with augmented reality
Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne, who work together as the Adrien M / Claire B Company (previously), explore the intersection of tangible and augmented reality in their multi-media projects. They recently launched a Kickstarter to support their latest project, Acqua Alta – Crossing the mirror. Acqua Alta turns a seemingly simple pop-up book into an animated black-and-white world. Two figures move through the pages, battling rainstorms and walking through doorways, all seen through the portal of a tablet or smartphone.
The duo tells Colossal that after their 2017 exhibition Mirages & miracles, they wanted to focus their efforts on an affordable medium at an intimate scale that still allowed for constructing volume. “After considering the AR algorithm, it was important to find a solution for the book to be a plane for each of the 10 double pages,” Mondot and Bardainne explain. “The magic happens only when the real space and the AR space are completely synced together.”
The duo was also working with a limited budget and limited professional experience with motion capture. In contrast to more specialized production companies with greater resources and established, Mondot and Bardainne were challenged by looking for smart and creative solutions to achieve the same results.
“It was very exciting to be at the border between many disciplines—theater, dance, but also comic books and animation,” Mondot and Bardainne share. “We are questioning the language: what does this medium allow us to express? Can we use part of the cinematographic language? Can we use some of the symbolic tools of the theater?”
You can support Acqua Alta on Kickstarter, where the book is available for preorder (it also comes with a free app for experiencing the AR). Explore more of Mondot and Bardainne’s interdisciplinary work on their website.
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Delight-Inducing Augmented Reality Videos by Vernon James Manlapaz Combine Everyday Scenery with Fantastical Interlopers
Everyday spaces like street markets, city sidewalks, and restaurants become fantastical playlands in the mind of Vernon James Manlapaz. The designer, who has several years of experience in animation and visual effects, creates delight-inducing augmented realities that he shares on Instagram with his more than 150,000 followers.
Manlapaz tells Colossal that his digital creations are a combination of pre-planned concepts and spontaneous inspiration. The designer always keeps his phone and 360 camera on hand so he can capture footage for scenery at any time. Manlapaz explains that he chooses to work with familiar objects and concepts that everyone can identify with as the basis for his wonder-inducing moments.
The content I make is always about bringing out that childlike wonder we all have. The goal has always been to bring joy and happiness to everyone who comes across my work. That even that 10 seconds they spend watching the content brings joy to them even for a couple of moments to their life.
Manlapaz was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. He now lives in Los Angeles where he works as a visual effects designer at Snap Inc., which you may know as Snapchat. Follow along with Manlapaz’s digital delights via Instagram. (via It’s Nice That)
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Russian motion designer Vladimir Tomin (previously) manipulates the world around him by overlaying video editing tools onto streets, construction sites, and even his apartment building windows. A pixelated cursor peels back a white strip of paint from the road, while another “pastes” birds on top of the air vent of an industrial building. All of the digitized tricks blend seamlessly into the everyday footage, reminding his audience how easy it has become to make something false appear as unquestioned reality. You can see more of his digital hacks and reality-bending editing in the video below as well as on Vimeo and Instagram.
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Russian motion designer Vladimir Tomin recently went viral with his most recent, mind-blowing video reel titled Прогулка (Stroll). As the title suggests, the footage is a first-person view of a casual stroll, filled with a collection of reality-bending events. Tomin places the interface of his work tools in the real world, gaining virtual superpowers that allow him to bend street lamps, cause a wave of painted street markings, digitally move a slinky down a set of stairs, move or knock things over, and more.
“When you have an idea, you can’t wait to see how it is going to work, and if it is going to work,” he tells Colossal. “So you work towards it, and during the process there is stuff that you have to figure out, stuff that works easier than you planned, and stuff that is much harder than you anticipated. It’s a very fulfilling process that is fueled by curiosity.”
The inspiration for his animations comes from different sources, but in this case, he was particularly intrigued with the power of Instagram’s realtime AI filters. With everyday gadgets being so technically advanced and providing such possibilities to end users, his reel was made with the vision of what future technologies might allow. By borrowing elements from the generic motion graphic program interface, the video constructs an illusion of utilizing 3D workstation tools in real time, just as commonly as one might use Instagram filters.
The concept was realized using his actual video footage as the background, with all objects that are being manipulated being animated in full 3D, mostly using Adobe After Effects and Cinema 4D. “Sometimes the idea is above everything else, and even if you currently have no clue how to make it work – you will find a way,” he explains. “That sometimes is challenging and it feels great to finally win that fight. Probably not unlike beating some nasty level in a very hard game. Hard but satisfying.”
Tomin has actively worked for over a decade as a graphic illustrator and motion designer, and has an impressive list of awards and projects under his belt. His list of clients includes Bloomberg, Boeing, Coca-Cola, Google and Intel. Vladimir is also a big Nintendo fan, and really enjoys the current trends and novelties of that world. You can see more of his graphics and video-based work, including this animated Nintendo Switch, on Instagram. (via Prosthetic Knowledge)
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Artopia: A 3D Painting App That Lets You Create Artworks for Others to Discover in Augmented Reality
Kuwaiti game developer Omar Khalil is in the process of building an augmented reality and location-based app called Artopia, which allows users to create and save 3D paintings out in the world. Others can then encounter the paintings, which are timestamped and show the username of the creator. Khalil began working on the project as a computer science student at American University of Kuwait. As Artopia nears completion, Khalil is looking for beta testers. If you’d like to give feedback, you can sign up on Artopia’s website.
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While I truly appreciate the need for any kid to get dirty in a sandbox or let their imagination run wild in a field of mud puddles (something I was doing myself only an hour ago), I love to see how technology like a Kinect 3D camera can create new interactive environments and games. Case in point this new augmented reality sandbox designed by Oliver Kreylos out of U.C. Davis that projects a real-time colored topographic map complete with contour lines onto the surface of the sand while you manipulate it. The system even allows you to pour virtual water on your creation and interact with it in real time. It’s not hard to imagine switching the entire system to volcano mode, or using the projection in some sort of three dimensional toy battlefield. Gah!
According to Krelos’ YouTube page, the project was funded by the National Science Foundation with the hopes of installing these systems as exhibits at science museums like the Lawrence Hall of Science or the Tahoe Environmental Research Center. See another demo of this 21st century sandbox here. (via reddit)
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Editor's Picks: Design
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