Whether you would like to try your hand at making animated greeting cards or want to push your PowerPoint presentations to the next level, you should head over to PowToon.
With the website's free account, you can create up to five-minute animated movies and upload them to your YouTube account. Your creations will retain PowToon branding. To remove this, you can pay per use or subscribe to the site and also receive expanded capabilities.
Although we wished for a bigger animation library, the current one is adequate to get your creative juices flowing. (The site does mention that coming soon are more style libraries, as well as the ability to import animated gifs, an undo/ redo function and voice-over recording.)
The site's tutorials, which run about a minute each, are clear and easy to understand and make the tools very accessible, even for a beginner. We were able to produce a 20-second film in about as many minutes on our first attempt. It uploaded quickly to YouTube. Other features include a blog with tips on how to use the tools more effectively and a user forum.
Aside from being free, no software download is required, a feature we always appreciate. However, you must sign up to use the site and give them access to your YouTube account for your videos to be uploaded.
DESCRIPTION A place to create personal and professional animated videos
TARGET AUDIENCE Aspiring animators of all ages
BOTTOM LINE Become a film animator in less than hour