Footballer Messi Gets Giant Tribute On Dubai Landmark, But It’s Just A CGI Job
December 19, 2022 by Dave Haynes
If you stumble on a social media post today that shows a tribute to footballer Lionel Messi on a giant roadside screen in Dubai, just be aware that it’s another variant on marketers using computer-generated graphics to fake an ad that takes over a building.
Usually, it’s just some animator/motion FX person working something up for social media mentions, but in this case it appears to be commissioned by Adidas, with the UAE-based director of that athletic wear company’s brand communications posting on Linkedin.
I think it is clever, but more than a hair misleading:
- First, the hologram-ish visual effects aren’t really possible at that scale. You could do this on a table-top Looking Glass display;
- And second, the particularly relevant part of this, is the Dubai Frame purportedly running this tribute to Argentina’s World Cup hero is not a screen. The Dubai Frame is a giant void, meant as an architectural sculpture, that allows people to see through a huge picture frame to view the old and new Dubai cityscapes.
So … if you are in Dubai, you probably already know The Frame isn’t a screen. But if you don’t, I wouldn’t bother hopping in a car to go have a look. The post does hint at this being a CG job by writing “framing the impossible” … but a read through the comments suggests numerous readers are thinking this is the real deal.
The funny comments are those asking if Adidas got permission from the local government, which owns the structure and attraction.
Whatever the case, I agree with the sentiment of celebrating the greatest of all time, and his team’s win. I also don’t think many people outside the creative and AV communities care if it is CGI, or real. But it does create headaches – as there are undoubtedly agencies and media companies who will get asked about creating and booking spots to run on this big frame screen in Dubai, “just like that Adidas one for Messi after the World Cup!”
This is what the Dubai Frame really looks like …