I saw this in Gizmodo the other day and thought Yeah-an app that lets you write a screenplay and then animates it. That could be fun. Fun was not the best adjective to describe Plotagon. Hilarious is more appropriate. Here is the skinny folks. Plotagon is an app that lets you write a TV/movie screenplay. While you write it the screenplay Plotagon animates it. You are limited with what you can write (such as scene location, actions and music) but overall it works well. Well in the sense that the program did not crash while using it and everything I asked it to do, it completed.
So before we get into the nuts and bolts take a look at my Plotagon.
Hopefully you got a good chuckle at this I know I had some fun making it. So let’s begin. The program is free to download and install if you have (get ready for this) 1 GB of free hard drive space. That is huge! Take Mac OSX Mavericks for example. The entire operating system is a bit more than 5.5GB but Plotagon, a single program mind you, runs a whopping 1GB. OK, installing is simple and straight forward. It works on Mac and PC. For Windows you need to have ActiveX installed but if you don’t Plotagon will help you get it.
Once you launch the program, it asks you to make an account. It’s simple enough. With the account you can publish your movies to the Plotagon website and to YouTube.
It is pretty darn simple. When you launch Plotagon it takes you to your Movies section. Here you can create new movies or polish those gems you’ve already been working on.
When you create a new project here is the workspace you are greeted with. It is broken into two main sections. The screenplay section where you create all the action and the video section where Plotagon turns your imagination into reality, or at least a hilarious representation of it.
To get started with the screen play click on the Scene button at the top and pick one of six locations.
The locations are not all that awesome but they are good enough for most situations.
The next thing you need to do is add some action. Click on character and then select from one of the six stock characters and then pick where this character starts off.
From here you can add dialogue, action, movement, sounds and music. The dialogue is whatever you want to the character to say and the action is, well, the action the character will perform. There is actually quite a few to chose from.
There are not too many “inappropriate” actions outside of kissing and let’s be honest, the kiss is like watching two robots try to kiss. Not a whole lot of passion there.
You can easily move actions around and edit them too. It is a very basic and easy to understand interface. Anyone with ten minutes will know almost all there is to know about Plotagon.
As for the screenplay, you have a simple version (image below).
Then there is the Hollywood screenplay which I prefer.
Once you’re done you can export the screenplay to a txt file or a you can export the video your screenplay has produced. The video is immediately uploaded to YouTube and the Plotagon website. You don’t get a local copy for yourself. Not too big of a deal but if you have a whole class of students trying to export you may run into issues as it does take some time.
There is a plotagon store where you can buy new characters and locations. The store itself is pretty empty right now but I am sure that will change.
The bottom line is that Plotagon is a lot fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and while I was playing around with it, I found myself having a great time. With each action I was constantly watching my creation come to hilarious life. Will students love this? You bet they will. Will teachers? I guess it depends. You would probably need a clear objective or it could turn into students writing about two people constantly punching each other.
Try it yourself: https://plotagon.com/
|NETS – S Standards|
|1) Creativity – A & B|
|2) Communication & Collaboration – B|
|5) Digital Citizenship – B|