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ZuLu
01-08-2007, 12:49 PM
The Great Marketing your Animation Tutorial!


So you’re a animator! You just spent a month on your latest masterpiece and can’t wait to show it off to all your peer’s. You waited for this day for so long. You finish up the last scene of your animation and only thing left is to create a preloader. You download some old generic preloader and put some bright neon pink text on it that say’s “Play nowz or die”. Tween after tween and all the countless hours of moving layers and vectors inch by inch, pixel by pixel. You can’t wait to see what people will say about your animation.

They’ll love it how couldn't they? It’s not even completely finished yet but they won’t care. They’ll admire you and scream your name from the heavens as the best animator on the net. They’ll email you with questions and plea’s for you to help them become half as good as you are. You’ll soak it all up and revel in your triumph over the interwebz!

So the first thing you do is make sure you get it uploaded as soon as possible. You login to the site, and click on the submit button. The first step, upload your killer magical academy award winning animation, check. The second step, upload a thumbnail image. Thumbnail image, who cares about that? Next, Title well the title I never really gave any thought to. I mean it’s a fighting sequence with no story. In fact it’s not even finished, I plan on going back in a couple of months and polish off the ending. Oh well I just thought of the perfect name. I’ll call it “RANDOM TEST STICK FIGHT SHORT VERSION X.021 INCOMPLETE RELOADED PART 7 XD (UNFINISHED)”! HAHAHA ya baby, there gonna luuuuuuv it!

Third step description? I just described it all in the title. Well let’s see here. “A Stickman fights!” Perfect, that’s quick and short. Less time reading more time watching that’s what I say! Fourth step Author Comments, are you kidding me? I just had to write out that long description. Ok ok, what should I say to all my soon to be crazy starry eyed fans. How about “Just made this for practice...it turned out ok.”! Ya that don’t sound to cocky. In fact it sounds very modest. How good of me, to be that modest. They’ll worship to me like a God. A humble God of pure artistic glory!

Step five Submit, yes finely it’s time. Yes clicky clicky clicky clicky. Why is it taking so long OMGZ I can’t take this it’s driving me crazy. Stupid site, it’s so slow. I hate you ZuLu, you and everyone who’s name starts with a Z. I have never even talked to you or read one of your posts but I hate you for making my animation wait to be uploaded for over a minute now. Yes it’s uploaded it’s a successful upload it’s there it’s up I can see it. OMGZ like WTF it’s been up for 10 seconds and nobody has favorited it yet. What the hellz going on here?

1 week passes and the animation has gotten 100 views and a awesome score of 10%! Nobody favorited the animation and nobody made even one comment. What happened? How did your masterpiece go so wrong? Where are all the people showing you the love? Why arn’t they suggesting you become a mod or join the best animation team on the weber? George Lucas hasn’t called you yet and your not the next big thing on the interwebz.

Well, maybe I can help!

Maybe your animation sucked, maybe it was the worst piece of crap anyone has ever seen and they all think you’re the biggest noob on the web. Maybe it was awesome, maybe it was one of the gems overlooked in the portal. Maybe nobody clicked on your animation to view it and didn’t give it a fare chance. No matter what the case the point is you never gave your animation the chance to see because you marketed it wrong.

Users have a very short attention span and are not going to watch every single animation submitted to the portal. Most people will only view three animations a day, three! How do you get people to watch your animation as one of there three regular viewings? Well below is your mistakes and how to correct them in oder to give your animation the best possible chance of getting viewed and getting a better rating/score.

Step 1: Patenice

First and formost, if your animation is not complete. Don’t even think about submitting it anywehere. Honestly, by releasing a unfinished animation your killing your ultimate goal. To relase a animation that people sit back in there chair and say “Now, that was awesome!”. Let’s say I watch ‘Stickfight Revolution – Unfinished’! Let’s say I think it’s really good. Not awesome but really good. Let’s say I rate it a 7 or 8 out of 10! Then let’s say a week later you release ‘StickFight Revolution – Completed’. One of 4 things is going to happen.

a) I’ll look at the title and think, didn’t I already watch that? And then I’ll skip it.

b) I’ll remember that I watched the incomplete version and although I thought it was good I have no interest in watching it over again just to see a 10 second ending.

c) I’ll remember I watched it and I liked it so I end up watching it again.

d) I see it and know I have not seen it yet but the fact that it say’s completed I know you have released a few other versions which means your likely a noob and I don’t want to watch anything from a noob.

No matter which way you cut it, there is a strong liklyhood that people that watched your first crappy version won’t watch the completed version. Let’s say your first version was bare bone with no menu and no preloader. That won’t leave a good impression and your completed version will get no love. Seriously, have patience and don’t release any animation until it’s completed!

Step 2: The Preloader and Menu

Now I know what your gonna say, why do I need a menu for an animation if I already got a preloader? Well the answer is simple. The menu is where you market yourself and the animation in great detail. This is where you went wrong, here’s your preloader

Click Here (http://www.stickpageportal.com/forums/../files/A%20very%20nice%20flashMjYyNg==.swf)
Now in this animation, would you watch it just by looking at the main menu page? Well I can tell you that I wouldn’t. I can tell right off the bat that the author is new to animating and although that aint a bad thing I really don’t want to waste one of my 3 animations to watch in a day on this one. So I can tell you that even though I included this animation in this tutorial I still have not even watched it. The menu! What menu? The preloader! What preloader?

Now here’s what you should have done

Click Here (http://www.stickpageportal.com/forums/../files/Intense%20Battle%203MjY0OQ==.swf)
Now in this animation even though I still see many way’s the menu/preloader can have been even better. I can tell you that this grabs my attention a lot more. Here we got a Author who took the time to incorporate different text then standard Arial. Second, he even attempts to put a little intro animation into the menu that show’s off a rad bullet that really grabs my attention and makes me wanna click PLAY.

Who cares if the animation sucks or rocks. The point here is that I’m watching it! How could have the Author made this even better? Here’s some tips on what you can also add.

a) A note in small text near the bottom indication that this is a flash file and that you need the flashplayer plugin to play the animation with a link to a download flashplayer from Adobe. I know you might laugh at this but you really have no idea how many people that stubmle upon pages with SPP for the first time because there where searching for something else and end up trying to watch your animation but only end up with a blank screen cause they don’t have the flashplayer plugin.

b) How about the following menu options, credits button (even if everything was made by you). Contact button, Scene selection button, About you with links to other works by you especially if your animation is a part 2 or part 3. Link to the other parts so people view them as well.

c) List the site or page within a site you learned how to make animations. Whether that be stickpage or a different site. Every site could use a little publistiy and at the same time people who watch your animation may go there trying to contact you.

d) Try to make your preloader unuique, if you downloaded it from NG or some other site, make changes to it. It’s boring to see the same preloaders again and again. Peole like to see small things like that. It starts there opinion of your animation off on a good rapport before they actually view it. That will go along way when it comes time to rate it.

e) If your animation has no storyline and is simply just a stickman fighting scene then make one up. You don’t have to animate it, just use scrolling text to get your storyline across to the viewer. Just make sure you include a “SKIP” button incase it’s long and someone might not want to read it or for those who are coming back to watch it again.

Click Here (http://www.thegn.com/playgame/flash_arcade/action_games/k_fed.html)
Now when you reach a level where your animation skills are amazing and you are highly touted as being a great animator. Then your menus/preloaders should look like this animation. This is by far the best preloader/menu I have ever seen and although it’s made by likely the best animator out there. It’s something that needs to be pointed out and learned from. Now this is actually a game and I didn’t even like the game actually. In fact I really just thought that animation was amazing. However the menu/preloader grabs your attention and litterally forces you to play the game and if it does not then there’s something wrong with you!

Step 3: Naming your Animation

I cannot stress enough how badley people from this site name there animations. You went wrong right off the bat by putting any combo of these words in your animation “RANDOM TEST STICK FIGHT SHORT VERSION X.021 INCOMPLETE RELOADED PART 7 XD (UNFINISHED)”!

Words that are a no no for naming your animation
∑ Random
∑ Test
∑ Short
∑ Version
∑ Incomplete
∑ Unfinished

Anyways, let’s look at some really awesome titles for animations
∑ Mutantationism
∑ Black vs White
∑ Stick Omen
∑ Unstopable
∑ Sudden

Why are these titles great and how do you think of great titles like these? One word titles are by far the best. When you name your animation your goal is to create something that makes people remember it easily and effortlessly.

Let’s take a look at the “Black vs White”. First of all it’s easy to spell, it’s short and it’s easy to remember. Second, it sums up exactly what the animation is about in 3 words. That should be the second goal for any title. To sum up what the animation is about with as little words as possible while still being descriptive.

Now let’s look at the title “Stick Omen”! I love this title for one reason and one reason only. The word Omen, what does the word Omen have to do with this animation? Nothing! Hoever the author knew that his animation was just about a stick fight. There was not too much storyline to it and so instead of just calling it “Stick Fight” he changed it to a word that was short, easy to remember and all around sounds cool. Effectlivly seperating it from the pack.

Let’s look at this list below. Assume that the list below is a bunch of titles of animations in a list on the portal. Which one do you click on?

Stick fight unfinished17 XD
Shortz Stickz Fightz Forz Tehz Winz
Random UNFINSHED shorts
Stick Omen
Test stick version INCOMPLETE

If you choose anything other then “Stick Omen” then you sir are an idiot!

So let’s review your goals when naming an animation.
1. Keep it short and Descriptive
2. Make it easy to read, easy to spell and easy to remember
3. Try to sum up what the animation is about in as few words as possible.

Step 4: Creating a thumbnail image

Ok, I don’t think I have the creative writing skills to express to all of you the importance of creating a great thumbnail image and why it will make or break how your animation does in terms of either being a success or failure.

The thumbnail image tells the user/viewer exactly what to expect by watching your animation. So what do I the user/viewer expect to see from a animation that has no thumbnail image? I expect to watch a animation that the author didn’t care enough about to make a thumbnail for. So What’s the result? The result is that I don’t care about watching an animation that the Author did not care enough about to make a thumbnail image for. And I ain’t gonna waste my time clicking on something that I don’t know what it’s about.

So what happens if you do make a thumbnail image? What do I the user/viewer expect to see from the animation. I expect to see exactly what’s in the thumbnail image. If the image grabbed my attention because I saw a really well drawn stickfigure or if I saw some cool action scene frozen in a image then I wanna see it in live motion. The result, I click on the thumbnail and watch your animation.

Now some you may say but I don’t know how to make a thumbnail image? Well I’ll make a tutorial then, so stay tuned…

Step 5: Writing a Description

Here are some description’s copied and pasted here from some seriously popular animations. The descriptions are in the quote and my review below the quote in text.


“ME and my site members had organized a fighting collab we worked a month on it.”
Hmmm, ok so I know that it’s a collab and I know that it’s a stick fight scene. However you spent a month on it and the best thing you can say about it was sumed up into one sentence? I wrote more about your animation without even viewing it then you did after creating it for over a month. Questions that your description leaves me with: Who are you? Who are your site memebers? What is your site? What’s a fighting collab? Is there a theme for this animation since so many people worked on it? Why did it take a month?


“m....hm... posted..”
Wow, riviting! Likely one of the best stick animations I have seen in a few months and this is the description! It’s sad that someone so talented seems to not care about his own work so much that this is the best description we get.


“1st movie of my Star War Series”
So We know it’s a paradoy about star wars but we know nothing else. Is there a storyline? How many characters are in it? Are the characters from the star wars movies or are they your own? Is this a action fighting scene or is it a attempt at a remake?


“Just another Fight Anim..”
BOOORING! This makes me wanna click the back button not the play button. Nuff said…

Ok, so now let’s look at some good descriptions of animations that have been submitted.


“Flash artists were challenged to make an animation in only 30 minutes. The result, is the Half Hour Challenge Collab, a collaboration of 18 artists of all different skill levels.”
This could have been described in a bit more detail but at least the author explained what a collab is and let us know how many people worked on it and how long it took. Then backed that up by indicating what the purpose of the animation was for and the theme. He then even explained that there are many different skill levels of authors that worked on it which means that even if the first scene does not blow me away there could be better stuff later on so keep watching. That is a HUGE statement as that did make me keep watching and it turned out I’m glad I did…


“One man harnesses the power of many T.S.S. characters as well as their weapon skills. Watch as he takes down many with his newfound abilities.”
Great description, now that tells me about the sotyline of the animation. That means as soon as it starts I know what’s going on and I understand. It makes me want to expect something. It makes me want to expect to see the main character use his weapon skills. The antisipation and the fact that I’m now expecting it will make it satisfying once I see it and will leave me with a sense of fullfillment which will make my review on this animation good.


“a huge fight, which includes member off the stickpage forum, entering in a virtual arean to be the best fighter enjoy! ps: not completed yet”
Ok, the description made me want to watch this animation until he said “ps: not completed yet”. I was like all built up and then boom, shot down! Like hell I’m gonna watch something that’s not completed. I’ll wait for the full version, I hope that by that time I’ll remember that I didn’t watch it yet. Cause I may decide to skip it if I thought I watched already. However back to the point, the description was excellent up till that point. It built anicipation and it explained what I would be watching effectivly making me want to watch it.

In conclusion, write lenghty descriptive desceiptions. They help your animation get views and earns your animation a fare chance at being rated fairly if people know what’s going on. Make thumbnails, they make the user want to click on your animation especially if it makes the frontpage. Put effort into your titles and make sure you don’t ruin your animation by making the title seem not appealing. Don’t submit unfinished or incomplete animations because nobody will watch them….

By: ZuLu

Deathwish
01-08-2007, 12:59 PM
I think i love you.

Made me lol and will help the noobies.

Great job.

V.Valentine
01-08-2007, 01:15 PM
Very detailed tutorial, i like how you portrayed the newbie's animation and the animations made by someone with some experience.
Though i definately loved the newbie's one purely because it's made by a newb.
There are a bit of spelling and grammatical errors here but none that would affect the tutorial overall.

Everything you did there pretty much sums up what's going on in the Stickpage Portal, and you helped newcomers try and market their animations as if it were for sale.

Great tutorial, nonetheless, and a first tutorial I've seen from you.

Exile
01-08-2007, 02:13 PM
Wow.

That's.. a very long tutorial.

Definitely will help some people, though.

ZuLu
01-08-2007, 02:40 PM
Can you sumarize everything you just said in like one word or less?

Don't submit anything that's not completed, make one word titles, upload thumbnails and write descriptions...

Mr. Pinkus
01-08-2007, 02:44 PM
Don't submit anything that's not completed, make one word titles, upload thumbnails and write descriptions...

Don't forget the "If you didn't choose Stick Omen, then you sir are an idiot" line.

Tutorial will be useful for the days I turn lazy and don't bother making a description.

ZuLu
01-08-2007, 03:01 PM
Don't forget the "If you didn't choose Stick Omen, then you sir are an idiot" line.
Damn I forgot, that's teh best part....

Slayer
01-08-2007, 03:26 PM
Wow, very nice.

Incredibly in-depth on the topic, and very helpfull(spelling?) to anyone wishing to submit an animation.

I hope this will help clean up the portal.

Great work.

LN3uq
01-08-2007, 03:49 PM
I hope we'll have some icons now, all I saw one time on the top ten of the week was "no picture submitted"

Slayer
01-08-2007, 03:52 PM
Heh heh.

I was guilty of that a while ago.. >.> before I was educalated.

Ordinair
01-08-2007, 04:34 PM
Step five Submit, yes finely itís time. Yes clicky clicky clicky clicky. Why is it taking so long OMGZ I canít take this itís driving me crazy. Stupid site, itís so slow. I hate you ZuLu, you and everyone whoís name starts with a Z. I have never even talked to you or read one of your posts but I hate you for making my animation wait to be uploaded for over a minute now. Yes itís uploaded itís a successful upload itís there itís up I can see it. OMGZ like WTF itís been up for 10 seconds and nobody has favorited it yet. What the hellz going on here?

1 week passes and the animation has gotten 100 views and a awesome score of 10%! Nobody favorited the animation and nobody made even one comment. What happened? How did your masterpiece go so wrong? Where are all the people showing you the love? Why arnít they suggesting you become a mod or join the best animation team on the weber? George Lucas hasnít called you yet and your not the next big thing on the interwebz.

Rofl. Thats the best part.

Yeah its a pretty good tutorial I suppose. I could learn some lessons from this myself because my titles and descriptions are pretty generic.

It is a good tutorial but it is quite long and I dont see too many people reading the entire thing. Visuals?

Hydrogen
01-08-2007, 04:51 PM
Nice one Zulu.

Very nice.

Exile
01-08-2007, 05:46 PM
Actually, now that I re-read it, you go too far in-depth with things that can be summarized pretty easily.

Makes for a very long read, but still helpful... I just think the overall size is going to discourage a lot of people from reading it.

Dudeman
01-08-2007, 05:57 PM
Yeah, the story could've been easily summarized or at least had some small offtopic details left out.

Great job though. I like the use of examples and the organization of things.

Sunder Forge
01-08-2007, 06:20 PM
I actualy read it, That helped me alot, my last videos summamry and name were" two guys fight......cool" and the name was, battle......new name, GALAtic showdown and An awsome final fantays style collision of the godlyest of fighters in an epic battle to save the ninth demension, This take place in a huge dark grey room ocupied by the gouls from the depths of hell.

ZuLu
01-08-2007, 08:14 PM
How about if I add a table of contents?

Slayer
01-09-2007, 01:25 AM
How about if I add a table of contents?

I think that would help.

Setmin
01-25-2007, 12:09 PM
Zulu, suck my cock. EDIT: Also, tl;dr. Everyone is sucking up to you.

NobodY
01-25-2007, 12:25 PM
Zulu, suck my cock. EDIT: Also, tl;dr. Everyone is sucking up to you.
Not everyone -_-

I think its too long, shorten your tutorial more. Most people don't want to read a 10 page paper on how to fold a paper airplane. Its just like naming/'advartising your animation'.

But there are keypoints that would be good for newbies. And I highly doubt as you stay on longer on SPP the "title or advartisement" would really matter, it is the reputation of the person/ respectable person and their skills that will pull through.
ie. Good animator/old user post: lik3 omG! for a title
gets tons of feedback, favorite. compaired to that of someone new who took your advice. So I would say add in some point about being a favored member of some sort (rep/good animator).

darthsmall9
07-29-2007, 07:40 AM
****ing awesome.

Zive
07-10-2012, 06:39 PM
Nice tutorial! This should be stickyed