AR and status

Lots of video tutorials tell you that it is easy peasy to learn how to make AR by using Unity and Vuforia. A nice girl was able to explain how to do in 3 minutes.
I made my self a mantra: Yes I can and started downloading a trial of Unity and Vuforia.
I saw other tutorials, but I’m still not there.

Unity welcome tutorial:

Right now, I have fun working with live footage, sound and animation in After Effect, I will give it more time, before looking at AR.

I’m checking AR apps

I realised that my only experience with AR on a smartphone was Pokemon Go. I find the game funny and see it as an inspiration for any kind of content.
My first goal is to try my 2d characters and animation in AR; I want to see if it works with flat elements if I need a fixed position for camera and objects, can I work with animation?
I tried Dinosaurs, an app which show different spices as 3d animated models. Ther are some features, one I like is the information layer; a describing text of the dino in focus.

Ikea Place is another App helping you to buy the right furniture to any places you point out with the camera. There is no animation but control of where to place the 3d objects.

Can I use this technique for art making? I manually made a quick test.
I like the idea of having text/poem as a part. Sound and movement also have to be tested.

Mixed Reality gallery

Terence Quinn, who organized the VR, AR and MR workshop at Low Residency, just emailed me a sequence he had done afterwards, in order illustrates the potential of Mixed Reality.  Terrence got files from some of us and made a kind of Mixed Reality gallery by using the Microsoft Hololens.

Nice to see the recording of Terence’s MR experience with this test. It gives me a little more impression of how it works.

Augmented reality, research

Maybe AR could be a part of my final show?
Fast research shows me that AR can be many things and its scale of complexity is diverse.
Before taking any decisions, I have to think about questions like:
· What is my fundamental artistic idea using AR (don’t use it just because it is a possibility)?
· Think about the audience, how they will get experience while watching? (do they need smartphones or should they wear glasses/Hololens)
· Can I do it myself? If not, who can help me?

I met Nikolaj Staussbøl, one of my former student, who is currently working at the digital bureau Molamil, situated in Copenhagen.
Nikolaj is a curious and innovative person; he is openminded and interested in networking and dealing technology and ideas. A few years ago Virtual Reality took his attention; now he is into AR, and he knows a lot about it.
I briefly presented my project to Nikolaj. He asked me about the role of the audience, their access to material and interactions possibilities an also about my expectations to the solution and the work process.
Nikolaj warned me not making things too complicated: hard to get the app, unclear navigation, too expensive equipment, etc.
He likes when the idea is clear, readable for many of people (not only at location), etc.
He thinks that wearing glasses, whenever it is Hololense or Google glasses it narrows the target audience too much.
Furthermore, it is hard to produce / design to the “glasses”. In the working process, you have to take them on and of to check adjustments. You get headache, and you get tired.
Nikolaj showed me a project he made at Molamil; it was a nonprofit project experiment, a Christmas greeting for their clients “The Augmented Wine Box”.
This is Augmented Reality running in your browser. No downloads or apps. All with the magic of Three.js and AR.js
The only requirement is that you have the provided wine box with our marker on and a modern Android or ios11 with Safari (a computer with a webcam should also do).

I like the idea of having a physical object (the winebox) where AR objects can act (Chrismasthree). WebAR allows ongoing editing.

We talked about more simple methods, but as Nikolaj said: You have to consider the situation: Let people download apps? Free apps? Wearing glasses? To think about advantages and limitations.

I’m sure that I have to try some of the easiest apps, before asking anyone to help me, I have to know more about the technology.


Augmented reality inspiration

Two projects which have taken my attention according to AR.
1. In 2013 I saw Camille Scherrer artist/designer at Resonate in Belgrade. She showed a project called “Le Monde des Montage” an augmented reality book. It has been on my mind since that.
What I like is the combination of illustration and animation and then the magic feeling which AR creates. She did the project back in 2008, later in 2011 she made “Augmented Room”. And once again, she shows a simple illustration style combined with very subtle animation. I like the mix of real objects in the room (the birch tree on the door) and the layer of AR to see on the screen.

2. The other project which has crossed my way is “Holograms from Syria ” made by artist Asad J. Malik.
The holograms of the war in Syria projected into spaces across the US. As he said in the interview: “It is almost like Pokemon Go, but with real people. Instead of funny characters, it is real people telling a real story.”
In another article, Asad says: “I think AR [augmented reality] has some very, unique powers because VR to me is all about giving up on reality itself. What I’m most interested in is using simulation to bring the focus back to the reality”.
I like the simple idea; changing the images from the iconic Pokemon to iconic war pictures from Syria. It has a powerful effect on me; seeing something which you do not expect to see.

Article about Holograms from Syria