Dodles, an Appleton-based startup, is now testing an early version of an app that could shake up the animation industry.

Content creators, animators, educators and others can create custom animations through the company’s platform. The closed beta will run until early March, so these partners will give feedback from now until then so the dodles team can tweak what will be the final version of the app. An open beta will begin in January.

Users will eventually be able to license and sell their illustrations in a dodles marketplace, which company CEO Craig Doriot says should be up and running around February or March. He says the marketplace would improve upon the current industry model, where artists, animators, and authors are funneled through publishers, the media and advertising studios before they can make any money from their creativity.

“Dodles presents a new world of opportunity where creators can take their craft directly to their public and build a fanbase that is willing to pay directly for new uses of their work,” Doriot says.

Apart from acting as a licensing marketplace for animations, he says dodles — pronounced ‘DAW-dulz’ — is envisioned as a social platform people use to send chat messages and moving, looped images known as GIFs.

Doriot says the company has been engaging with creative communities like ComicCon to reach out to artists and graphic designers, getting them committed to using the platform at this early stage. Read the full story here.