Xtranormal Technology, Inc. was a digital entertainment company that formerly produced do-it-yourself animation software for the web and desktop and turned words from a script into an animated movie using text-to-speech and animation technologies. In June 2013, the company announced that it would be shutting down its online services as of July 31, 2013. As of August 2013[update], the content of their web site had been replaced by a holding page showing "pause", hinting at a future relaunch. However, in early October 2013, the placeholder went away and the web site was shut down completely.
Xtranormal's website was reactivated by Nawmal, who acquired Xtranormal's intellectual property in the spring of 2014. As of December 2014 it has published embeds to old videos and posted three blog entries but hasn't offered any new software or service as of yet.
Xtranormal was launched after four years of software development. It was established as a storyboarding tool for writers and film directors. The original intent was to allow users to create videos by choosing from a menu of predesigned characters and sets, and scripting their own dialogue.
Xtranormal's State platform allowed casual users to create their own animated videos. State was replaced with a newer version of the animation software called Xtranormal Desktop (or, XD). XD was free to download from the Xtranormal website but now is no longer distributed. Xtranormal also released a web-based animation software tool called Movie Maker (alternately known as "Text-To-Movie"). Movie Maker offers users a more limited subset of functionality from Xtranormal Desktop in exchange for the convenience of a web browser. Xtranormal videos could at one time be created through an interface directly on the YouTube website,
In 2011, Xtranormal launched a subscription service called Xtranormal for Education. This program aimed to empower teachers and students by giving them a new away to express themselves in the classroom. Teachers can create and grade animation-based assignments directly from their web browsers. Xtranormal for Education has been implemented in K–12, university and special needs classes all over the world.
In January 2013, Xtranormal's CEO at the time told Forbes Magazine that Xtranormal had a viable web subscription model, but believed that the real opportunity for growth was now in mobile. . At the end of June 2013, Xtranormal announced that they were discontinuing all current subscriptions, point plans and existing services after July 31, 2013. They encouraged users to use up existing points and to publish and download created movies before that date.
In August 2013, their online services were taken down, with the content of their web site replaced by a holding page showing the company's logo, a set of media player control buttons, and the word "pause", but in early October their site was shut down completely. Its official YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter pages were deleted.
Xtranormal's domain now hosts a close mirror of the site of Nawmal Ltd. which acquired Xtranormal's intellectual property.
Some user-created videos reached more than a million views on YouTube. In 2010, the short film Sleeping with Charlie Kaufman by director J Roland Kelly, animated entirely with Xtranormal, premiered at the Little Rock Film Festival and was shown at The Rome International Film Festival in Rome, Georgia. Xtranormal videos once formed a recurring feature on the late night Fox talk show Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld, and were featured as part of a GEICO advertising campaign. The Micros series of shorts about the world of online poker has been the most popular Xtranormal web-series on YouTube. Although Xtranormal's site and YouTube channel are gone, its internal promotional and R&D videos have been published here. Some videos created on Xtranormal videos have appeared on shows such as the Colbert Report, the Kroll Show and Howard 100.
- Stein, Jeannine (April 24, 2011), "Using video to combat job stress: On Xtranormal, a movie site, people let off steam by satirizing their workplaces", Los Angeles Times: A22.
- Inc, Xtranormal (June 28, 2013), "Important Message From Xtranormal", Xtranormal Blog.
- Albrecht, Chris (October 8, 2008), Xtranormal Launches Text-to-Movie Making, gigaom.
- Newman, Jared (March 24, 2011), "Make Your Own Cartoons and Slideshows on YouTube", Time.
- Grotta, Sally Wiener; Grotta, Daniel (April 2, 2010), "Make Bobbleheaded Animations Easily With Freebie Xtranormal State", PC World.
- Wing Kosner, Anthony (January 30, 2013), "Tellagami Makes Fast, Fun User Generated Video Content For The Mobile Generation", Forbes Tech.
- Humphries, Matthew (July 2, 2010), Best Buy suspends employee for making funny iPhone 4 vs HTC Evo video, Geek.com.
- Siegler, MG (July 1, 2010), Best Buy Trying To Fire Employee Over Those Hilarious EVO Versus iPhone Videos, TechCrunch.
- Sleeping with Charlie Kaufman at the Internet Movie Database
- Hart, Hugh (October 26, 2010), "Video: Robo-Talking Superhero Ad Uses Text-to-Voice Trick", Wired.
- Hustvedt, Mark (June 3, 2011), "The Micros: Poker Nerds Web Series Flops a Boat", Tubefilter News.