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16 July 2013

Bruce Lee - Johnnie Walker outrage


Hello readers,

I happened across a piece of CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) recently which has sparked controversy around the world, not for its visual elements but for the inappropriate use of the well known actor/martial artist Bruce Lee.

Image courtesy of Google Images

Johnnie Walker have released a marketing advert in China which depicts Bruce Lee as the face of their own-brand Whiskey. In China this has caused an uproar as not only was Bruce Lee teetotal but he also had previous family issues related to alcohol which was a big reason that he chose not to drink. As well as this Bruce Lee is one of China's most respected idols, he was a world-renounced spokesperson for Chinese martial arts in many forms. This is why there have been many complaints and negative criticism of Johnnie Walker whiskey, which I am sure they were not expecting.

Image courtesy of Google Images

My personal opinion of this ad is pretty much the same as all of those people who are outraged by it. Having practised martial arts for many years, Bruce Lee was one of my main inspirations and was pivotal on my path to learning what being a martial-artist was about. I own many books based on his philosophies and teachings and think that him being used in this way was completely inappropriate.

Image courtesy of Google Images

Although I do think this ad is in bad taste, it is good to see Bruce Lee recreated in good quality CGI for once. There have been numerous attempts at created virtual Bruce Lees and this is definitely one of the better ones. The expression and emotion the artists have managed to capture in his face is awe inspiring. In my professional opinion the only area that lets this animation down is the shading, Bruce's skin and hair at times don't quite live up to the quality of the rest of the animation. A higher level of SSS (Subsurface Scattering) would have really lifted the 'feel' of his skin and really added a lot to the realism. As it stands, Bruce can look a little bit like shiny plastic at times.




All in all, this animation is a good technical achievement but the moral implications and appropriateness do have to be questioned. I would love to know what you all have to say on this subject.

Happy reading.


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www.sovibrant.co.uk


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