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|3D animation website|
|Founded||October 1, 2008|
|Defunct||July 31, 2013|
|Headquarters||Newark, New Jersey, US|
Xtranormal Technology, Inc., or simply known as just Xtranormal, was an American digital entertainment company based in Newark, New Jersey, that 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.
On June 28, 2013, the company announced that they would be shutting down its online services on July 31, 2013. They encouraged users to complete their unfinished movies and download their completed movies before that date. After the shutdown, the website had been replaced by a holding page in a gray background showing Xtranormal's logo above a set of media player control buttons and the word "pause", hinting at a future relaunch. However, in October 2013, the placeholder was gone and the website was shut down entirely. In April 2014, Nawmal Ltd. acquired the rights to Xtranormal's IP and began releasing a rebranded version of a similar software.
Xtranormal was launched after 4 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, and could be downloaded for free and run offline. At some point, Slate was replaced with a newer version of the animation software called Xtranormal Desktop (or, XD). Like Slate, XD was free to download from the Xtranormal website, but is no longer available after Xtranormal's shutdown. 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 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 way to express themselves in the classroom. Teachers could create and grade animation-based assignments directly from their web browsers. Xtranormal for Education was 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 they believed that the real opportunity for growth was now in mobile. On June 28, 2013, the company announced that they would be shutting down its online services on July 31, 2013. They encouraged users to use up existing points and to publish and download created movies before that date.
Xtranormal's online services were taken down shortly after, 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, the placeholder was gone, thus their site was shut down completely. Its official YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter pages were also deleted. The site was briefly home to a store called "The College Shop" in November 2013.
In July 2014, it was announced that the assets of Xtranormal had been acquired by Nawmal, Ltd.. As of 2016, Xtranormal's new parent company, Nawmal Ltd, has split Xtranormal into 2 different animators named after the company itself, both just like Xtranormal, except one being for professional use and one being for education.
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 has been the most popular Xtranormal web-series on YouTube.
Another popular video was Graphic Designer vs Client, where it shows a Graphic Designer dealing with a difficult, ignorant and cheap client, whose design ideas, recommendations and deadlines enrage the professional designer. This video inspired other Graphic Designers to post sequels of the video as well as people who work in Web Development, Photography and Music to post videos of what its like to deal with similar clients in their industries.
- 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.
- "Important Message From Xtranormal". Xtranormal Blog. June 28, 2013. Archived from the original on March 15, 2019.
- 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.
- "Xtranromal". Nawmal, Ltd. July 31, 2014.
- 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 on IMDb
- Hart, Hugh (October 26, 2010), "Video: Robo-Talking Superhero Ad Uses Text-to-Voice Trick", Wired.
- Hustvedt, Mark (June 3, 2011), "The Micros: Nerds Web Series Flops a Boat", Tubefilter News.