Animation Week 6&7 – Augmented Reality

For week 6 & 7 of my animation class , I worked on an augmented reality project which servers as a counterpart of another project of mine, called the Invisible Bird. Together, they aim to expose the invisible thought cages we’ve built around ourselves, and to make people realize how long we’ve been trapped.

The Invisible Bird project allows people to guess whether Twitter’s attitude about a certain topic is positive or negative in general by asking them to feed an invisible bird representing a specific Twitter topic. This AR piece, on the other hand, does the opposite. It presents Twitter’s attitude about a hidden topic by lighting up an empty bird cage with green or red color. Then, to reveal what the topic is, the user will need to use AR to see what’s inside a “positive” or a “negative” cage.

If the cage is red, it means that their attitude about this topic is mostly negative; if the cage is green, it means that they’re mostly positive. In the video above, people’s attitude on Twitter about four topics are revealed as follow: positive about legalization of marijuana, negative about trade war, positive about death penalty, and finally, negative about gun control.

Building Process

I used A-Frame with ARJs to visualize the 3D assets about different topics, and tested it using target markers related to different topics:

Then I prepared assets using Google Poly and incorporated them into the cage using serial communication.

Future Works

The process of revealing AR objects through tiny physical devices is drawn from an art piece of animated people sleeping on different hand-sized beds, created by my instructor, Gabriel Barcia-Colombo. Future works of this project will be more about creating assets that are more straight forward, and explore how different made of cages can be used to convey a deeper connection between the 3D model and the cage itself.

Credits of 3D assets:

Google, VR XRTIST (XRTIST), Evol Love, Robert Mirabelle

Animation Week 3 – Storyboarding

For the next animation project, I’ll be working with a fellow ITP student Xiaotong Ma to tell a story about a dinosaur. The dinosaur was born in, and later broke away from ITP. It escaped from the Tisch building, crashed its way through the New York City, and eventually took down the Statue of Liberty.

In telling this story, we are trying to mimic scenes from different video games, recreate them using photo/google earth images, incorporate them into the animation and make our dinosaur go through these scenes. Below are the storyboards of this story:

Notes: the shape with a D letter inside represents the main character –  the dinosaur – in our storyboards.

Board 1

  • Perspective: a top-down view from google earth, looking at the Tisch building from the sky
  • Content: a tiny dinosaur appears above the building.


Board 2

  • Perspective: same as board 1
  • Content: a zoom-in view to the dinosaur. It prepares for  a transition to board 3


Board 3

  • Perspective: first-person perspective, horizontal view looking at Gabe’s office
  • Content: the first game we’re planning to use is Pokemon Go. So it will be catching the dinosaur in front of Gabe’s office. The background will be a picture of the office door, and there will be a hand-held cellphone with a mock-up of Pokemon Go game.



Board 4

  • Perspective: same as 3
  • Content: the player will try to catch the dinosaur using a Poke Ball. But it fails, and the dinosaur runs away.


Board 5

  • Perspective: first-person,  horizontally looking at a window inside ITP
  • Content: Now the dinosaur will try to escape. It will break through a window, and jump to the outside.


Board 6

  • Perspective: top down view, looking from the sky just as in Google Earth
  • Content: the dinosaur will try to run away from the building. It will first fall to the street, and then attempts to go across the street. Now the game of Frogger begins.


Board 7

  • Perspective: same as 6
  • Content: the dinosaur will be try to cross the street and fails a couple of times.


Board 8

  • Perspective: same as 7
  • Content: The dinosaur eventually succeeded. It then exists the scene by moving to the right


Board 9

  • Perspective: first person, horizontal view looking at the arch of Washington Square Park
  • Content: the dinosaur enter the scene from the left.


Board 10

  • Perspective: same as 9
  • Content: Now the dinosaur enters the game of Mario Brothers.  It will move under the arch, jump and hit it from below. A mushroom will appear, and the dinosaur will jump to eat the mushroom.


Board 11

  • Perspective: same as 10
  • Content: the dinosaur will be come very big. And it moves to the right and exit this scene.


Board 12

  • Perspective:top down, looking from the sky as in Google Earth
  • Content: the dinosaur now is moving away from the Manhattan island and towards the Statue of Liberty. It arrives at the riverside from the left, and jump into the water at the right.


Board 13

  • Perspective: same as 12
  • Content: the dinosaur is moving in the water and crashed a few boats.


Board 14

  • Perspective: third-person perspective,  looking through the back of the dinosaur
  • Content: the dinosaur appears from the bottom left of the scene, and moving towards the Stature of Liberty.


Board 15

  • Perspective: third-person, horizontally view of the dinosaur and the statue
  • Content: Now the dinosaur enters the final game, the Street Fighter game. Its battle with the statue will begin.


Board 16

  • Perspective: same as 15, zoom in to the statue a little bit
  • Content: the statue will throw the torch towards the dinosaur to attack it



Board 17

  • Perspective: same as 15
  • Content: the torch will hit the dinosaur, and do a very tiny damage to the HP of the dinosaur. Then the torch bounces back to the feet of the statue.


Board 18

  • Perspective: same as 17
  • Content: the dinosaur will retaliate by spitting tons of fire.


Board 19

  • Perspective: same as 18
  • Content: the statue is burnt. It loses all HP and turns into dust, and disappear. The dinosaur wins!


Board 20

  • Perspective: third-person perspective, looking through the back of the dinosaur
  • Content: the dinosaur moves toward the base of the statue, and picks up the torch.


Board 21

  • Perspective: third-person perspective, looking at the dinosaur and zoom out
  • Content: the dinosaur becomes the new landmark of New York! THE END.