Press release from Pixomondo:
Los Angeles, CA -- Pixomondo  joined forces with Chinese advertising agency Interone Beijing (a BBDO agency) to create the latest viral spot, "Faster Than Disaster," for MINI China. The quirky 1:51 viral features a mostly hand drawn, 2D animated stage environment that irreverently displays scenes illustrating how a MINI is ideally suited to outrunning an impending apocalypse. Asteroids, ancient Mayans, a giant shark, a dinosaur and aliens and are just a few of the colorful characters that appear on screen.
Pixomondo, along with Interone’s Executive Creative Director Georg Warga, reimagined the initial client briefing, developing the playful and wacky aesthetic of the story that still aligned with what the client and agency were looking for creatively and within budget. With a production timeline of approximately six weeks, Pixomondo produced the entire piece from beginning to end, including animation and visual effects. The spot marks the third collaboration between Interone Beijing and Pixomondo under the Art Direction of Aslan Malik.
“I've done several jobs for MINI over the last few years and they are great to work with because they are a fearlessly creative brand unafraid of exploring new ideas,” said Malik. “Working with Pixomondo has been fantastic as well. The last MINI spot we did together was the most fun I have had on a job so naturally I wanted to work with them again on this project. We have great chemistry and a high level of trust which makes my job much easier – especially when juggling time zones to keep the project running smoothly.”
Artists in four of Pixomondo’s 12 worldwide facilities worked on the project. Pixomondo Beijing served as the lead facility and shared the motion graphics and final animation work with the Los Angeles and Berlin offices. Pixomondo Shanghai created the photo-real CG cars.
“This project is indicative of how the Pixomondo business model is unique,” explained Thilo Kuther, founder, Pixomondo. “Pixomondo offices around the world are designed to work with local clients, not only on Hollywood studio films. Our global teams collaborate to create visual effects and CG content for commercials, television, motion graphics and films that can come from clients in China, Europe, the US or anywhere else in the world.”
The old school comic style illustrations were first sketched by hand on wooden board and paper. Once approval was received, the drawings – about 100 different elements – were inked by hand, then scanned, and finally colored in Adobe Photoshop. Adobe After Effects was used on much of the spot to composite elements, with some scenes having over 200 layers. Autodesk 3D Studio Max was used to generate the 3D cars and each model was placed on a turntable so that stills could be taken from any angle.
The spot went live online February 23, 2012 and has been viewed more than four million times since launch.