NBC has been a great partner over the years, enlisting us when they need quick-turn, snackable content to promote their shows online and across social media. To grab attention for Jeff Foxworthy’s appearance on “Ellen’s Game of Games,” NBC asked us to take the audio from the comedian’s interview podcast bit and create a funny visual story around it. Animation is a terrific way to add a second layer of humor to comedy, as we’ve previously done for Conan O’Brien and TBS.
At the start of every animation project, we must figure out how many character designs, illustrations, backgrounds and puppets we’ll need to tell the story, express feelings and make things move. We deduce how many scenes we’ll need and then number them so everyone on the animation team is crystal clear on the order and what goes where.
Once the storyboards were approved by NBC, it was time to hustle with roughly a week to go before this aired live across NBC’s social media channels. We illustrated the final art for animation with comedy in mind, injecting as much humor as possible.
As deadlines loomed and traditional animation typically taking months not weeks, we utilized Adobe’s groundbreaking Character Animator program to efficiently create and puppet characters. Once the characters are rigged, we are able to use audio and visual inputs for lip-syncing and movements. The animation process to create walk cycles and keyframing is also sped up. Changing outfits on puppets, as seen below, is relatively fast and easy as well.
We designed and animated a quick intro title with fun, contemporary typefaces.
Short-form, rapid-response animation…from start to finish, we delivered storyboards, puppets, final art and then pulled the animation together in under two weeks! And NBC was thrilled with the final cut.
NBC pushed the comedy animation out across different social media accounts and channels, including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Jeff Foxworthy sent the animation to his followers and it was featured on Ellen’s Game of Games account.
–Lauren Bonando, NBC