World Famous Animates Comedy Central’s New Digital Series “Pixelheads”
Creative collective World Famous recently collaborated with Comedy Central on its new animated series “Pixelheads.” Combining the best of gaming and comedy, “Pixelheads” features gameplay from “Divekick,” as well as “Battlefield 4” and “Titanfall,” award-winning games from Electronic Arts, and the voices of comedians Steve Agee, H Michael Croner and Rich Fulcher, among others. The digital series premiered on cc.com, Comedy Central’s YouTube channel, and the Comedy Central App on February 23rd.
CC:Studios produced the four-episode season debut of “Pixelheads” in collaboration with its creators Matt Kirsch and Justin Yungfleisch. World Famous created the character art and environments, developing all of the visuals for the first three episodes of the show, “Super Best Friends Team: The New Guy,” “Miss Rodriguez” and “Super Best Friends Team: A Titan Falls – The Death of Kid Lightning.” Dillon Gu animated episode four, “Grand Craft Mine Theft,” an epic mashup of Grand Theft Auto and Minecraft.
The animations were created based on recorded audio of the comedians performing as if they were actually playing video games online. World Famous, led by Art Director Juan Carlos Arenas, Designer Rob Brambila and Editor Andy Seaver, then visually interpreted the dialogue-driven action.
“We can’t think of a more thrilling first collaboration with Comedy Central,” remarks Arenas. “It was an opportunity for us to flip the script on long-form commercial content. Beyond that, Comedy Central’s unique storytelling approach to producing these animations afforded us a lot of creative latitude. Ultimately, the key was to visually enrich the stories with subtle nuances while staying true to the comedic tone of the series.”
For the initial stages of development, Comedy Central shared the names and some personality attributes of two characters, Street Meat and Squat Sauce. From there, World Famous designed and illustrated all of the character art, and also established the right mix of aesthetics and tone of humor. Given the freedom to experiment, World Famous explored various animation styles – from 3D to collage to lo-fi techniques – and then designed the characters and game room environments to reinforce their personalities.
“We loved bringing these characters to life with Comedy Central by envisioning everything that appeared in their world,” concludes Brambila. “There were so many moments that were completely open to interpretation or that allowed us to add extra touches of personality and gags. Hearing the client’s reaction to these visual flourishes was equally fun and gratifying. As our editor Andy put it, Comedy Central came to the right place because this project combines the three things we love most at World Famous: video games, crude humor and animation. We’re glad they trusted us to make a fun show.”
All of the art was created in Adobe Illustrator with Photoshop for the backgrounds. The animation was done in After Effects and the edit was done on an Avid.
Creative CreditsClient: Comedy Central
Production Company: World Famous, Seattle WA
Director: Juan Carlos Arenas
Executive Producer: Megan Ball
Producer: Nick Hegge
Editorial Company: World Famous, Seattle WA
Editor: Andy Seaver
VFX Company: World Famous, Seattle WA
Animator: Rob Brambila
Animator: Vince Ream
Animator: Christopher Harrell