School Library Journal: Plotagon now free for educators. “Reminiscent of Xtranormal, Plotagon encourages writing skills as users craft professional-looking animated movies. Plotagon movies are built from series of scenes, featuring customizable characters and complete with text-based dialogue, emotions, sound effects, and actions. Dialogue can be read by either computer text-to-speech voices or by recording your own voice.”
Digital Trends: This Social Media Platform Is Dedicated Entirely to Gif-like Animated Stills. “Plotagraph’s social platform is designed to help artists and photographers exhibit and share their work. Unlike a GIF, which is created from a video, Plotagraph creates partially animated photos by starting with only a single photo — the end result is similar, but the process is faster, developers claim. On the social platform, the animated still will auto-play and auto-loop across all devices, making it the first social platform dedicated exclusively to animated, GIF-like photos.”
Now available until the end of 2017: a collection of vintage Japanese animation. “Of special note is the inclusion of Junichi Kouchi’s The Dull Sword, the oldest surviving piece of Japanese animation (circa 1917)…. The archive contains some 64 animated films dated from 1917-1941, as well as profiles of various creators.” I had to use Chrome to translate the site, but after that was able to navigate without difficulty and watch some animation.
More extensions: TechCrunch has a briefwriteup on GoogleGIFs. This extension animates GIFs in Google image search results.
The Smithsonian Science Education Center has launched a new animated Web series for science teachers.
“‘Good Thinking!’ features short, animated videos that explore subjects like energy, cells and gravity, as well as cognitive research findings on topics such as student motivation or the myth of left- and right-brained people. Led by teacher Isabella Reyes, each episode centers on interactions with her students in class. But Reyes also encounters a cast of recurring characters who spring to life from classroom objects and guide her through fine points of teaching. These characters include a talking orchid (who is an expert on life sciences), a talking Bunsen burner (a physical sciences guide) and Gummerson, a gruff but wise wad of gum who’s ‘stuck around’ the school for a long time.”
The first three episodes of the series are available on YouTube.