting independent creative efforts through cash incentives, aniBoom is attempting to harness the vast artistic resources and talented animators participating as members. For fans and animators alike, many are watching and joining this expanding new movement to see what exciting new developments will happen in the world of web-created indie cartoon films and series.