2 animated cartoons illustrate the ease of making cartoons

To show how easy it is to create visual material, I’m posting some things I created.  It is surprisingly easy to create content with today’s tools when you have just a little skill and a fun idea.

Previously posted airplane videos here and here.

Here are two animated cartoons that tell the story in visual form that I previously told in print form:

Bank reconciliations and offering count procedures:


Good procedures protect from false accusations:


How I made the videos and the time needed to make them

I created these using Xtranormal. Unfortunately, they closed their virtual doors in July 2013.

The concept is amazing. You ‘buy’ a set and characters, which you can reuse as much as you want, for a few dollars each. Type in the text. Add hand motion, facial expressions, and camera angles. View, edit, and publish. That’s it.

I made four scenes to tell the story. Two demonstrated certain concepts from the book. Each scene had a different setting and different characters. An intro and extro opened the story and emphasized the main points. I used a video editor to put the four scenes together and add title & closing credit.

Took a fair amount of time but was easy to do. Total time for producing two cartoons was 32 hours.  That is just under 2 hours of production time per minute of final video.  It was a lot of fun.

Although Xtranormal has closed shop, there are other vendors who offer the do-it-yourself cartoon service. Don’t have any recommendations yet. The Wikipedia page linked above has a list of 8 similar companies. One looks quite promising; the others not so much.  Will let you know what company was used when I create another cartoon.

Number of views

Part 1 on bank reconciliations and separation of duties for offering count was published June 6, 2011. As of December 19, 2013 it has 3,685 views.

Part 2 on good controls protecting from false allegations was published six days later, on 7-12-11. It has 656 views as of 12-19.


That count is trivial for the ‘net era. Still, it’s sort of nice seeing over 4,400 views on my little ol’ videos. That talk about accounting. Internal controls, no less.


Six scenes are posted to YouTube individually. There are an additional 1,100 views of the single scenes.

Lesson learned

All the files on the Xtranormal site went away when they closed shop. Lesson learned is to make sure you download a copy of everything you create at a vendor’s site. There’s no telling when they stop operation. If you haven’t downloaded a copy of your stuff, it could just go away some day.

Hint: since hard drive storage is soooo cheap, you might want to download a copy of all the videos you loaded to YouTube or anywhere else on the ‘net.

2 thoughts on “2 animated cartoons illustrate the ease of making cartoons”

  1. Jim,

    You mentioned that you found one of the 8 companies promising. I was going through the list and without your experience was not able to distinguish which it might be. Can you clue me in?

    Thanks, john

    1. Thanks for reading and taking the time to ask.

      Here’s my first reaction after looking at the websites for just a moment:

      GoAnimate looks like the first place I’d try. Moviestorm is appealing. Don’t think I’d put Muvizu, animoto, and PowToon on the list I’d look at early on.

      They all look to be far more complicated that Xtranormal. Also pricier. On the other hand, that complexity would allow more flexibility. And the higher price means those other companies might make enough money to be around a while.

      Anyone have other thoughts?

      Anyone using any of those services?

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