Toufee - Flash movies made easy Thursday, March 20, 2008
When I first stumbled across Animoto last year I was delighted with the site for two reason
- it was easy to use and required no design expertise or programming skill
- the results were impressive
So when I read about Toufee, which claimed to be the easiest and fastest flash movie maker online, I thought it would be worth evaluating.
Ordinarily, if I want to put movies online I use Microsoft's free application, Window Movie Maker, to edit the video and add effects which I've always been happy with and offers a large range of output formats.
So looking at Toufee, my initial thoughts were that [despite a gawdy home page]
- the online application and UI was impressive
- the range of features and effects it provided was incredibly large
- this online app will definitely give people with no programming skills the ability to produce online flash movies easily that can be embedded anywhere and even run offline
Powerpoint has many animation and transformation tools to add effects, and many slide creators spend lots of time applying them to their slides. Unfortunately, you soon realise as a viewer that less is more in most cases and sometimes the creator has overshadowed the message content with gaudy effects [assuming the presentation had quality content at all!]. Even worse, given most people have seen every Powerpoint effect, they now appear tame and passée.
Hence, one can easily imagine the shabby results that will be created by most people. Indeed, the movie created in the Toufee demo looks tacky and a brief glance at the gallery of movies on the site, made by some of the 100,000+ users they claim, amplifies this point!
Unfortunately, there is no substitute for talent, creativity and design flair regardless of the tools - give me a block of marble, a hammer and chisel and you'd end up with a pile of rocks rather than a work of art, albeit it would probably get admitted to the Tate Modern based on the "tat" I saw in there recently.
So perhaps worth a try, but if you're thinking about using it to impress potential customers with your own home-cooked movie, I think you'd be better off getting the help of a designer. For the avoidance of doubt, let me stress that this is not a criticism of the site.
Toufee offers a 30 day free Trial means after which its $5 per month, but you do need to give your credit card details upfront.