Yusaku Matsuda was a huge action movie star in Japan, who sadly passed away at the height of his fame in 1989. Asahi wanted to bring him back to the screen for their latest ad. This challenge could not be solved with a multimillion-dollar budget, hundreds of artists and a year or more in production, as has been the case for recent blockbuster movies that have did a similar thing.
We had a team of 30 artists working for only 7 weeks to try to meet the challenges, starting with the task of going through countless hours of reference materials, studying every movement and nuance of the late actor. We then sculpted his face digitally, and after mapping it to an on set actor who was there for reference, we animated every expression so that the end result saw fans of Yusaku marvel at their hero’s return to screen.