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Detective Pikachu

Client: Legendary / Warner Brothers


For CinemaCon 2019, Digital Domain’s New Media + Experiential team worked with our Digital Human Group to create a real-time version of Detective Pikachu which would be puppeteered live on stage by Ryan Reynolds. The New Media team travelled to New York where Ryan wore a head-mounted camera and motion capture suit to record data which was then used to train our artificial intelligence to learn how Ryan’s face moves. In early 2019, the team travelled back to New York City to allow Ryan to then puppeteer Detective Pikachu in an XSens suit and Technoprops helmet camera, without markers on his face. To address the challenge of 6’2” Ryan driving 18” tall Pikachu, the team developed a body retargeting system that would allow Ryan to drive Pika correctly. Additionally, the team used Unreal Engine which allowed Ryan to puppeteer Pikachu without markers behind the stage.