Visa C3P0


Photorealistic 3D illustration for digital and print ads

The problem and the goal

With the football World Cup closing in, Visa commissioned AlmapBBDO for a Star Wars themed ad.A movie nerd dream come true: get paid to geek out on Star Wars characters.

The concept: "Everyone is welcome" - in beach footbal and when you make use of your Visa credit card.

BBDO art director Pedro Rosa supplied us a simple hand drawn illustration showing a clear direction of what he wanted to see. It showed a stormtrooper football team posing for a pre-game photograph with a standing out C3P0 bunched in.

Simple and clear sketch by the art director: a stormtrooper team welcoming C3P0 in a pre-game photograph

My role

Modeler, designer


Character modeling


January 2018

I got to draw and model some C3P0 body parts: arms, torso and head. Divide and conquer strategy: other 6 team mates would tackle C3P0 leg, a stormtrooper helmet, stormtrooper arms and legs, background architectural structures and sand.

Once completed, each part was integrated by another colleague.

Meanwhile one of the studio lead worked to create a generic puppet armature and 'rig' it, allowing us to pose the stormtroopers with those different stances.

Starting off • Pre-modeling

  • Exploring references

  • Exploring materials

  • Agreeing on amount of details

A common first step when starting out a new illustration is to try and see the essence of original sketch (if any) and exploring references. As iconic as these characters are, we could find a trove of references - official and fan made.

Reference study

With the generous availability of reference images found on the internet, I was able to focus on every detail I wanted - understanding how each part connects, exploring tiny details that wouldn't necessary appear, but would (hopefully) add up to the final image.

There is a texture behind those wires.

How shiny or dull can we make him?

Will I have to model inside his palms?

So that's how these actuators move the arms

Connection points


  • Background architecture

  • Creating parts and adding scruff

  • Assembling and posing

Background architectural elements

Although they were relocated to Copacabana (Rio de Janeiro) beach in the final render, the original brief asked for a photoshoot in Tattooine.

Background elements

Creating parts and adding scruff

Following what we have seen in the movies, Star Wars elements show history and realism displaying wear and tear around object edges. Those details are added later, though. During modeling even shiny or reflective surfaces are not always helpful.

Assembling the elements and posing

We delivered the image above, as a rough render, to check out camera angle, lighting and general composition. Touching base with both BBDO and Lucasfilm, who have very specific rules and ways of working.

After some short back and forth with the agency, we delivered the final scene with poses, camera position and overall composition elements in place.

Final render

Here is Lucasfilm final render

Conclusion • Learnings

We have learned how difficult posing these stormtroopers are! We were quite pleased with how cool and pretty real they look; but those white armor suits were not designed for such poses, actually.

In real life, this photoshoot would've been impossible. Behind their knees, elbows and shorts, pretty much every 3D geometry is impossibly intersecting like crazy.

Another curious aspect of this project was to learn Lucasfilm renders itself all images from their Star Wars properties. I'd never knew, but this is their regular policy.

So once our end was approved and done, we handed over all of our files, and they created the final rendered image.

Let's connect.

Looking for a digital designer with solid graphics background, strong sense of ownership, and always curious to learn more?

Let's see if we can work together!