Two days ago, a client asked for an animation. Not a whiteboard animation, which I’m now VERY comfortable with; a video where the pictures actually MOVE!

I began looking for software to create simple animations, thinking that since I found Videoscribe, there must be another easy to use software out there. I found many, many reviews and read every one I found. Some were reviews by professional animators; some were by those looking to enliven/relieve their PowerPoint driven world.

The review results fell into the same two classes. Professional animators chose Harmony in order to showcase their talent and to best control their end product. PowerPoint aficionados chose PowToons, in order to get the flashiest result for the least effort.

I tried out Harmony and realized that there is quite the steep learning curve, but it looked like it would do absolutely everything. The quality of the end product is in the hands of the user, sigh. (consider garbage in; garbage out).

Then I tried PowToons. Sigh. You can’t adjust the garbage in slider. And, it all operates on their site and server.

Today I ran across this post by Bernadette Jiwa (a favorite author on the value of simplicity, authenticity and heart in business). She writes about the now ubiquitous fish leaping from the bowl stock photo that became the cover of at least two books that I own. Her last two lines:

If you want something safe go with the fish.

If you want something meaningful go with true.

Change the word “fish” to PowToons. Change the word “true” to simple, original and authentic.

If you want to quickly create canned presentations and you don’t mind that you must adjust what you want to say/show to match the animated clip art provided by PowToons, this is going to be the tool for you. As the audience for PowToons grows, we will all be able to recognize each other and say, “Oh. Powtoons. Sigh. One trick pony.”

Finally, I found that my Adobe Creative Suite included Adobe After effects, which will allow me to learn animation in a fairly robust software while still not requiring that I begin as an animator.