The St. Louis Aquarium collaborated with Groove Jones and Moondog Animation to create an interactive talk show attraction starring Tommy the Otter. Tommy asks questions and responds to the audience’s reactions in real-time.
The show is a blend of computer graphic techniques, educational content, and comedic improvisation by staff behind the scenes. The animated image of Tommy the Otter is a computer graphic avatar controlled by an actor backstage, whose performance is captured in real-time.
Using cameras mounted in the theater, the hidden actor can see the audience with whom they are interacting with. This allows the actor to refer to the specific appearance and behavior of particular questioners, as well as their location in the theatre.
The technology allows the aquarium to teach guests about otters, conservation and educational fact about how they live. Guest seem to enjoy this new way of interaction with the crowd, and are eager to learn everything there is to know about Tommy the Otter.