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