Make your own speaking animations online

It’s amazing how much fun you can have just making your Mac speak with the Speech function in OS X although once you’ve exhausted every expletive under the sun and made your Mac insult itself, the novelty tends to wear-off. Xtranormal however takes things to a new level with a clever online animation tool which allows you to create video-animations to your speech creations. It works on Windows PCs too. Most famously it’s the platform behind the iPhone4 v HTC Evo YouTube viral video that mocked iPhone users.

If you think you could do better however, why not give it a go? Xtranormal is extremely easy to use and provides a selection of template backgrounds and animations for you from TV studios to workplace and soccer pitches.

First you need to sign-up for an account which takes just a few seconds.

Then the fun starts. Xtranormal allows you to select how many actors you’d like to use to begin with (although this is limited to two) and then which background you’d like:

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Then you can customize the look of your actors:

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Once you’ve done this, you can start animating your short story. Xtranormal works like a storyboard – enter the text for each character, hit the “+” symbol and then enter dialog for the next character:

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Using the tools down the left-hand side, you can change the camera angle, change the position of your characters, make them walk around and change their expressions.

The really fun bit is clicking Preview to see what your animation looks like. Unfortunately, this can take a while, especially if you’ve created a large animation. However, you get a real buzz out of seeing your characters come to life. If you want to save a project, you can do clicking the Save button and continue it later.

The great thing is Xtranormal is free to use. However, to upload your videos you need to buy points. The most basic package – 300 points – costs only $5 though which isn’t a great deal to amuse your friends with and show the world your sketches.

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