For just about every major current event, there is a weird CGI video to explain it for you from the Taiwanese company Next Media Animation. The clips are the product of a lightning-fast production process, as you see fleshed out in the explainer above. But how do they go from idea to hilarious video?
We've got one of NMA's Taiwan-based writers, Marina Shifrin, here to answer all your questions, in between finishing up this video about the royal baby news. She gave us a little background to get started.
Gizmodo: How do you pick your stories? MS: You know how people want what they can't have? Same is true for the news. We tend to look for stories that are missing the visuals that people want to see. Whether its hard news, or a sex scandal, people are looking for any scrap of information that can help them piece what is going on. Sometimes it seems like there aren't enough hours in the day to cover all the insane news stories we want for NMA.tv. We want our stories to make you laugh or scratch your head and say, "WTF?!" but at the same time, we also want to slip in some knowledge. Subconsciously, of course.
Gizmodo: What's the production process like? MS: Because we are working in the news industry, speed is crucial. While the typical animation process takes years to complete, we've compressed it into several hours. This is what gives us our competitive edge in the animation industry and keeps us relevant in the media industry. We set up a pipeline of about 300 people who work on the stories at the same time. Our pipeline consists of: story writing > story boarding > modelling > motion capture > animation > editing > SFX. Each story is broken up into sections, so while one section is being written and translated, the other is drawn up for a story board and then modelled; this process continues down the pipeline.