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Respawn Entertainment Stuns Game Awards Audience with Extraordinary Mirage Appearence

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The Mill developed the real time rendering of the Apex character for the video games awards

Respawn Entertainment Stuns Game Awards Audience with Extraordinary Mirage Appearence

Throughout 2019, Respawn Entertainment has continued to surprise and delight players with Apex Legends, a free-to-play battle royale game featuring a cast of unique characters, squad-based gameplay, innovative mechanics and more set in the Titanfall universe. In working with The Mill, Respawn has developed new ways to share the story of the game and its world in new ways to players. After three trailers and one extensive game cinematic racked up over 50million views, the creative partners set out to attempt something unprecedented; to bring beloved character Mirage to life in an unimaginable way; on stage, live and ‘in person’ at The Game Awards.

The Game Awards took place at Microsoft Theater on Thursday 12th December and was broadcasted live on YouTube, among other channels. The highly anticipated annual awards ceremony honoUrs achievements in the video game industry.

Co-directed by David Lawson, Lisha Tan and creative director Drew Stauffer, this never-before-seen blend between the virtual world and the real world all happened in real-time, allowing a virtual Mirage to interact with The Game Awards’ host, Geoff Keighley.

The high-energy live performance from actor Roger Craig Smith, who brings the character, Mirage, to life in the game, was shot using motion-capture technology. The Mill’s Creative Technology department developed a real-time rendered shooting technique through partnership with Cubic Motion and Animatrik. The team used the Unreal game engine to effectively direct the CG Mirage character, adjusting the character actions, the lighting, and even environmental textures, live. This one-to-one relationship, completely blurred the line between what is real and what is virtual.

A global audience watching every moment and the audience in attendance were stunned to witness such a monumental technical and creative achievement. This ground-breaking, immersive experience, delighted fans for Apex Legends, and subsequently launched a new era and medium in live entertainment.

Drew Stauffer, creative director, marketing at Electronic Arts / Respawn Entertainment comments: “The team at The Mill has been an incredible partner for well over a year at this point and is an integral part of the Apex Legends campaign and family. I was incredibly excited to take another step forward and bring our signature style to life in a live setting as part of one of the biggest events in the video game world, The Game Awards.”

Lisha Tan, director, comments: “We jumped at the opportunity to take Mirage into uncharted territory; merging art, technology and live performance.”

David Lawson, director, comments: “It was so amazing to have the team at The Mill, the actors and all our other creative partners pour themselves into this. And to be using a cutting edge piece of technology to bring a mad Apex Character to this live event.”

Apex Legends is free to play and available right now on Origin for PC, PlayStation®4 and Xbox One.

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Client: Respawn Entertainment

Creative Director, Marketing: Drew Stauffer

Producer: Jon Judelson

Executive Producer: Drew McCoy

Director, Brand Management: Jason Torfin

Director, Strategy: Robbie McCawley

Senior Activation Manager: Devin Bennet


Production: The Mill

Directors: Lisha Tan, David Lawson

Group Director, Emerging Technology: Boo Wong

Executive Producers, Emerging Technology: Dan Phillips, Aurelien Simon

Producer: Emily Avoujageli

Production Coordinator: Michael Novo

Live Action Producer: Alicia Haldenwang

Live Action Associate Producer: James Morse

Technical Innovations Manager: Tawfeeq Martin

Lead Developer: Hiro Miyoshi

Technical Artist: Troy Barsness

Technical Artist/FX: Daniel Soo

3D Lead: Robert Chapman

Rigging: Nole Murphy

Concept Artist: Ed Laag

Matte Painting: Bill Lu

Modelling Leads: Derrick Sesson, Dustin Leon

Modellers: Valentin Erbuke, Samantha Pedregon

Deputy Head of 3D/Lighting Supervisor: Chris Bayol


Editorial: The Mill

Editors: Rochely Zapata, Rauri Cantelo


Facial Tracking and Capture: Cubic Motion

Body Tracking and Capture: Animatrik

Categories: Media and Entertainment, Online

Mill LA, Wed, 18 Dec 2019 18:29:57 GMT