"With the goal of creating an engaging, interactive, sharable website with social media at its heart, we worked very closely with our clients at Lionsgate to conceive the idea and produce all aspects of this project in-house, including design, 3D, development and social media integration," said Ralph's creative director Chris Hassell.
"We also created an introductory promo video and the personalized trailer at the end of the online experience, which allows visitors to get their friends to vote for them. Although the concept is simple and obvious, we feel we've executed it extremely well, pushing all the technologies involved to their limits."”
Over the past two years, the agency has developed innovative Facebook applications for projects including Saw VI, the AMC series Breaking Bad and AT&T, among many others, and the team feels that its Kick-Ass project is their most innovative use of Facebook Connect to-date.
On the campaign site, users are encouraged to login through Facebook to access their photos. With photos of themselves or their friends, either gathered from Facebook or via a webcam or photo library, visitors design their superheroes by dragging and dropping in 3D costume stickers, with numerous customization options to apply to all body parts. Next, they can choose from an array of weapons, and then use eraser, color and 3D tools to perfectly finish their creations.
After inventing or auto-choosing a name, visitors see their superhero star in a customized trailer along with Kick Ass and other characters from the movie. Visitors are then encouraged to post the custom trailers to Facebook, invite their friends to visit the application and vote for their superhero. The winner will be chosen by Mark Miller and John Romita Jr. from the top ten superheroes with the most votes by April 9th. The winner will be featured in Kick-Ass 2 the comic.
"We also developed a huge 3D wall in Facebook where the created superheroes are gathered," explained Ralph's CEO and account director Jay Armitage. "There, you can view all the superheroes, filter and view just your own superheroes, or view just your Facebook friends' characters on the wall."
Working with a sophisticated software toolset that included Adobe's Flash 10, FDT Enterprise and Fireworks for the bulk of the site, and Autodesk's Maya and 3ds Max as well as Pixologic's ZBrush for the 3D elements, Ralph's biggest challenge was in integrating the 3D functionality allowing visitors to scale, rotate, colorize, brighten/darken, blur and erase the wardrobe and weapon objects in 3D space. The solution came in finding a workable balance between the realism of the objects, and making sure that the application runs smoothly and efficiently on all systems.
"There are some really inspiring Facebook Connect-enabled sites emerging, and we're excited that this site is amongst those setting a benchmark for future engagement sites and applications," added Armitage.