Computer Graphics World

January/February 2014

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MOBILE 38 ■ CGW Ja n u a r y / Fe b ru a r y 2 014 VIDEOS: Go to "Extras" in the January/February 2014 issue box .com .com MOBILE DriveOn The Challenge: Deliver a test-driving experience for a state-of-the-art electric car that is not yet on the streets. The Solution: Create an interactive and im- mersive virtual test-driving experience app for tablets and smartphones using the latest in 360-degree filming technology. And, oh yeah, include an exciting story line in which the user is cast as the lead protagonist. If this sounds like the type of project that might keep you awake at night trying to coordinate production, welcome to the reality of UK-based agency WCRS and production company Mus- tard/Tool, which were commissioned by BMW "i" Communica- tions Manager Nicola Green to create just such an application. "It was important for us that our marketing activities reflected the innovative nature of the BMW i3," she says. "We really wanted to push the boundaries with this interactive film, to provide users with a truly unique, exciting, and innovative experience, which ultimately would encourage them to test-drive the car." "The car itself wound up being the inspiration" for making the narrative film, titled "Become Electric," and for using the interactive, 360-degree technology, says Ross Neil, creative director at WCRS. The vehicle was designed and built from the ground up as an electric car, and the creative team at WCRS – which includ- ed Neil, Dan Gorlov, and Rachel LeFeuvre, as well as the direc- tor at Mustard/Tool, Jason Zada – decided that it only made sense to create promotions that embraced new technologies. "'Become Electric' is a step in the evolution of storytelling and brand engagement, " says Zada. "It's an interactive film that puts the user in complete control of saving the world. You are at the wheel of the new BMW i3 electric car for almost the entire film, all while being immersed in a big Hollywood-style movie." To produce the 360-degree portion of the film, the produc- tion team at Tool used a camera called the Ladybug, which comprises six different cameras. The images are then stitched together, using proprietary software, to create the 360- degree spherical image. The software allowed the develop- BMW creates an interactive virtual test-driving experience for those tooling around on a tablet or smartphone By Douglas King

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