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10 Years of CartoonSmart Tellin’ Ya What to Do.

Yes, Internet…

It’s been 10 years. I started CartoonSmart back in 2004, and somehow the 10 year mark has been surpassed. Yikes. So looking back now, what’s different? What’s stayed the same?  Well the logo hasn’t changed much. And we still make high quality video tutorials, along with a few other things now too (art, books, starter kits, etc), but I think the core of CartoonSmart hasn’t changed. Of course the internet around us has changed a ton. Duh. Its been 10 years, thats like a billion in internet years.

A little history…

When CartoonSmart started, I remember being afraid to post videos over 50Mb. Then 100MB was my max upload size. And so on. YouTube wasn’t even a site yet. So streaming video was just barely a thing. Actually it was more frustrating than anything else: small videos that would usually stall midway. CartoonSmart was lucky enough to stumble onto a screen capture program that could get large sized video relatively small, then we’d zip it up smaller, and deliver it at a palatable size. And I’ll give you a hint to the old formula: I lowered the frame rate, the size wasn’t true HD, and when you capture software there are large portions of the screen that stay unchanged, so it’s nowhere near as depth heavy as live action video.

And by the way, if there were official specs for HD video sizes in 2004, I had no clue. TV broadcasts were certainly still favoring a 4 by 3 ratio over 16 by 9. Plus I was on a computer anyway, not even thinking about TV, so I just screen captured enough workspace to able to teach without things feeling too squeezed. Looking back, my early capture size was usually 1000 wide by 800 tall (a tad taller than the standard HD size now which 1280 by 720).

One thing I did right back then was give stuff away. No I won’t take any credit for inventing the freemium model. As far as I know, that credit goes to the guys at Perimeter Mall in Atlanta giving away free samples of Chinese chicken. But we gave away enough freebies that, I think, earned us some favor with a lot of folks early on. And to this day, I still hear from loyal students that embraced the site almost a decade ago.

The Future…

After 10 years, I think it’s time CartoonSmart re-embrace some of its roots and give away more free things than ever before. And since we’ve got an awesome back catalog of classic (ahem, old) videos that will probably never get added to a shopping cart again, I think we can give away plenty of those for free (FYI, those will hit our YouTube channel before I have time to add them here).

Also it’s high-time CartoonSmart start streaming our paid content. I know some of you love downloading those big ol’ HD videos and dumping them on old hard drives or your DropBoxes, so I’ll aim to give you the best of both worlds with new videos in the future.

So enjoy our Anniversary site here at net!

Justin Dike

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