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3:38 AM on 05.26.2014

Check out this Dtoid animated collage (also, Brian Crecente's Hair Palace!)



Hi Destructoid!

For the past four months, I have been hard at work on some software that I am very proud of. The project is called Animake It, and it is a tool that lets anybody create animated collages in their browser in a matter of minutes. What is an "animated collage", you might be asking? Well, why don't you check out this Destructoid themed example that I made! Please note: this is a super early build of the software, and as such it only works 100% properly in Chrome.

Creating an animated collage with Animake It is quite simple. First, you pick your source content. You can use anything on the web as an asset (including still images, GIFs, YouTube videos, SoundCloud audio, and more). Second, you start time - which loops infinitely. Third, you can move, scale, & rotate your content around as you please. All the changes that you make will get tracked and replayed in subsequent loops.

Below is a narrated video showcasing how the editor works. In said video, I create an animated collage of Brian Crecente's Hair Palace from scratch (if you get the reference, you are officially awesome).



Here are some other animated collages made with Animake It (again - the software only works 100% properly in Chrome):

  - On the more traditionally artistic side of things, Red Riding Hood.
  - On the crazier side of things, Psychedelic Simpsons & Jumping Dog.
  - On the videogame-y side of things, POKÉMON! & Super Smash Bros.
  - On the meme-y side of things, TO THE MOOOON!!!
  - On the 'MURICAN side of things, the timely Memorial Day.


Red Riding Hood, put together in Animake It


Animake It is still very early in its development. While the underlying system that we've built can animate any content type, our interface needs to be updated to support more than just images. Additionally, our team (of 2 developers & 1 artist) needs to build a gallery where people can browse through animations, as well as a basic user management page.

To make all of this possible, we launched a Kickstarter campaign last week. If any of you guys really dig what we're doing and would like to back us, that would be amazing!! It would also be awesome if you'd be down to share this with family & friends of yours that you think would be into the project.



Destructoid holds a very special place in my heart. While I haven't been too active in the past couple years (projects like this take a lot of time, yo!), I used to spend hours here daily for ~5 years starting in 2006 (year 1 baby!). I have so many fond memories from this place, and almost all of them are due to the fantastic people that make up the community. I never got to meet most of you in person (there weren't any meetups near where I lived), but it was quite obvious that there were many-a fantastic character here. Thank you all for everything!!

To give back to the community, I'd like to offer you all a Dtoid-centric version of the Animake It editor. This would be an editor that you don't need to login to use. Anybody would be able to create and save animations. Unlike the main editor that we're building, however, it would not be capable of using any asset from the internet. Instead, it would be limited to artwork created by the general Destructoid community (including some art that we've created in-house). Would any of you have any interest in something of this sort? Are you totally against the idea? Let me know in the comments!

If you do like the idea and want to make it happen, then some of you fine guys & gals would need to contribute some of your work to the experiment. Are you such a person? If so, do you have (or want to create) either: 1) background art suitable for animations, or 2) foreground objects with transparent backgrounds? Please let me know in the comments and/or PM me! To be clear (in case it isn't), you would retain total ownership and credit for your work, and we would never use it anywhere outside of this editor & creations made with it.

If there is legitimate interest in this (and I hope there is!), then I'll make this happen. Thank you for reading all this!

Sources for images used in Dtoid-themed animated collages:
http://www.w8themes.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Solid-Black-Wallpaper.jpg,http://i653.photobucket.com/albums/uu258/HunterTSF/jim_sterling.png,http://s828.photobucket.com/user/GCannon/media/MrDtoidSpriteBig.gif.html,http://s729.photobucket.com/user/HAMZADAY/media/HamzaSpin.gif.html,http://hb-code.s3.amazonaws.com/HalfbrickWebsite/uploads/rs/2010/02/MrDestructoidFront-521x416.png,http://i1.minus.com/ibeQuMt8dVvyQN.png,http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--XLm6rlwc--/18hh9hagp9wctpng.png,http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs40/f/2009/037/e/f/Robot_dance_by_C_Puff.gif,http://art.ngfiles.com/images/151000/151614_atomicbottle_robot-dance.gif,http://gli.tc/h/bots/robot-running.gif,http://unpics.com/pic/interiors/2435/6732.jpg,http://www.goldentowns-info.com/Images/golden-frame.png   read


2:20 PM on 05.24.2014

Create animated collages in minutes in your browser, with Animake It!



Hi Destructoid!

For the past four months, I have been hard at work on some software that I am very proud of. The project is called Animake It, and it is a tool that lets anybody easily animate things in their browser using content from around the web. With Animake It, you can make things like this Destructoid themed animated collage (note: this super early build of the software only works 100% in Chrome, and to a certain extent in Safari).

**Note - for the tl;dr crowd, there are a whole bunch of animated collages halfway through, and a gift for the Destructoid community at the end**

What's the point?

The internet of today LOVES funny, cool, and artistic things that can be shared easily. This includes all the cat videos on YouTube, the various popular internet memes, and all kinds of creative works that have gone viral. However, the majority of easily shareable content generated on today's web are image macros - AKA text on an image. You know what I'm talking about! Things like this:



In my opinion, the reason for this is that image macros are easy to make. All you have to do is go to a website, upload an image, type in some text, and BAM! - you're done. You don't need to install Photoshop, After Effects, or comparable software (which cost hundreds of dollars if you are getting them legally), and you certainly don't need to spend years learning how to use them well.

That said, image macros have been a standard since 2007 (or earlier, depending on who you ask), and I think that our wonderful internet society is capable of much more. Don't get me wrong - I think image macros are fantastic. Certain emotions are best communicated with them, such as the Mario image above (which rings true with me). However if I want to create something without time and patience today, I am limited to image macros. Sure, I could open up Photoshop (assuming I know how to use it) and create something awesome in there - but anything worthwhile would take time, something that I don't always have.


Red Riding Hood, put together in Animake It


With animated content, things get a magnitude or two more difficult. Of the 30-odd people that I knew making animations 5 years ago (myself included), only one of them still animates today. Why? Because it is way too hard. This 4 minute animation that I wrote about in the c-blogs back in 2008 took me a whopping 500 hours to create. Granted this included a lot of design, storyboarding, testing, and more - but still, 500 hours is 500 hours.

Enter Animake It

Four months ago, some friends & I started working on Animake It. Our goal was to make a tool where you could create an animation in a matter of minutes, without any prior experience. I'm super stoked to be able to say that we have succeeded with our goal.



In the above video it takes me about 30 seconds to create an animation from start to finish. (The extra 3 minutes in the video is almost entirely narration.) 30 seconds! Anybody who has worked on animations before will tell you how crazy that is. Making something like this in Flash or After Effects would take a solid 20 minutes for somebody who already understands the products well.

That said, Animake It will not replace traditional animation software anytime soon. In fact, it was never intended to! Amongst other things, it is incapable of frame-by-frame animation - something that's necessary for professional animators. What Animake It is meant to do, however, is play a role akin to that of image macros: give people without time & patience a new creative outlet.


Psychedelic Simpsons, put together in Animake It


Here are some examples of animated collages made using Animake It (again - the software only works 100% properly in Chrome):

  - On the more artistic side of things, Red Riding Hood.
  - On the crazier side of things, Psychedelic Simpsons & Jumping Dog.
  - On the videogame-y side of things, POKÉMON! & Super Smash Bros.
  - On the meme-y side of things, TO THE MOOOON!!!
  - On the 'MURICAN side of things, the timely Memorial Day

All of the above examples use still images & GIFs as their source material. However, in addition to this, users will be able to integrate YouTube & Vimeo videos, SoundCloud audio, webcam streams, & even entire webpages (using iframes) into their animated collages. The animation system that we developed is completely content-type agnostic - so long as the content can be visualized in a browser.

Here is a video where I remix Nyan Cat on a developmental build of Animake It:



What's next?

Right now, we have a fully functional prototype running. I think the various links & videos above should be convincing enough of that. ;) However, we still have a ton more work left. Specifically, we need to build an interface that can accommodate all the media types that we want without feeling clunky and being difficult to use. Again - our whole goal with Animake It is to let people without any experience to easily create animated collages.

Additionally, we need to build out a gallery for the platform. This gallery would serve as an aggregator for all of the different creations that people make. It would also let people upvote, downvote, and comment on everything. Last but not least, we also need to build a basic user management system.

To make all of this possible, we launched a Kickstarter campaign last week. If any of you guys really dig what we're doing and would like to back us, that would be amazing!! It would also be awesome if you'd be down to share this with family & friends of yours that you think would be into the project.



For the Destructoid Community

Destructoid holds a very special place in my heart. While I haven't been too active in the past couple years (projects like this take a lot of time, yo!), I used to spend hours here daily for ~5 years starting in 2006 (year 1 baby!). I have so many fond memories from this place, and almost all of them are due to the fantastic people that make up the community. I never got to meet most of you in person (there weren't any meetups near where I lived), but it was quite obvious that there were many-a fantastic character here. Thank you all for everything!!




I'd like to offer you all a Destructoid-centric version of the Animake It editor. This would be an editor that you don't need to login to use. Anybody would be able to create and save animations. Unlike the main editor that we're building, however, it would not be capable of using any asset from the internet. Instead, it would be limited to artwork created by the general Destructoid community (including some art that we've created in-house). Would any of you have any interest in something of this sort? Are you totally against the idea? Let me know in the comments!

If you do like the idea and want to make it happen, then some of you fine guys & gals would need to contribute some of your work to the experiment. Are you such a person? If so, do you have (or want to create) either: 1) background art suitable for animations, or 2) foreground objects with transparent backgrounds? Please let me know in the comments and/or PM me! To be clear (in case it isn't), you would retain total ownership and credit for your work, and we would never use it anywhere outside of this editor & creations made with it.

If there is legitimate interest in this (and I hope there is!), then I'll make this happen. Thank you for reading all this! :)

Sources for images used in Dtoid-themed animated collages:
http://urbaer.com/j/dtoid070401.gif, http://bulk2.destructoid.com/ul/user/6/6690-79195-briancrecenteshairpalacejpg-550x.jpg, http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--XLm6rlwc--/18hh9hagp9wctpng.png, http://cdn.voxmedia.com/images/mediakit/polygon-talent-brian.png, http://www.w8themes.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Solid-Black-Wallpaper.jpg, http://i653.photobucket.com/albums/uu258/HunterTSF/jim_sterling.png, http://s828.photobucket.com/user/GCannon/media/MrDtoidSpriteBig.gif.html, http://s729.photobucket.com/user/HAMZADAY/media/HamzaSpin.gif.html, http://hb-code.s3.amazonaws.com/HalfbrickWebsite/uploads/rs/2010/02/MrDestructoidFront-521x416.png, http://i1.minus.com/ibeQuMt8dVvyQN.png   read


1:58 PM on 05.22.2009

UZAVICH!!!!

[embed]133077:19496[/embed]

Hey Dtoid!

So I've completely fallen in love with the Usavich videos that have frequented Topher's READY TO FRIDAY series, and as such have scoured youtube to find more of them that are at a decent quality. I've come across a gem of a collection, and have been watching through the first season online. For those of you that don't know, Usavich is a production by MTV Japan that's about the two bunnies that show in every episode, and the tale of their experience in a soviet prison, their escape, and the weird adventures that lie on season three (which is what topher has been posting videos from so far). I figured I'd like to watch it from the start, and the above clip is the first episode. That user (searchMMO) seems to have a ton of high quality Usavich videos that are synced with the audio, and I've just been going through them having a great time. I think he has the entirety of the first two seasons, and here is a link to a youtube playlist with all of them.

Hope you guys enjoy this as much as I am, and thanks Topher for introducing me to this amazing show!!!

Oh and sorry if somebody already posted something of this sort here. I don't frequent the c-blogs too often so I don't know what has and hasn't been posted.   read


8:08 AM on 04.25.2009

Final Fantasy XIII Video with English Actors!

[embed]129902:18914[/embed]

Holy crap IGN! You guys just blew my mind!! The fact that you guys went ahead and took through the effort of making some quality dubs for this, and that it's actually hilarious (or at least for me it is) makes me gain so much respect for you. I tend to completely ignore the big websites (IGN, GameSpot, etc.), and really the only videogaming website I check on a daily basis now is dtoid, mainly because dtoid has a sense of humor and community that the larger websites can never attain, but if they've changed and this is the sort of stuff that they have now, then I sure am missing out! Of course even if IGN releases videos like this randomly, they can't come close to competing with dtoid, but I still find it pretty awesome. Does anybody who frequents IGN know whether or not stuff like this is regular?   read


1:23 PM on 03.28.2009

Leaked Uncharted 2 Gameplay Video

[embed]126677:18361[/embed]

I haven't watched it yet, but I'm just putting it here so as many people watch it before it gets shut down.

EDIT: now that i've watched it, i've gotta say that it looks pretty awesome. it's basically like uncharted 1 just in a city, meaning that it seems like you can climb up a lot more shit than you could in the first game. hopefully it won't be super-linear, and you'll have a lot of room to explore. i feel like that would make or break this game. if it was linear and you didn't have any choices in the paths that you took to get to a new location, that would be a big let-down for me. with that said, it looks awesome, and i really hope that they release some actual footage soon so that we can see it with the proper color/brightness.

EDIT 2: just realized that The Gief beat me to this. sorry about that!   read


12:20 PM on 03.26.2009

What's going on with Gaia?



So lately I've began listening to music on my PS3 after I tried streaming files between my computer and my PS3 for the first time. I ended up downloading all my Air and Röyksopp albums onto the console, and listen to them all the time on my PS3 since it has a way better sound card than my computer. Whenever I'm not doing anything else at the same time, I have the Gaia visualizer making the music prettier in the background. I've probably listened to about 2 or 3 hours worth of music at this point while having Gaia playing, and I still can't figure out what it is exactly that is being visualized.

The only thing that I can tell is that whenever there is a lot of bright sunlight - be it due to the sun being behind the earth and the atmosphere being illuminated, or the sun being reflected off of one of the oceans - you can see a curvy and blurry equalizer of sorts on the very edge of the light. Is that the only thing that happens? I feel like something else has to be taking place for it to be called a visualizer. All the rotations and camera movements feel like they fit really well to whatever music i'm playing, but that's probably because it's such an ambiguous and steady change that the human mind can just make it fit whatever song they are listening to.

I've been pondering this for quite a while and haven't been able to figure out an answer. Has anybody on dtoid had better luck figuring out what it reacts to?   read


11:51 AM on 12.06.2008

Animation I made!

[embed]113792:16230[/embed]

Hey everybody. This is an animation I made for a couple classes I took last year. I figured I'd put it on here and see if you guys liked it. Just in case anybody gets confused, when it looks like it's restarting in the middle of the film, it's the second generation, not the same exact characters. For those curious, I made the animation in flash, drawing everything using a tablet connected to my macbook. the background is one long strip, and the characters are each drawn at 30 FPS. there's about 15000 individual drawings in the animation. hope you all enjoy it!   read


7:40 PM on 07.29.2008

PS3 video service + the onion movie

[embed]97295:13529[/embed]

So having a PS3, I decided to look around the video service when I heard about it over E3. It looked pretty good, but unfortunately, the prices are simply too high for me. I don't really watch movies that often (the only 3 I've seen so far this year are The Atonement, Kung Fu Panda, and Wall-E , all of which were amazing in their own ways), so I don't need to get a service like netflix to satisfy my non-existent needs. However, after seeing the trailer for the onion movie above, it became the sole movie that I want to see right now. I didn't feel like watching a low quality boot legged version, so when I saw it on sony's video service, I decided that whenever I had some friends over with the same sense of humor as me, I would rent the movie and watch it.

(if i had "hit the jump" powers, i would say "hit the jump" to read about my opinions on the PS3 video service and The Onion Movie here).

So the service itself runs pretty well. It's sleek and the organization fits my needs. The only qualm I really have about it is that it just downloads a movie file, and there aren't any chapters that you can skip around within it. When my friend accidentally sat on the controller about 2/3rds of the way through the movie, it restarted the whole thing and we had to fast forward to get back to where we were. luckily the PS3 can fast-forward at 120x, but still, it is annoying to find that specific spot you were at.

The Onion Movie itself was hilarious, and I would highly recommend it to all dtoid leaders (unless you are gay, black, fat, arab, religious, asian, a stoner, britney spears, etc. AND are very easily offended). The following is one of the clips from the movie (update: NSFW!!!)

[embed]97295:13528[/embed]

The movie is made up of all sorts of fake news (like the above one) that seem to be random at first, but at the end end up get tied together in a witty unexpected way. The above video is an example of one of the funnier moments, though there are definitely some that made me laugh longer. Also, I watched this movie for the first time under the influence of certain substances, and it was definitely MUCH MUCH funnier than it was without them, but it was hilarious either way.

update - added a NSFW tag before the clip from the onion movie...   read


3:56 PM on 04.25.2008

ROFLcon!



Hello Destructoid,

I wish that I had posted this earlier, but alas, I forgot. For the past couple months, a bunch of students at Harvard and MIT have been organizing something called ROFLcon, which is basically a bunch of panels hosted by all sorts of internet memes. For example, this morning I attended a panel on making money with memes with the people who created Chuck Norris Facts, Joe Mathlete Explains Marmaduke, JibJab.com, Rocketboom, and One Red Paperclip. Following that I attended a panel on the rise of LOLspeech, with people from I Can Has Cheezeburger, LOLcat Bible, LOLcode, LOLtrek, and LOLsecretz. Right now, as I'm writing this, I am watching Tron Guy and Matt from Where The Hell is Matt give a talk on how to keep your dignity. I stupidly forgot my camera, so I'll take a picture of them with my built in web-cam (yay for macbooks!). However, the reason for the post is to let you all know is that if you are interested, you can watch ANY of the videos life at the ROFLcon website.

I'll probably post later today or tomorrow with some more meaningful stuff if I have time, since I have a major animation project due next week and I am waaaaay behind.

enjoy!   read


11:05 AM on 03.15.2008

Haze Comes to those who are Dreaming

[embed]75707:9216[/embed]

Haze galore! Every video that comes out about Haze makes me more and more excited about it. The fact that Free Radical has a fun sense of humor makes me much more inclined to buy their game (IMO fun developers tend to make funner - it's a real word now - games... just take a look at insomniac and naughty dog!), and on top of that, everything that was said about the script sounds awesome if it turns out to be true. I don't know much about the Royal Shakespeare Company, but I'm sure that they have brilliant voice acting skills. The thing that confuses me is that all the trailers have had people speaking with american accents, while I would assume that the RSC would have british accented voice actors... or are they so good that they can mimic the american tongue???

Also, I'm assuming that it is now confirmed that Haze will also be coming out on the 360, since at around 3:55 (-1:36) of the video, you can see a 360 development kit sitting right next to a PS3 one... or are they both just the actual consoles that the developers play when they're bored?

This game looks awesome, and I'm definitely going to be picking it up when it comes out (unless it gets plenty of horrid reviews).

(original article at PS3 Fanboy)   read


12:49 AM on 03.09.2008

Not my Turning Point gaming rig



This is the first and only computer that I have ever owned... It's a black (obviously) macbook from the summer of 2006... the only thing that has changed since the beginning of it's life is it's RAM, which got boosted from 512 MB to 2GB almost a year ago. hopefully i won't have to part with it anytime soon since it is quite a reliable and awesome computer... also i don't want to pay for another laptop (and here - college - a laptop is definitely very useful)... I was planning on actually building my own gaming rig over the summer, but if i did win this pc, that would be awesome, since it would be way better than what i was planning on getting... my budget is well below a fifth of the price of the rig on display here!

anyway, it's definitely not my Turning Point gaming rig, and it probably won't get featured on the dtoid page since there's nothing remarkable about my set... however, if i show off the setup we have in our entire room (AKA with all the stuff that my other four roommates own), maybe we'll get some loving?



behind my mac is our bookshelf full of movies and and some games. one of my roommates owns everything on the bottom two shelves, and another one owns everything on the top shelf (except for the five games i have there... guitar hero, guitar hero II, psychonauts, jak x, and ratchet and clank future). you can see the two guitar hero controllers and my PS2 to the right side, as well as the subwoofer and the center of our surround sound system, respectively below the table and above the shelves.



closeup of the "guitars" and the PS2



moving some more to the left, you can see our PS3 and our Philips 19" LCD TV (it's so pathetic that something of this sort features a 1080p resolution... so useless at this size!!), as well as the top of our fridge.



rotating the camera a bit, you can see our N64 and Xbox, the latter of which we haven't ever used. at the beginning of the year we never stopped playing Battletanx on the N64... wow that game was addictive. speaking of N64 games...



here's our N64 collection!


We also have numerous posters littered all around our room... the last time we counted them, we had 46 posters.



these are a couple from our ceiling.



some more from our ceiling and our giant da vinci poster/sheet/cloth



and the above is one of my favorite posters!!!


so our set up isn't the best of the best, but it's definitely a lot of fun... we call it the black hole of productivity because as soon as you enter our room a couple of hours pass by and you don't even realize that you haven't done anything worthwhile, even though you have two major midterms the following day. it's sort of like that run-on sentence full of grammatical errors. the only things i actually own in our setup is my mac, the PS2, some ps2 games, the guitar hero controllers, and the sound system - which, except for my bike, is the best investment i've ever made.

so there you have it, folks! i'm hoping for a real turning point gaming rig to add to our setup so that I can finally run games like supreme commander and command and conquer 3! hell, with that gaming rig i can even run crysis!!!   read


2:14 AM on 09.03.2007

views on the palestinian-israeli conflict

Hi Everybody,

So a while back one of the dtoid editors posted something about a hezbollah game that was released, and a relatively lengthy political discussion ensued in the comments. now this here doesn't have anything to do with videogames, but i really want to know what the destructoid community thinks of this. at the time, the destructoid regulars seemed to be quite liberal and were fine with hezbollah releasing a game, while the noobs weren't (i'm judging this on the fact that people who had avatars were ok with it, and people without them were crying about how hezbollah were terrorists).

so personally, i'm palestinian, and i've lived in the arab sector in israel for the majority of my life (14 years - i'm actually moving tonight to boston to start my college career), so i actually experience a lot of the things that go on here first hand, which makes me most supportive of peace than either nation's cause, since every little thing here revolves around the war. for example there are about 2 million palestinians who were displaced in 1948 and still don't have homes. Unfortunately almost nobody from the west or even within israel seems to know this, even though the 2 million refugees is the biggest issue. the only reason that peace hasn't been made so far is because israel does not want to do anything with the refugees, while the palestinians aren't willing to consider a lasting peace without the refugees finding a lasting home.

so yeah, i'm really curious as to what people think about the problems here... and don't limit yourselves to just the israeli/palestinian conflict! anything that's fucked up in the middle east would make for an interesting discussion...

and don't worry about offending anybody with a differing point of view... if they can't handle it they shouldn't be part of the d'toid community in the first place.

and sorry i don't have a graphic up top. i couldn't find anything that would fit well without making it seem like a silly post.   read


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