Feds can get in the movie-making business with Xtranormal app
Application helps create videos with computer-generated animated characters
- By Alice Lipowicz
- Apr 25, 2011
Xtranormal is a free animated video application better known for spawning popular animated cartoon videos on YouTube such as “So You Want to Go To Law School” and “Why Your Waiter Hates You” rather than for any government applications.
Now Xtranormal is available to federal agencies, thanks to the General Services Administration, which announced on April 25 that it has been added to the free applications available on Apps.gov.
Xtranormal offers an easy way to make videos with a standardized cast of computer-generated animated characters. A user types in words to be spoken by each character, in order. The animated characters speak the words.
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“If you can type, you can make movies,” is Xtranormal’s corporate motto. The application has even sparked its own film festival.
“Xtranormal is a website that hosts text-to-speech-based computer animated video clips, which can be created by any user and uploaded by a downloadable program or created directly online,” is how Apps.gov described it.
The GSA Center for Excellence in Digital Government tweeted that Xtranormal is now available to all federal agencies. “Xtranormal is the latest addition to the #socmed section of apps.gov,” the tweet read.
A search of YouTube on April 25 turned up no federal agencies producing videos with the Xtranormal application.
However, there were several Xtranormal videos about federal agency topics, including one titled “GSA Schedule 874” posted by GSA Focus Inc., a consulting firm that helps companies with GSA schedules. The company also made Xtranormal YouTube videos devoted to GSA Schedules 520, 871 and 738.
Other YouTube users have published Xtranormal videos about topics including federal cloud computing, the potential government shutdown, bank bailouts, space policy and the Federal Reserve.
Among the most popular Xtranormal videos on YouTube are “Yo Momma” insult comedy videos and the “So You Want to Go To Law School” video, which has received 1.2 million views.
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.