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Interactive Annual 20:
Tablets/Handheld Devices

MirrorWorld

Launch Live
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“Beautiful, provocative, enticing story world!”
—Ana Serrano

“The storytelling, craft and execution blew me away. I wanted to explore until I uncovered every last story and detail.”
—Troy Lachance


Overview: Internationally known for her best-selling Inkheart trilogy, children’s fiction writer Cornelia Funke crafts fantasy worlds that capture the imagination of readers young and old. To recreate and expand upon MirrorWorld, the fantastical setting of her recent adventure novels Reckless and Fearless, Funke partnered with Los Angeles-based production studio Mirada to develop a “living” storybook for devoted fans. More than 100 people worked for nearly a year to develop the iPad app, which features fifteen new short stories told through video, illustrated and animated text and scrolling graphic novels. But the real hero feature is MirrorWorld itself: three-dimensional interactive panoramas, where audiences explore the landscape and meet the characters.

  • • The project features over 110 minutes of feature-film-quality content, resulting in terabytes of video, source code and assets that needed to be compressed down to the 2GB limit.
  • • Many of the assets were created in Mirada’s VFX pipeline: Photoshop, After Effects, Maya, Zbrush, photogrammetry, NUK, Flare, matte painting and shadow puppetry.
  • • Critical acclaim from the Cannes festival, along with rave reviews from publishers and fans—the app has over 10,000 active users—has created a demand for a print version as well as subsequent apps for new book releases in the MirrorWorld series.

Comments by Andrew Merkin:

What were your goals in designing the user experience of MirrorWorld? “To be as diegetic as possible. We wanted the beauty of the world to be the foremost feature, so we avoided overlays and artificiality wherever possible. We chose one of the main locations in the novels, The Ogre tavern, as the hub from which each of the fifteen stories extended. For those seeking a more traditional experience, we also included a text-based table of contents. The ultimate goal was to keep the navigation intuitive, rooted in a gyroscopic, spherical POV that responds to the user’s exploration of the space. Users find the stories they want to hear and enjoy the ambiance of the environment.”

Did you learn anything new during the process? “Cornelia Funke and Mirada developed a partnership and began to learn about MirrorWorld together. We explored the favorite plot points, established the backstories, foreshadowed future events and lent texture to the creatures that rule her world. We challenged Funke’s own assumptions about the world, developed characters not explored in the novels and inspired Funke to write in forms she hasn’t visited in a long time. While we are established storytellers, expanding a world with someone who created it was a new and exciting adventure.”

Credits

Mark Brinn, art director
David Meng/Francisco Ruiz Velasco/Jing Zheng, lead designers
Luke Belderes/Len Burge/Peggy Chung/Conor Hunter/Erika Lee/Jaekyung Jaguar Lee/Simon Lee/Hugo Martin/Clara Moon/Michael Tello/Amy Wang/Jacklin Yoo, design team
David Fowler, creative director
Mathew Cullen, chief creative officer/director
Javier Jimenez, principal
Ken Boreham/David Sweetman, developers
John Fragomeni, visual effects director/technology director
Andrew Cochrane, interactive technical director
Lee Gardner/Mike Merkwan/James Petix, assistant editors
Fred Fouquet, editor
Shawn Kim/Ernesto Lomeli, directors of photography
Jeff Aquino/Laurent Ben-Mimoun/Mohsen Bizar/Montana Casey/Craig Christian/Pete Coggeshall/Franco DeRosa/Alex Gomez/Jim Hawkins/Graham Herbster/Ken Pellegrino/Giancarlo Rodani/Brandon Thomas/Simon Webber, visual effects artists
Sarah Blank/Jason Dunn/Ben Hansford/Miwa Matreyek/Evan Viera, animators
Erick Meany, sound engineer
Scott Burns/Eleven Sound/AJ Murillo, audio mixers
Atli Örvarsson, music composer
Andrin Mele-Shadwick/Andrew Merkin, producers
Rob Newman, digital video producer
Leighton Greer, post-production producer
Christina Caldwell/Javier Jimenez/Patrick Nugent, executive producers
Teri Whittaker, production designer
Ben Leiser/Tina Van Delden, production managers
Incendio/Clark Muller, colorists
Ryan Hitch, visual effects assistant
Ryan Erke, researcher
Joe Kim/Daryn Wakasa/Janet Wu, consultants
Hala Bahmet, stylist
Mirada (Los Angeles, CA), project design and development
Cornelia Funke, writer/executive creative director/client


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