Now, you won’t become your own Pixar any time soon, but you can easily work out some dialog with Xtranormal’s text to movie offering. There are some premium features to Xtranormal but you can do quite a bit for free. You will have to create an account to use the service. There is an online version of the tool or a Windows downloadable version. They’re both pretty easy to use but let’s take a closer look.
The online version of Xtranormal is easy to work with, has more tools to offer, and doesn’t require a download or a Windows PC. On the flip side, it can take longer to render a preview and significantly longer with more traffic online. It also requires Adobe Flash.
To make a movie, you simply start off by choosing a ‘showpak’. A showpak is simply a collection of related sets and actors. You can choose to make your film with one actor or two. There are more than just the ones I have pictured here.
Once you’ve chosen a showpak, it’s time to get to work writing out the script, choosing the set, finding your soundtrack (ambient and soundtrack), and selecting your actors. The script is more complex than just the dialog but it’s very easy to use. You can write out your dialog and then add camera angle changes, actor actions and expressions, and more just by dragging and dropping the appropriate icon into the script when you want it to occur. Actions often have multiple choices. For example, having an actor point could be pointing at themselves, pointing away, in the sky, or down on the ground. It’s really easy to get the results you want and you can preview the actions before you choose.
Once you finalize your script and preview your masterpiece, you can publish your movie. It will take a little bit depending on the length and complexity of the video and how many other videos are being rendered at the moment. You can browse away from the page and get back to your video through the My Movies link at the top.
Once the video is completed, you can share the video with your friends or download a copy. You can also embed directly from Xtranormal or send it off to YouTube. Here’s a look at my final product over at YouTube:
The desktop version is nice because it is much quicker to respond and generate previews but from my impression, the web version was easier to use. The desktop version also didn’t have as much of a selection in its free items. You can buy a lot more features in the market place though, like the ability to have 6 actors and different showpaks. The download is 125 MB in size and runs through an installation process.
You can find more information about both the desktop and web versions of xtranormal at www.xtranormal.com. Happy creating! Feel free to share your creations in the comments.