Storyblender, which recently launched in private beta, is a new casual animation platform that will appeal to users who want customized movies in a hurry. The site was a presenter at TechCrunch 40. If you’d like to try it out, you can grab one of 500 invites here.
The site is straightforward, which is a good thing because there doesn’t seem to be a tutorial yet. New users are presented with the video wizard that offers a number of pre-created movies that can be easily modified. Each movie is broken up along the bottom of the screen into brief scenes in a manner that will be familiar to anyone that has used a video editor like iMovie.
The site has hundreds of pre-rendered characters, backgrounds, music, and effects, which can be added to a scene by simply dragging and dropping. Nearly all of these have a distinctly comical look to them – the site doesn’t seem to offer “serious” movie making at this point. Instead, many of the backdrops and characters are better suited for video greeting cards (samples include “<a href="Happy Birthday" and "Party Time!“). Users can lend their own voices to clips, and they can import media from YouTube and Flickr. Members can share their movies with friends, who can modify them further if they wish.
Here’s one of the sample videos provided by the site: