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Jasper Hein Nordling
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UNICEF Sweden
For Sofia

  • Strategy
  • Concept
  • Film production
  • Animation
  • Digital design
  • Media relations

By creating the virtual child Sofia, who made a real and substantial impact all over the globe, we could give a voice to all those who have none.

Brief
UNICEF works to give every child, everywhere, a fair chance in life. But getting attention for emergencies that aren’t highlighted in major media is a struggle. Our mission was to market the need for more World Parents (monthly donors) in Sweden.

Insight
The funding of Unicef is needed to help children all over the world – but media only covers one emergency area and one human faith at the time. What if one child could speak for every child suffering all over the globe?

Concept
We used 500 of images of children in UNICEF emergency areas and crafted them into one 3D animated girl. We named her Sofia (the world’s most common girls name). Sofia gave a voice – and a face – to all those children who are not heard or seen.

Results
The campaign got an earned media reach of 663 million people. The film had 987 000 views on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, which is a new record for UNICEF Sweden. Sofia was even adopted by Unicef Brazil, to front their national campaign. But most importantly, we recruited 37% more World Parents compared to the same campaign period in the previous year.

Watch the making of

This is how we did it

We morphed 500 images of children in UNICEF emergency areas into one face, using the tool Face Research. The final image was mounted on our 3D-model, which was made by scanning an actress similar to the morphed image, using our photogrammetry 3D scanner.

 

We recorded video and audio of the actress performing the scene using a head mounted camera. The video was analyzed and the facial expressions

quantified and then applied to the 3D model to have it animated according to the captured performance. The modification to get the model to look like Sofia was made using Mudbox.

 

Final animation touches were made in Motionbuilder and Maya and then rendered using Arnold. Average frame render time was around 30 minutes long. The process was complexed and challenging, since we created a human face in CG and a child’s face at that, which is even harder than a grown up’s.