Mapi was a challenge from the start. How to use similar technology as Avatar, Mandalorian or Fortnite to produce live TV? Augmented Reality is used by many broadcasters to add graphic content or data, but this is the first time a hybrid 3D character acts in real time for multi cameras.

We would like to thank RTVE and Mediacrest for commissioning us to create Mapi, an AR content using pioneering Virtual Production at a global level. We would also like to thank the team at Iralta VP and our technology partners: Epic Games, Mo-Sys Faceware and Tangram Solutions.


The design of Mapi adapting the character from the Japanese program Chiko´s Challengeobliged us to revisit animated characters that work in our culture, such as Cleo and Cuquin from the Family Telerin or Vanellope from Wreck-It Ralph.

The character design was undertaken by Marcos Raya with the Iralta VP team directed by Angel Urbina and Dave Burton. Mapi is a 3D model with a girl’s face capable of expressing emotions; she laughs, sings, gets angry and improvises with other her co-characters. Mapi is the queen of knowledge, a little girl with a questioning mind, funny and full of emotions.


AR using Virtual Production allows us to get the best performance from an actor and translate it to a 3D character in real time. However, the expressions wouldn’t be the same without the great actress behind Mapi, Carla Octopus. Everday on set Carla gave life and voice to a virtual character. She did this while wearing a dummy head for reference and a facial capture camera that synchronizes her movements with those of Mapi.


Mapi is half virtual and half human. The costume for the real Mapi was taken on by Esther R. Luaces and Kings Pe of Mutis Productions. The designs approved by TVE were made in record time to coincide with the pilots and technical tests. The colors and textures of the fabrics had to work and integrate with the virtual digital character. Mapi’s outfit needed to be attractive and very functional, her backpack had to hide the hardware for facial and motion tracking. The dummy head helped Carla achieve the correct movement and gave us real reflections and shadows to work with.


Seven powerful computers were used to bring life to the virtual part of Mapi and to integrate the different data (e.g., video, position and facial recognition): analysis animation and render. A whole series of digital props were also developed to enhance the emotions and movements of Mapi.

During the months previous to recording, the Iralta VP crew were involved with R+D and tests to bring Mapi to life. Many long days with the optimization of the facial and camera tracking systems that continued to evolve in every program. Over various weeks the crew pushed machines and software to the limits to get the best real time result. The team’s directors, Ángel Urbina, Dave Burton and César Urbina, wish to thank all the technical and artistic crew at IraltaVP: Peter Gagnon, Xavi Calvo, Gonzalo Fuentes, Alberto Sanchez, Illary Vasquez, Ramón Verdugo, Iván Quesada, Sandra Vazquez, Fran Carbajo y Claudio Garcia.

Arrives “Mapi” a TVE




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