The wizards behind Square Enix’s CG artwork cooked up a rather amusing April Fool’s prank this year. It wasn’t a mean tease of a much anticipated Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts title, but a real life Raibird from Gyrozetter.
It started out with an image of the animated form of the Raibird as seen in the anime, Super Speed Transforming Gyrozetter, with a drawing of Producer Ryutaro Ichimura.
The drawing alone was already pretty funny, but Square Enix decided it wasn’t enough and took it to another level by making a whole sequence of CG effects to make it realistic.
Before they knew it, they had a very convincing image of Ichimura standing next to what appeared to be a real life model of the Raibird after using HDR texture compression.
After coming up with the very detailed model of the Raidbird, it seemed like a waste to not use it for more. So they made more image examples. If you look closely to the above image, you can even see Ichimura driving!
The image was made using a software called Lightwave3D, which allowed them to work out details on the Raidbird’s light reflections.
If that wasn’t enough, Square Enix got automobile manufacturers, Subaru in on the joke, too. By getting permission to take pictures of the SUBARU BRZ at the showroom entrance, they were able to get some convincing reference material for the prank.
With Subaru in on the fun, they were able to make it look as if they had a Raibird fresh out of production.
What started out as a simple animated image of Ryutaro Ichimura and the Raibird had turned into a full out collaboration between Subaru and Square Enix, which ended up getting quite the attention from their unsuspecting followers on Twitter.
They even put up a rather detailed official website for the dream car, which is said to cost 34,800,000 yen ($375,000)!
In the end, there wasn’t a real life Raibird as many had hoped for, but the story of a video game company and an automobile manufacturer getting together for an elaborate prank, made for quite the amusing story.