‘Hello, I’m Leo.’ Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam and Resn have created a ‘life size’ avatar of footballer Lionel Messi to promote the new EA Sports FIFA 14 game on the Xbox One.
The game is supposedly the most realistic ever – hence the creation of the digital Leo (who lives here) which was made using a combination of photographs and the EA Sports scans used to build the game.
He was apparently built in Maya – a ‘custom-built 3D pipeline’ allows him to be rendered in a browser via Flash.
The results are pretty unnerving. Leo will follow your mouse with his eyes and you can play around with his facial features a litle bit. He’ll flinch if you double click on his eyes. Move the rectangle over the Leo Navigator to move down his body and you can get him to move his hands and arms a little, raise his leg as if about to knee you in the head or move his feet around Lord of the Dance style. There’s a neat trick where he’ll kick your cursor up into the air. And that’s about it.
Other content, including some beautifully-rendered ‘brain scans’ and footage from the game, can be accessed on the right-hand side of the screen.
According to the press blurb (‘Meet the internet’s first living man’) “He is like a real man just beyond your screen – intelligent, responsive, alive”, which is pushing it a bit. But it’s nonetheless technically impressive. When we had it up on screen, it brought the office to a standstill (at least among the male members of staff), eliciting various cries of ‘what’s that?’, ‘coool’ etc. With the real-life Messi enduring an unprecedented run of injuries, Barcelona must be wishing they had a ready-made replacement somewhere…
Ad agency: Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam
Executive Creative Directors: Mark Bernath, Eric Quennoy
Creative Directors: Mike Farr & Pierre Janneau
Interactive Creative: Director Edu Pou
Art Director: Ignasi Tudela Calafell
Copywriter: David Smith
Director of Interactive Production: Andrew Allen
Interactive Producer: Arnaud Ronquillo
Interactive production company: Resn
3D Modelling & Maya Animation: Assembly