"Virtual Yogi" is the first celebrity avatar coming from CHOPS.


3D character animation pioneer Gary Jesch of CHOPS Live Animation is reaching across the Atlantic to join forces with Mimic Productions of Germany, so they can deliver live performances featuring highly realistic, computer-generated “Digital Doubles” and vivid holographic virtual characters, also known as “avatars.”

US agency producers and creative directors will directly benefit from the combination of Jesch’s talent of producing performances using avatars and Mimic’s extraordinary methods of creating and animating them for an impressive range of industries, including film, commercials, gaming and even medical and scientific research.

Fellow pioneer in the 3D character animation business and co-founder of Mimic Productions is David Bennett, well-known for his work with major animation studios on feature films, including “Avatar,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “Polar Express.” He served as Lead Facial Animation Director for Sony Pictures Imageworks and WETA Digital. His partner is Hermione Mitford (Flynn), an award-winning fashion designer and performance artist. Last December, Mitford presented the company’s own “Digital Double” called “Em”, animated in realtime to the amazement of a Tokyo audience and surprised them with the level of accuracy of the lighting, skin color and texture and life-like facial expressions.

"Em" is the latest character created at Mimic Productions.

Jesch and Bennett are working together to bring exceptionally high-quality “Digital Doubles” and other types of avatars to the corporate events world, where they can appear on screens, holographic displays and massive projection systems for brand activations produced by some of the biggest marketing agencies in the world. Jesch sees it as an opportunity to improve his technical offerings, while Bennett and Mitford see it as an effective way to expand operations into the US, leveraging Jesch’s 25 years of experience as a live animation expert and performer.

Both companies will continue their core services, with Jesch offering his signature style of interactive cartoon avatars and his new “Virtual Celebrity,” based on the famous philosopher and baseball legend Yogi Berra. Bennett and his team will continue developing technology for the “Em” character, as well as working on projects around artificial intelligence programming, and developing digital interfaces for high-end European car manufacturers.

“It’s really a new type of capability that we can offer together,” Jesch noted, “that is, my many years as a performer and producer working at corporate meetings and trade shows, combined with Bennett’s mastery of digital character and creature creation and facial animation. I’m excited to break this new ground in show business, sharing first-time experiences between audiences and realistic avatars who can converse with them, using advanced 3D computer-graphics technology found in films and the video games industry.”

Jesch’s portfolio is showcased at https://chops.com. More than 25 original characters are on display, along with the CHOPS live animation software, 3D Digital Puppeteer ™ for real-time presentations featuring avatars. He has been a performance animation and video artist for major companies such as AstraZeneca, Ford Motorcraft, Citibank, Pennzoil, Volt, HP, Dell, ExxonMobile and others, and has traveled the US, South America and Asia since 1993.

Mimic Productions’ website is https://www.mimicproductions.com – Based in Berlin, Germany, the English-speaking studio has produced work for many industries, including creative agencies, video games, fashion, artificial intelligence, robotics, beauty and cosmetics, visual and musical artists. Mimic’s previous clients include Warner Brothers, 2K and Nike, and talent such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Roger Federer, Jeff Koons and Kanye West.

Want to know how to move forward with your project?

Gary is available for immediate consultations and quotes. He can share his experiences with you, so you have the help you need to create more WOW! moments. People want fun, humor and entertainment. They want to be surprised! You can bring that and more with interactive avatars.

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