Facebook Live is a great live broadcasting tool for individuals, brands and organisations alike. It’s also extremely simple to use. All you need is a smartphone, a person to film, and a decent data connection. Whereas that’s the minimum, Live broadcasts can get a lot more complicated and a lot more expensive.
Like when the person talking to the audience is actually a cartoon? Yes. Not a real person. A cartoon. That didn’t seem to stop Hasbro – the company behind the extremely popular Monopoly board game.
The company recently announced the Monopoly Ultimate Banking Game on Facebook Live. The video featured comments, audience interaction, real-time answers to questions like any other broadcast – in real time. But the person doing the talking wasn’t actually a real person. Hasbro used three different technologies to create a fully-animated talking version of Mr. Monopoly.
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For the announcement, Mr. Monopoly also had full facial expressions and body movements and interacted with viewers in a personalised manner. Very impressive, Hasbro! Monopoly’s director of marketing, Rebecca Hollander, explained:
Mr. Monopoly was brought to life with the help of a combination of physical motion capture, facial motion capture, and real-time rendering. What you see and hear from Mr. Monopoly in the video is completely live and the character also spoke directly to fans, answering questions and acknowledging their comments during the broadcast.
Not Just About Putting The Technology Together
Furthermore, it was an actual person wearing a suit with motion capture sensors and two systems that animated Mr. Monopoly and his facial expressions as he walked around within Hasbro’s Cake Mix Studios. Doing something like this is in itself a massive challenge, but doing it live is incredibly complex. Hollander went on to explain that it was not just the technology involved:
A challenge with using animation with a live broadcast is that there are many layers of technology that have to work together to deliver a quality final product. There are also many moving parts that come together to make it work
creating an engaging script and understanding how facial and body movements translate into an animated character on screen. It was also important for Mr. Monopoly to answer questions and engage in real time to give an authentic experience to our fans.
Finally, Monopoly might by 80 years old, but it sure is pushing some boundaries here. Many brands want to use Facebook Live but it might be daunting. This example should prove that some creative thinking and a sizeable budget can really help them do great things!
Images credit: Hasbro