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Thread: I need your honest opinion

  1. #1
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    I need your honest opinion

    I'm curious to know what you do for example if a client says they want you to animate a cartoon in flash for them. You already know how to animate, but are you skilled enough to design and draw the characters?

    Here is the reason I am asking this question: I see that obviously a lot of people know how to use flash, but not all of them can draw well. I was thinking it would be a great idea to have a website where you could purchase .fla's with really good looking characters already drawn with body parts already broken into symbols including all the mouth dialogue positions as well. Have the characters already animated in a side walk cycle and run cycle, but basically you could do what you want with the character. Of course it would be customizable as well. You could easily change the color of clothes and skin, as well as swap out facial and body features with other characters to make completely new ones. Am I the only one who thinks this would be a really cool resource?

    Be brutally honest and tell me what you think! If you guys go to subscription based sites and just buy their pre-animated characters, let me know as well. I'm really quite serious about starting this website up, if there is an honest interest for it.

    By the way, I am a traditional artist who used to work at Warner Bros and Dreamworks who has now turned to flash. But if you want to see what I am capable of creating, you can check out my site: Star Wars Spoofs.

    But above all, let me know what you think of this idea!

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    I would suggest it has potential as an idea. I'm not really a flash user these days or indeed an animator so I'm talking as a complete layman here ..

    It would be prudent to do a lot of research into this as setting up a subscription based site is different to a normal site, your audience is very specific and covers potentially a wide age range so making the work affordable while profiting is probably going to be quite a fine line.

    That said of course, there must always be a market for the highest quality work and the right audience will pay for it if the components you're offering are top quality (and with your previous employers I'm sure they will be!)

    How many existing sites will you be competing against? What sort of profit margin are you looking for? How big is the market for this level of product?

    Just a few questions / thoughts to perhaps get you on your way
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  4. #4
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    it definitely is a product for a niche market. As far as the competition goes, there really isn't anything out there now, where you are just given the elements necessary to put together and animate something the way you want to. Other sites that are similar are www.flashcomponents.com and www.eyeland.com. They have flash animations that you can purchase and customize, but they are already animated.

    Those sites are also subscription based, whereas I am staying away from that, and would be charging a one time fee for each CD of characters. This would appeal to the everyman, in that he can just pick up one cd of his choice for around $20-$30. And to appeal to companies/businesses, I would offer a bundled pack of various cd's, because they are able to afford more, and use more as well.

    Basically, I'm just trying to figure out if this market is untapped because no one has thought of this idea, or if there is no market for this because no one wants it!

  5. #5
    One day older, one day wiser rafiki55's Avatar
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    That would be a great service to offer...I would definately consider using it if I had a client who needed it. Although the question is "how many clients need an animated character?". I don't think there is a real strong need for animated characters...I could be wrong though..


    I would not opt for the monthley subscription ...I would much rather pay a one time fee per character.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JFlashK's Avatar
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    I'm trying to design a character, so I was interested, if the price is reasonable. I'll try first to design it myself, when I see i'm no good, I'll go and look somewhere else.
    If you offer top quality there's always a market for it, keep that in mind.

  7. #7
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    Interesting idea, if nothing else. If you decide to go ahead with it, I'd certainly be curious to see how it went, but I am thinking that unless you focus on designer-to-designer, it'd end being too specialized.
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    default user juxtaflo's Avatar
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    You should talk to Nevil at Theory7.com. He just got his Flash store up and running. He may be interested in what you are talking about.

    Just an idea..

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the comments. I agree that the product would have to be high quality. The link I posted above for my site didn't work, if you want to check out my work here it is again: www.starwarsspoofs.com .

    I agree that I personally would rather pay a one time fee rather than a subscription and be locked into something I'm not sure I want to be a part of permanently.

    I'm not sure if there is a big demand for character animation on websites from clients, but if these character body part symbols where high quality and contained just about every concievable position and pose, then perhaps web designers could feel confident bidding on cartoony flash projects knowing they have the tools necessary to make something high quality for their clients. Or perhaps they would feel comfortable suggesting a cartoony feel to a site or incorporating a character to liven things up when a client doesn't know what they want right off the bat. I can just imagine that it would only help those who are skilled at flash already, to branch out and be able to offer a wider array of services.

    Plus I'm thinking that each CD would contain in addition to the .fla files, Illustrator files of all the symbols for those designers who would like a character to put into a logo or design.

  10. #10
    GAME ON!!!! megatoon's Avatar
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    Hey Ryan, nice to see you drop by FK.

    I've have seen a fair number of these sorts of sites come and go. Right now the focus seems to be on virtual hosts like site pal:
    https://vhost.oddcast.com/vhost_mini...ex.php?email=1

    There were a few other listed on the home page a while back. Tho I can't recall the specific names.
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  11. #11
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    Hey Megatoon, I wondered if you'd find me here!

    That sitepal thing made me laugh! The final product feels like a manaquin is talking to you. The downside of that particular site is that they host the animation from thier site. You just have to cross your fingers that they stay around so you can get your $190.00 out of them.

    I was thinking that it would be a good idea to besides offering the charater flash symbols, it would be nice for those who can't animate to have a number of well animated gifs to purchase. Kind of give the site more depth and a better variety of products to purchase.

  12. #12
    Under the influence bvgroote's Avatar
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    Personally I think it's a good idea, but I think it could be unreliable as far as frequency of purchases go. You could go 6 months with only 2 or 3 and then have 50-100 in a month. I can't really see a high demand for it but the idea just needs some working, it definetely has potential, good luck

  13. #13
    Modding with Class JabezStone's Avatar
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    Ryan,

    No offence to your idea, but I'm having a hard time really seeing the benefit of it. Most character animation I have seen is customized to a particular brand, product, service, business, age audience, etc. Also, I don't think there is a great demand for stock character animation pieces, since there would still be a tremendous amount of work to actually animate them. Basically, I think you should just promote your own animation skills as a service to design houses and corps and such. You definitely have skills, and I've bookmarked your site for future reference. I think that if you were to promote your wares a bit, you'd do much more business and make much more cash than if you were to spend your time building generic character parts to sell.
    Anyway, I don't mean to discourage you at all... actually to rather encourage you to do something that will benefit you more.
    Best of luck to you, man, and BTW your site just rocks! Great talent there.

  14. #14
    GAME ON!!!! megatoon's Avatar
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    Ya, I agree blue. In fact a previous client of mine dicussed using this site for character he needed. But didn't go with it, for the same reason's. As well as none of the character designs really fit his needs.

    I ended recreating the charatcer to be more viewer and animation friendly. You can check out the final here result:
    http://www.manufacturing.net/dn/

    I guess it would really depend on the project needs of the client. And whether predesigned character would work for thier needs. I'd say that only %25 of the clients I've worked with would need something like this. The other %75 need designs that are more specific. That's not to say I don't think this idea as merit. In fact I do.

    bvgroote, has a good point as well. Altho if you can recoup the intial costs of creating the characters and site. As well as hosting. It really wouldn't matter how long it was between projects. As the designs aren't costing you anything, they'd just be waiting for buyer.
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  15. #15
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    Where would this all fit in with the chintzy talking head character animations that you can purchase to put on your site as a kind of tour guide?

    They don't seem to have set the world on fire, but on the other hand, the companies that promote them still seem to be in business.

    You know, I once lost a pretty big deal because I went through the trouble of animating a character already used by the company, when what they wanted was one of those talking head animations to guide people through the site. Talk about crossed communication wires.
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  16. #16
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    the infrequency of sales could be annoying, but I'm not planning on doing this as my main source of income, but as a supplementary salary. (of course it is an awful lot of work for just some additional cash!)

    JabezStone: I'm not offended by you not being into the concept. The whole reason I started this thread is to get honest opinions. If you help me in the end to make the right move with my time and talents, then all is well!

    As far as the "talking head" craze, I guess if you wanted to purchase a cd with a characters head and all the mouth positions necessary for dialoge animation then you could create it on your own (although it would take more time than using one of those other site pal sites) but in the end you would own the animation and raw files instead of it being on someone elses server.

    When I first came up with the concept of pre-made characters ready to be animated, it was when I was thinking about teaching kids animation by using flash. A lot of kids love animation and would love to do it, but get very frustrated by their own inability to draw well. Flash would be great to teach them because they could focus on the principles of animation by using PRE-MADE CHARACTER PIECES and get right into animating something and seeing it come to life! The great thing about using this method is that when the class is over, their parents could easily go out and buy Flash and put it on their home computer and also purchase from me a CD full of characters ready to be animated.

    So the thought occured, that perhaps those in web/flash design could benefit from the product as well. But again, that's what I'm here to find out: if there really would be a need/use for it.

  17. #17
    Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk! Hey Moe... serpent star's Avatar
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    Originally posted by bluehickey

    When I first came up with the concept of pre-made characters ready to be animated, it was when I was thinking about teaching kids animation by using flash. A lot of kids love animation and would love to do it, but get very frustrated by their own inability to draw well. Flash would be great to teach them because they could focus on the principles of animation by using PRE-MADE CHARACTER PIECES and get right into animating something and seeing it come to life! The great thing about using this method is that when the class is over, their parents could easily go out and buy Flash and put it on their home computer and also purchase from me a CD full of characters ready to be animated.

    So the thought occured, that perhaps those in web/flash design could benefit from the product as well. But again, that's what I'm here to find out: if there really would be a need/use for it.
    Brilliant! Sell it to school systems as a teaching aid. If you can sell it to a school system, you can be reasonably sure you can sell it to another.

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