Metaverse / Digital Avatar Presentation
Client: BakerHostetler
Agency: Dream Syndicate

It’s not every day that you get a call from a law firm interested in putting two lawyers in the metaverse for a trade conference, but that’s exactly what happened with BakerHostetler in preparation for the 2022 ANA Masters of Advertising Law Conference. From the outset we knew this project was going to be a wild ride, and boy was it!  With high-profile lawyers in ping pong ball motion capture suits, a pair of custom-designed look-alike digital avatars with costume changes, and a “Metaverse” news set with giant video walls, it quickly became clear this was NOT going to be a run-of-the-mill conference presentation!

BakerHostetler engaged with us for the entire scope of this project: concept development, project planning, script writing, motion capture production, 3D design & animation, custom avatar modeling & development, VR “metaverse” world building, and ultimately motion graphics and post-production to bring it all together.  We partnered with Drexel University’s motion capture lab to bridge the gap between the real and the virtual, providing a state of the art studio for our lawyers-turned-actors to puppet their digital selves in the “metaverse” newsroom we created.  General body motion was captured with a Vicon optical motion capture system, and facial movements were recorded using ARKit Face Tracking to add needed realism to the avatars – all displayed in real time during capture to aid in direction and performance.

Once the data was captured, our talented team set to work crafting each 3D scene, with multiple virtual cameras and supporting video screens, just like a real-world newscast.  Environments were all built in Unreal Engine 5, and finishing was done in Adobe After Effects & Premier.

It was a long, strange trip to produce a small illustration of a radical new concept: The Metaverse.  But at its core that’s what this project, and the resulting presentation was all about – trying in one small way to shed light on a very complex, multifaceted technological paradigm that may inevitably, someday, impact all of us.

Dreaming is an act of pure imagination, attesting in all men a creative power, which if it were available in waking, would make every man a Dante or Shakespeare. – H.F. Hedge