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How would you make a cartoon promotional video like google or Wufoo?

It could be done in a photoshop-like program but there are many transitions and effects required to make a video interesting. It would be laborious to make all of the images in photoshop but in Adobe Flash you would not make such nice graphics.

Which programs would you use for creating the cartoon part of a video before video cutting? (Extra points for open source software)

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No matter how good you animate, when it's not accompanied by a good script and storyboard, your animation won't go anywhere far. So yeah, as you said, animation a time consuming process which includes, brain storming, script writing, storyboarding, character design, animation and also sound effect. –  user9181 Dec 29 '12 at 4:20

2 Answers 2

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For stuff like this I've usually used AfterEffects; you have the benefits of high quality raster and vector animation as well as the ability to script actions within the timeline. The learning curve can be a little daunting but it's definitely my go-to animation program.

If you're looking for interaction you're going to have to go with something like Flash, butif you're looking for a non-interactive video end product you can always output to a Flash video format (for portability and size) once you're done.

I dabbled with the ToonBoom software a while back; they have a pretty simple interface and some interesting effects but I haven't played too much with their latest line. They used to offer a free demo; you might be able to hop on that if you only need this for a one time deal.

This link has a list of "free" animation programs; I don't know anything about the software that's in there but the price is right.

Bottom line is that animation is an incredibly time-consuming process. Regardless of the software you use you'll need to do just as much (if not more) scripting and storyboarding before you get into the nuts and bolts of "how to".

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I had the same question 5 moths ago - I was trying to create 30 second motion graphic for the new scoreboard at Lambeau Field. The best thing I've found is After Effects. There is a learning curve, to be sure, but that can be significantly mitigated through the use of tutorials - I use and haven't seen any better than they have available.

If you can grasp After Effects decently, consider finding a template on a site like and modding it out to suit your needs. There are tons to choose from and they aren't terribly expensive. There are also quite a few free After Effects templates on individual blogs that you may have luck with. some people might see that as a cheat, but they saved me hours of frustration.

Incidentally, these things are not cheap. We were quoted by two firms on (3) 30 second motion graphics for the scoreboard and the cheapest was $6,400.00. The total cost of the Adobe CS6 Master Collection was $599 - I registered for a college course at my local community college to utilize the student discount , but then had to drop it due to schedule constraints but was still able to use the discount (and will be taking it this semester for $380). A Year membership to with example files was another $300. The Videhive template that I modded out cost only $12, but they make it clear that if you use the template for commercial purposes, they would like you to pay for a more expensive license granting those rights - $120 in my case.

$599 Total cost of software (which includes the rest of the Adobe CS6 Master Collection), $300 tutorials ( a year membership to! ) $120 Full License to a template.

$920 Total for a graphic. A software suite and a year of tutorials included.

I'd estimate I've spent 80 hours on tutorials and template modifications, but I have become reasonably proficient in After Effects and that isn't exactly a skill that wouldn't be easy to monetize if I were inclined /more confident in my abilities. Must complete more tutorials.

I realize I may come off like a schill for or Videohive, but I swear I am just a satisfied customer and nothing more. I am sure there are competing services that are equal if not superior. Maybe there is even a site for motion graphics where you can host a contest for $250 and have several people produce what you'd like.

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920$ for tools. 80 hours for learning for a decent 20$ per hour is 1600. Now for the 30 seconds another ~80 hours for a total of 4120 dollars. Minus whatever you were not doing.... id say 6,400 is a pretty good bargain. Incidentally the student license does not allow you to work- –  joojaa May 9 at 21:12

protected by Scott May 9 at 21:31

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