Eevolver Tranforms for Paramount
Ten years ago Michael Bay released “Transformers,” a film based off the Hasbro toys and 1980s animated television show. It was a brave new vision for a film landscape that was decidedly less hero-centric than the environment we have today. It was wildly popular, bringing maturity and adult level action to storylines that were originally angled for kids, and launched a series whose fifth installment hits theaters this week. The movies get bigger and bigger with each release (the series budget has crossed $1.1b so far with at least two more films scheduled to release), and their impact resonates beyond the screen – at least the big ones. To help celebrate the release of the fifth Transformers movie, ‘Transformers: The Last Knight,’ Eevolver helped bring some of the fun to the smallest screens. The LA based CGI studio was invited by Paramount Digital Entertainment to create a series of “stickers” for mobile users to incorporate into text message communications, and the results are transformative.
All your favorites are here: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Hot Rod, Hound, and even Megatron (plus Squeeks to blink at you in silence). Users who download Eevolver’s app can use the stickers like emojis: Optimus Prime will give your friend a thumbs up on your behalf, while Megatron offers some sinister guffaws perhaps after a well timed but unfortunate joke.
The stickers are completely free for Apple Device users, but if you don’t have access to one of those devices we’ve included some of our favorites.
As our world gets smaller and more digital, our stories are getting bigger and more exciting. But no matter how big they get, we are constantly reminded that every story is a human story. Even the tale of ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ is about people being people, loving and knowing others. And those stories, even as they fill our hearts and minds, will always be intimate enough to fit in the palms of our hands.
Eevolver Gets Proportionally Political with The Village Voice
We are in the midst of a Presidential election with unprecedented emotion, and the party that is catching most of the attention this season is knee deep in their convention. We’re on day three of the Republican National Convention, and tomorrow is set to be the climax of the four-day event. Last week the Village Voice, one of New York City’s most left leaning papers prepared for the convention with a humorous cover by Eevolver that features a bull elephant (the mascot of the party) with some features that are markedly… smaller. It’s something of a playful jab at the presumptive nominee but they didn’t want to go too far. “We did some versions with red hair on it and it was almost too literal, we didn’t want to hit you over the head with it,” says Stacy Burstin of Eevolver. “We definitely wanted the image to stimulate discussion with humor and definitely reflect Trump in a funny way.”
Creating a photorealistic image that plays off expectations and realistic animal physiology that also focuses on messaging can be a tricky job, but it’s a balance Eevolver was able to find. They started with a couple source images, made sure the elephant’s pose was exactly what they wanted, and then started to play with relativity and sizing. “We went through a process of adjusting features in a subtle way and a couple much more dramatic, and just figured out what proportions worked and came up with this one collaborating with the editor,” Stacy explains. The final image features the elephant of normal size, with ears to match, but with a head – trunk, tusks, and eyes – that are much smaller than they should be.
For Eeolver the project was all in good fun, but the paper was a little more aggressive in their messaging. From a publication whose politics are so different from those of the presumptive nominee the headline “The Freak Show Begins,” is fairly tame and something that the folks at Eevolver felt worked. “We actually weren’t given that headline, we were just given general direction, so once we generated the image we thought the headline worked really well with the image,” says Stacy. They thought the match up was pretty funny and hope everyone gets a good laugh from it.
Peace Takes Wing with Eevolver
The Rio Olympic Games are right around the corner and despite various reports of Brazil’s lack of readiness to host the global event, the games are something we all could really use. The Olympics are the perfect time to remember that the world is a global community, and coming together in the spirit of joyful competition is a great opportunity to recognize our commonalities and celebrate our differences. As we prepare for the Olympics, it’s time to think about what we want our global message to be and Eevolver is helping the International Olympic Committee get the messages out there. Their joint campaign, #OlympicPeace, allows users to combine a CGI peace dove with a hopeful message and share it on social media. For Eevolver, this is an inevitable step in a tradition that dates back thousands of years. “We are very proud to be part of the Olympic tradition and to have created imagery that represents the releasing of the White Doves as a sign of peace. It is a tradition that started in 1896 in Athens, and is still part of the opening ceremony today,” says Stacy Burstin from Eevolver. “The Doves white ‘color,’ literally represent inclusiveness and peace. Scientifically speaking, white includes all colors in the visible spectrum of light. That is a powerful message.”
The doves that Eevolver created are, candidly, perfect. You wouldn’t know to look at them that they’re CGI but that’s attributable to the years and years of shared experience on the Eevolver team – and it’s also not for a lack of hard work. “Our team has had many, many years of experience developing photorealistic imagery for all types of CG animals, including many types of birds,” Stacy says. “They had to appear as if we just captured an image of them in a moment of flight. Creating the dynamic quality of motion, without adding additional effects such as motion blur, took a lot of posing and planning.” Balancing the constituent elements, creating a library of complex feathers, and injecting personality in to each of the birds is what makes them come alive and the message of peace to really sing.
Everyone has their favorite moments of the Olympics. “I love everything about the Olympics, the opening ceremony will be amazing, the competition is fun, and I always love to have an excuse to get together with friends,” says Stacy. Usually these moments are almost exclusively experienced from the audience. But with #OlympicPeace you get to join in on the festivities and spread your own message. Create your own #OlympicPeace message via the IOC’s official website here (click “Get Started”).
Eevolver's Big, Beautiful, Very Classy Wall for Esquire
The current presidential election is a heady time. As passions rise, policy propositions and plans are being tossed around, some more extreme than others, each getting the attention that they deserve so that our population can have an important debate about our values. These conversations are crucial to our way of life, and only by understanding them in totality can we make informed decisions. One of the most attention grabbing proposals this election season has been Donald Trump’s wall that would separate Mexico and the US. It’s been the subject of much debate, but Esquire wanted to help us imagine what it would mean as a country, asking Eevolver to create imagery that would strike at the heart of it. The result is some pretty imposing artwork that Stacy Burstin of Eevolver admits shows a different result from exactly what Trump is proposing, but that’s for good reason. “When you make something visually extreme it helps make the point better,” Stacy says. “Even though his plan is to keep it small, by really making it visually obstructive it kind of shows what the policies are behind it.”
Striking that kind of balance is something that Eevolver’s expertise is perfectly suited for. Their collection of artists share two distinct schools of experience: photorealistic manipulation and more whimsical animation. These two ways of thinking and approaching expression blend together to create images that feel real, but leave space for the imagination to play. “You want it totally believable, but clearly that perspective and none of that could physically happen so it’s just keeping that balance of trying to get the visuals across while keeping it based in photorealism,” Stacy explains. The results are both intimidating and tickling. It’s accessible and motivating, regardless of your affiliation.
Finally, Eevolver found that Esquire was an ideal collaborator on this project that has some tricky political implications. “Esquire is a magazine we love,” says Stacy. “The print quality is great, the people are great. They were totally free with the creative with zero criticism, so having that freedom was awesome.” They were able to find the balance themselves for a partner that gave them the space to do their best work. Now we just have to wait and see how close to reality these images truly will be. Only time (and votes) will tell.