PBSKids Have Never Been So Animated
Saturday morning cartoons are fun to watch, but just imagine having the ability to create your OWN custom cartoon with all the bells and whistles!? Your wish is our command because Funny Garbage and PBS kids created your very own Cartoon Studio on the “PBS Kids Go! ” website.
Funny Garbage pitched PBS Kids Go! with the idea of creating a flash based Cartoon Studio and Character Builder tool to engage, entertain and educate their audience of animation enthusiasts, ages 6-10. The suite of tools features “mini-game” tutorial showing kids how to use the tools to create compelling animations, showcases videos of PBS animators at work, and allows kids to watch cartoons made by other users. The tools accommodate show assets from a variety of PBS hits including WordGirl, Arthur, Fetch!, Martha Speaks and the Electric Company.
The creation process begins with a Character Builder tool that allows for the creation of custom designed characters based on and leveraging art from the featured cartoons. Users who need a little more help can utilize the “random” feature that behaves much like a slot machine, randomly selecting body parts from the art to create some pretty crazy looking characters.
Once the characters are created, the kids begin creating cartoons in the Cartoon Studio . The tool is designed to mirror real world animation processes, starting with scene layout including backgrounds, characters and props. Next, frames are generated by snapping a picture of the stage with the camera tool. On subsequent frames, characters can be articulated, and can even react with happy, sad, angry or surprised emotions. Other elements like speech bubbles, music and sound effects can be layered into each frame. The final step is to save the cartoon to the public gallery and wait for the Studio Executives to start showing off your original animation.
FG has given easily accessible creation tools to the next generation of animators. Goooooo cartoons!!!