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Adobe AR Residency 008
Aero
Adobe Augmented Reality Residency
Session 008 April - June 2020
Back in January, I stumbled upon Adobe Aero after seeing someone share an AR experiment created with the app. I immediately downloaded it on my iPad and started to have a play. After completing the short introductory tutorial, I had an idea of something to try out. I was surprised by how easy and intuitive it was to create what I had in mind. Once complete, I shared the experiment on Instagram and thought little more about it. To my surprise, within a few weeks I was invited to join the Adobe AR Residency, and at the beginning of April I started on my creative journey exploring the wonders of augmented reality
Week 6: Breathing life into patterned forms
Three months of creative freedom offered by the residency was a rare opportunity to follow a personal direction of work. This focus of time allowed for a holistic development of ideas that evolved from a process of learning and discovery. At the start, I was both excited and challenged by the prospect of exploring the world of AR. Working as an illustrator, I had no previous experience of the technology aside from an initial experiment I made after first downloading the app

My artwork is strictly 2D, so I had no experience with movement, animation or working spatially in 3D. As such, from the beginning I felt like I was working as a complete novice. This could easily have been a daunting and overwhelming prospect, so it was important for me to trust my instincts and build upon my interests and learning. I was determined to make use of my advantage of knowing very little. I wanted to discover how my work could flourish in this new environment without compromise of style, and do so by approaching solutions with the strengths of what I already knew
Week 1: An experiment testing out some of Aero’s movement behaviours whilst navigating the transition of my work into 3D space
The most rewarding aspect of the residency was returning to a singular rhythm of work. Like a creative retreat, I was removed from commercial pressures to establish a personal routine of learning and reflection
Week 9: Exploring kaleidoscopic movement sequences with patterned shapes and colour
From the start, I was encouraged to not get seduced by unnecessary creative distractions. I found out early on that I should avoid fixating upon an idea with a predetermined solution. In doing so, I soon learnt that it was easy to fall into creative rabbit holes that ultimately provide dead ends or disappointing outcomes. Instead, the best way for me to work is also the most frightening as it relies upon trusting the creative process to lead me towards solutions that I could never of first imagined. This is like gliding in flight on currents of air, travelling forward in anticipation of your outcomes
By the fourth week, my work focused upon the building of structures inspired by box kite designs and Charles and Ray Eames’ House of Cards. I was interested in exploring Aero’s management of scale as I wanted to build scenes that would dominate space, providing the user an opportunity to look and move through the designs
It’s exciting to explore AR at a time when it still feels like the technology and its potential is wide open to discovery. In the past, I’ve been aware of its use for product mock-ups and expanded content, but during the residency I could really see its value in providing standalone experiences of their own merit. AR can provide a platform for work with rich narratives, and I’ve been interested in its ability to encourage personal responses that are both passive and interactive
Week 8: Early experiments with movement sequences contained in boxes
The real-time collision of physical and digital reality has the potential to increasingly blur the boundaries between the two. I’m also interested in the time-based nature of AR experiences, of how they are affected by location, and the value of their video record as both an archive and separate outcome. I’ve already been asked about the use of AR in future commercial projects, but it will be more exciting to see how it develops through continued use in my personal work
Halfway through the residency I was exploring the possibilities of movement when by accident I stumbled upon a sequence that created kaleidoscopic patterns. Over the coming weeks, this was to provide a starting point for further development that would later feed into the themes and creation of my showcase project
For anyone working with AR, my experiences of the past few months have given me a glimpse of what you can now do along with the potential of what is to come. With something so new, the only limitations are governed by the current technology – everything else is there for the taking. I’ve found that my most successful work has emerged from trusting the things I’m good at and letting them loose in AR. As always, make your own rules rather than following anyone else’s

Week 10: Developing ideas for my showcase project
♡ Thank you ♡

The AR residency has been a great opportunity to meet and work alongside some wonderful people. Big thanks to George Zisiadis and Silka Miesnieks for their support and mentorship that challenged me to create my best work; My fellow residency artists – Heather Cathleen Dunaway Smith and Sarah Rothberg – for their amazing art and conversation that inspired me to develop and reflect upon my own journey; And the whole Adobe AR team – Alex, Stefanie, Chantel and Eric – for their technical knowledge, ideas and updates, as well as Vlad for introducing us to the wonders of Adobe Dimension
Adobe AR Residency 008
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Adobe AR Residency 008

Introduction to Adobe Aero and augmented reality
44
1.4k
4
Published: