GoAnimate is an affordable, do-it-yourself online application that allows you to create professional quality animated videos. With a low learning curve and a number of straightforward drag-and-drop features, even those that aren’t particularly artistically inclined (or particularly good with computers) will be able to create a video that they are happy with in short order.
The videos that you can create with GoAnimate are perfect for any number of different applications where an animated video might come in handy. However, I have found that they are best suited for animated explainer videos (or promo videos) used by businesses to reach new clients and explain their products and services.
In fact, GoAnimate.com is a particularly useful online tool for new businesses and startups that don’t have the budget for custom animation explainer videos. You can use the application to create high-quality videos all by yourself (without the help of a professional animator) at a fraction of the cost. In my opinion, that’s a hard deal to beat.
GoAnimate was created in 2007 to solve a problem the founder, Alvin, was experiencing. He wanted to make a video but could not find any suitable options. He didn’t want to have to buy professional equipment (such as a camera and lights) and he didn’t want to have to learn how to draw. He also didn’t want to learn a complex animation interface. All that he wanted was a simple way to create a high-quality video.
And that’s why he developed GoAnimate.com. About a year and a half after development began, he had a finished product. What started small is now one of the leading do-it-yourself animated video applications.
Making a video is easy with GoAnimate. Their application makes it easy for businesses to reach new customers and explain complex topics. Teachers and students use them for learning, especially where creativity and critical thinking are concerned. And individuals use them for fun, to make their friends laugh, to send a special message, and so much more.
At the end of the day, the goal behind GoAnimate.com is to make video creation simple. And at this they have succeeded.
Top Features of GoAnimate.com
GoAnimate currently offers three different packages. There is their GoPublish plan, GoPremium plan, and GoTeam plan. Because GoPremium is their most popular plan and suitable for nearly everyone (unless you want access for multiple users), it is the plan that I decided to review in depth. However, I will briefly discuss the other two plans in the pricing section of this review below.
The GoPremium plan gives you access to all of GoAnimate’s features. It even gives you the option to monetize videos and license them for your business purposes.
The first feature of the GoPremium plan that caught my eye was its web-based design. You can work on your video straight from your web browser without the need to download and install any applications. However, this does mean that you need to always be connected to the Internet while using the service.
To start making a video, you have to select from between two options. Option number one is a template that will guide you through the creation of your video. The second option is “Make a Video From Scratch.” Though option number two is slightly more complex and time consuming, it gives you complete creative control.
A highlight of the GoAnimate interface, for me, was its intuitive controls. I am by no means an expert at anything related to design or computers. Fortunately, GoAnimate made things easy on me.
The interface is split into three primary sections. There is the stage, where you control characters and props. There is the timeline, where you control the video and audio tracks. And there is the asset section, which contains all of your characters, props, backgrounds, and other functions.
It was easy for me to learn to animate the scene elements. The controls are very simple to give the application an intuitive feel. Each scene has only a single action for each character or prop. New scenes must be created each time you want an action different from the ones currently on stage. By allowing control of characters, props, and actions directly on stage, GoAnimate has once again made their program easier for beginners to learn.
Though there is a lot of great stuff about GoAnimate.com, perhaps my favorite feature of their GoPremium service is the ability to import images, sounds, and videos. This means you can import a voice over file, for instance. Or you can import a simple animation that you have created elsewhere.
As mentioned above, there are three primary account types to choose from at GoAnimate. Each account has its own price point.
The GoPremium plan that I reviewed runs for $599 a year or $79 a month. It comes with all of the features that GoAnimate offers including full HD and the ability to monetize your video. The pricing might sound high, but if you have ever looked into having a professional animator design a video for you, then you know that it is a very affordable sum.
The GoPublish plan is the cheapest plan from GoAnimate. It runs for $299 a year or $39 a month. It comes with all of the features that you need to make a professional video. However, it doesn’t come with the add-ons that GoPremium does such as the ability to monetize and transfer commercial rights for your video. GoPublish is a great bet for those that don’t need to create new animated videos on a regular basis.
The final plan available from GoAnimate is their GoTeam plan. This is much like the GoPremium plan except that it allows multiple users to work on a project together. You can collaborate on a video as a group with their group management tool. The GoTeam plan costs $200 per month or $2000 a year.
There is also a GoAnimate free account. This contains only the very basic tools but gives you an idea of what you will have to work with. You will not be able to create and use a video with this plan but it can be a helpful tool in deciding which of GoAnimate’s actual plans will be best for you.
Excellent Customer Service
Customer service is always high on my list of things to review about a company and their services. And GoAnimate.com sticks out in this area as well.
Their website is expertly designed and is easy to navigate. It contains all of the information that you will need to get started with a video. It also provides a FAQ page and a forum if you have any questions regarding the service.
It is likewise easy to get ahold of the GoAnimate support staff. Though I couldn’t find a number for a support phone line on their website, they do have a support email with a quick response time. You are sure to hear back from a staff member in one to two business days.
Final Thoughts on GoAnimate.com
So what are my final thoughts on GoAnimate.com? Well, at the end of the day, it is the best do-it-yourself video animation tool that I have used that is designed for beginners. It is simple enough for nearly anyone to learn and doesn’t break the bank to boot. If you have a small business or startup, there is no doubt that you will find GoAnimate an incredibly useful tool.