THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
Walt Disney Pictures challenged us to find a way to promote their new film, Alice Through The Looking Glass, at the 2015 D23 Convention in Anaheim, CA. We had a 40′ x 40′ space, a blank canvas to build our own little corner of Wonderland.
We conceived a magical mirror, using cutting edge face tracking technology to instantly transform anyone into a beloved Alice character.
Our goal was to not just use a simple 2D overlay, but to fully transform the user with both makeup and 3D elements, tracked perfectly in real-time. And create a cool shareable takeaway from the experience.
TIME FOR A LITTLE MADNESS
We began by designing a whimsical Wonderland inspired space with plush grass, cobblestone pathways, mushrooms, topiaries, and costumes from the film. To best accommodate the anticipated line for this attraction at D23, we decided to build four of our Wonder Mirror kiosks to minimize wait time.
Each kiosk had a larger mirror with a duplicate feed placed on the outside so friends, family, and passing fans could stand and watch same the magical results from users’ screens inside the kiosks.
With our designs completed, we partnered with Premiere Displays to build and finesse our vision into a reality. The physical build for Alice began with dozens of artisans hand crafting our little corner of Wonderland.
DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
We quickly learned that this style of a fully immersive face tracking execution hadn’t really been accomplished before. There were several examples of just 2D texture wrapping and 3D paste-on head replacement, but nothing as robust and transformation we were envisioning.
After several months down the rabbit hole in research and development with multiple cameras, trackers, and hardware solutions, we decided to build own custom software to interface with raw facial tracking data.
This custom application allowed us to position our occluded 3D elements and pair them with our texture wrap makeup effects for a true first-to-market experience, and a revolutionary progression of a traditional “photo booth,” now truly allowing real-time augmented transformation.
To turn our face tracking execution into a true Disney attraction, we paired a magical soundtrack with a recorded a Wonderlandian style voiceover to guide users through the timed two minute experience.
Users controlled the experience through an iPad in the booth, and colorful smoke puffs added to the magic of the character swaps.
As a takeaway, we created customized Instagram-sized videos and a still image of the Wonder Mirror results, which were emailed in real-time to users as soon as they completed the experience. These shareables were also further personalized by adding the user’s name to branding of the film.
WE’LL SEE YOU IN WONDERLAND
At the D23 convention, our Alice exhibit was an overwhelming hit. It was the most digital experience with a line over 45 minutes long each day, from open to close.
Shortly after D23, our team flew to Toronto with the exhibit to shoot a specialy themed episode of the brand new Freeform series, Shadowhunters.
It was a dream come true to work on a project of this scope for such a fantastic client, on such an iconic property — and to create something that truly captures the Disney magic.
The Wonder Mirror booths will be popping up in a other locations leading up to the theatrical release of Alice Through The Looking Glass. Stay tuned!