Hands on Review of Doodly, a drag-and-drop video creator

Jan 03, 2019 at 09:30 am by Warlord720


As artists… most of us love to doodle.

Some of us just aren't worth a crap at it. I include myself in this group.

Oh, I can doodle… it's just… no one… not even me weeks later… will know what that doodle really was!

Actually, I can scribble, I just can't doodle… until now.

With the help of Doodly, another easy-to-use app that requires next to no advance knowledge to use, I can doodle with the best of them. On my test case, I produced a video within a few hours of installing the program. Most of that time was spent on making the custom images and getting them into Doodly.

In all, I'd have to say it was one of the most pleasant animating experiences I've had in quite a while. Particularly when you consider I'm more than a bit “burned out on animation” after having retired from a career in it.

If I can get good animation with very little animating effort, then I am one happy camper. If you want to beat your chest as a keyframer, go right ahead. I certainly respect the work ethic, but I'd be happy to never manually set another keyframe pose for the rest of my life.

Doodly allows me to animate with just that thought in mind. No manual work. It's all drag and drop including music and assets.

It's not the only doodle software out there either, nor does it have the largest user base, but it does have one thing. Ease of use, which is usually No. 1 on my list of must-haves when possible.

Whilst I realize that technical manuals are there for a reason… I not sure what that reason is? To confuse us? To alienate us as users?

In this case, I have no idea if Doodly even has a manual because I have not needed one. Fifteen to 20 minutes worth of video tutorial and I was ready to rock the doodle world.

OK… since we're being real…maybe just shake it a little.

There was only one problem with all the doodle software out there.

It's expensive.

Damned expensive since they have monthly rates starting in the $20+ range per month! One look at their pricing pages will make you think they were created by the same webmaster.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Doodly run a special at less than $70 US with no monthly fees for the basic software.

I bit.

It was like candy at the checkout counter.

I just couldn't say no.

Demo made with Doodly. Easy to Learn and Use. Drag and Drop Enabled.

First, the only bad experience I had during this deal was it seemed like a hyped-up, super hard sell that kept sending me to webpage after webpage trying to get me to upgrade to some package costing twice as much.

In fact, the hard sell was so bad I almost didn't complete the purchase because it made me question the credibility of the entire deal. It was a cheap, sleazy sales pitch.

It just seemed such a horrid way of grinding you to upgrade. If you are like me, those marketing tactics don't always work and can backfire.

It almost did in this case as I questioned continuing with the purchase, finally getting to the point of just deciding to close the page and forget it if it redirected me to another upgrade offer.

Thank goodness it didn't, and I completed the transaction as I really did have an enjoyable time making my first video.

Within minutes I was dragging and dropping text, characters, props, and music in my first Doodly production. There was never a time I was really frustrated with anything after this point.

Drag a piece of text into the workspace. Then drag a character or prop in. This sets the order in the timeline which can be easily changed by moving assets up and down in a right-side menu for chronological order. The timeline is simplified for ease of use too.

The only real work was having to trace out your custom images the first time. You can trace as much as you wish as it's a very simple process. The software will take over from where you stop and finish the image. You can literally trace out an entire image line by line if you so desire. It adds to the effect. If you only trace out the head and shoulders of a character the rest will be completed in an angular sweep, but it doesn't look as good.

The real kicker… I never once uttered a word that should not be heard in my studio… and that is rare for me because… as I age… I anger. Don't know why… just part of angry old man syndrome but it never kicked in this time.

To make a long story short, I would recommend the software IF you can get it without the monthly cost or if you have a business that can pay for it with usage billing.

It also ticks off another item on my good software list… your grandmother could use Doodly if she has a basic grasp of drag and drop and produce a great video.

I'll just leave it at that.

 M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years.  Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website

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