Fly On The Wall

As visual storytellers, producers developing factual or news programming must still startle and surprise their viewers. In fact it’s a must. Viewers have long been accustomed to talking heads, the walking and talking host, the endless video loop of a location shot long after the event has occurred. It is often too easy for a viewer to tune this kind of information delivery if it is not made more interesting with motion graphics and 3d animation. Emerging audiences have grown up in 3d worlds, from 3d feature films to the incredibly sophisticated VFX graphics that are used in all kinds of video game devices. Viewers have become accustomed to high quality 3d graphics and producers must keep pace with viewers’ expectations if they expect to make loyal fans out of them.

Stunning Graphics Stand Out

Studies have shown that audiences that are taking in complex information about a topic they are unfamiliar with do so more readily when the information is presented visually. Add an exciting graphic and a cognitive process is triggered, increasing attention and retention. 3d animation has the added benefit of being “immersive.” There is an opportunity for the viewer to have a “first person” visual point of view as the virtual camera takes them into a virtual world that ordinary camera shots cannot offer. This also contributes to increased viewer attention. In what other way would a viewer literally be allowed to become a “fly on the wall” of a Venus Fly Trap? 3d is a unique way of telling the most complicated aspects of any story.

Science Made Exciting with 3D Animation

Not willing to be run-of-the-mill, producers of this science series refused to take the easy way out. Venus Fly Traps are a rare, beautiful breed of plant, one of the few capable of quick movement. Scientists are still searching for definitive answers about how this plant traps and devours prey. Shooting the plant is not difficult, although once triggered it can take over 12 hours to open. You can shoot the entire process, if you’re willing to wait. But, even if you do capture it, how much footage of the plant do you show before you risk losing the viewer’s attention? The additional challenge was the presentation of scientific information that was being delivered in the narration.

The producers of this science show needed to deliver complex information about this plant and keep their viewers engaged and watching. 3d animation of the plant in action, down at the cellular level, along with an exciting x-ray view of the process, was the perfect solution.

Combined with excellent footage, the 3d animation offers a more interactive experience than flat footage alone can offer. TMBA artists modeled and built this highly realistic Venus Flytrap, with a visual representation that shows how the plant sends out a scent to insects to attract them. Then we’re giving a slow-motion, super close glimpse of an insect and how it triggers the closing mechanism. Lastly, we see a motion graphic overlay that demonstrates how the insect is devoured inside the trap.

Stories about science, nature, medicine, history-these can be explored with a camera alone, but not in an in-depth way. CGI is also a very useful tool when developing scenario shows, or what-if formats, like the special episode TMBA helped create about the possible “end of the world” predicted on the ancient Mayan calendar. As these types of VFX become more and more affordable for television, producers are using them more often to make their shows much more visually exciting.

Contact TMBA, Inc - Animation Studio

CGI in television takes the viewer where the camera cannot go-into the center of storm, down inside a Venus Flytrap, or on a mysterious journey through an ancient labyrinth-these are the adventures that television, if it is produced well, can offer viewers. In fact, it’s your obligation as a storyteller to use this great tool to attract and retain viewers.

Contact us today to discuss how we can take your audience where your cameras cannot go to create an experience that is visually exciting and engaging.

Contact person:
Tim McGarvey

TMBA, Inc. - Animation Studio
330 West 38th Street, Suite #1010
New York, NY 10018

Phone: (212) 789-9077

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