Honest Review – Goanimate
In the past, if you wanted to add an animated video to a presentation, or to use as part of a content marketing strategy, doing so was not easy and nor was it cheap. At the very least it meant investing in very pricey software suites like Sony Vegas or Adobe After Effects and spending time mastering their complex learning curves. At worst, hiring an animator at a considerable cost – as in serious cash.
There are now a handful of web based applications that claim they can help anyone, even someone who lacks any real coding or design experience, create animated videos for their presentations that are polished and effective. Goanimate is one of these offerings. But can it really deliver on its promises?
Sign up for Goanimate is quick, easy and free. Free for 14 days that is, after that you’ll need to come up with some cash (more on that later) The claim on the splash screen is that you can create your first video in 5 minutes. Realistic? We’ll see.
There are plenty of templates to work with even in free trial mode. These mainly consist of anime and cartoon characters – a reason why this is a software popular with teachers and students. These free templates are a great way to try out the functionality of the software and work your way through the step by step tutorial. They may not, however, be the best for serious business use.
You will be advised by the instructional splash page to take the time to follow the tutorial. The basic interface for video creation can look a little daunting to beginners, but a run through that, which will take about ten minutes in all, should get most people up to speed quickly. It is a very drag and drop driven interface, which is a HUGE help for the coding impaired.
Once your video is created it can be directly shared on social media, downloaded in HD MP4 format and is stored in the Goanimate cloud storage that comes with your account. It’ll even be available after your free trial ends and you don’t pay up. Sounds pretty straightforward right? But is it?
As a way to create an animated video, Goanimate is certainly adequate and a lot easier to use than a more complex animation and video production software. There is a learning curve but it is not steep and as long as you allow yourself a little time to ‘play’ with the functionality of Go Animate before launching into a real attempt at a video you should be fine.
The finished results obtained in Goanimate do depend upon how much effort the user puts into the presentation creation. This is not a ‘magic’ video creator. There are lots of cool options available, but it is up to the user to make the most of them. Can you make a video in 5 minutes as they claim? Probably, but it’ll look like hell.
Put in the effort and you’ll get a good looking video. The whiteboard options are possibly the best and they are more than suitable for business use. If you’ve promised someone a decent video, you should be able to deliver. Will it be Pixar quality? Possibly not, but do things right and it won’t look like an amateur hack job either.
After the free trial ends, the options for business users range from $39 a month ($299 a year) to $599 annually. There is also a special pricing plan available for students and educators which offers a big discount, so if you have an old college email address, digging it out will save you big time.
In terms of pricing choices you may not need the annual plans if you only create the occasional video, but as the videos are yours to keep even after a subscription has lapsed, a free trial plan, as a ‘try out’ is a perfectly viable option as well.
All in all, Goanimate is a solid alternative for animated video creation for those who want – or need – to choose the ‘do it yourself ‘ option and yet still come up with something that is probably going to look better than half the rubbish on YouTube right now.