Movistar: TweetToys

Fred Aven

Movistar: TweetToys

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TweetToys evolved as a Christmas campaign for Movistar (Spain), directed by Helpful Strangers, with technical direction of Flash 3D expert Marco Scabia.

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The basic idea behind TweetToys is to put together Twitter (and Facebook) with a 3D based character creation system. Users get to create their own customized 3D avatar, by simply typing a tweet.

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The actual content of the tweet determines the customisation of the avatar. A post on Twitter (or Facebook) suddently changes its shape as we relate visually, users can associate the content with their own quirky 3D character.

We used Flash 3D rendering (Away3D), Twitter and Facebook integration to make the project come to live. A 3D character gallery lets users compare their TweetToys and discover the huge variety of possible avatars that we’ve created.

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The project used Away3D Lite, with Flash Player 10 software rendering, in order to improve rendering performance. The 3D scene was not complex, so the full Away3D was not necessary, and we leveraged the added performance of Away3D Lite in order to focus performance on the character.

One of the main issues we had with the 3D rendering of the characters was triangle sorting. This is a big problem that affects software based Flash 3D rendering, where 3D models are rendered per triangle, and not per-pixel, as it happens with hardware based rendering, and this makes it hard, with some models, to properly depth sort the triangles to be rendered. The result was that some of the models appeared rendered with some bad artifacts.

The character was built of a series of different possible pieces, for the different parts: body, arms, legs, hats. All these 3D pieces got assembled into a single monster character, that had all the pieces attached. See reference image.