user's avatar
Ally bank: Adventures with Zeee Bucks
CG Lead, BUCK Design Inc., Ally Bank, “ Adventures With Zeee Bucks”, 
AR app, NYC, 11/2020 - 02/2021

This is the first 3D job that I led at BUCK, and it was one of the most challenge project I had ever done! AR and VR worlds are still an unknow territory but it is definitely worth exploring! Building the AR world for kids also brought me back to my childhood playground and reignite my passion for art again!

A little blur about this project:
Adventures with Zeee Bucks is an AR app + physical piggy bank that teaches kids about financial literacy through interactive storytelling in Augmented Reality. 

Using a smartphone, kids track a specially-designed AR Marker Piggy Bank to explore the world of Planet Zeee. Follow the protagonist, Emma as she earns, spends, and saves money with her new friends, the Zeee Kids.​​​​​​​

Each side of the Piggy Bank teaches kids a different lesson about financial literacy. Tapping on ‘Emma’ plays an animation lesson as she guides you through your lesson. Tapping on props and scenery brings the world to life for hours of fun and exploration.

Each AR lesson ends with a giant, digital coin going in or out of the piggy bank (depending if Emma spent or saved money) — connecting the digital world of Planet Zeee to the physical piggy bank.
I wish we have an app like this for adults! Like what is 401K? ETFs? and ROTH IRA??? lol


Characters play an important role here for the money lessons for kids. We have the main girl, Emma, and three alien kids. We also have magical creatures like the Unicorn and the Money Trees. There are a lot of love we put into the process of making each of them. Below is a character line up we made in Maya, rendered with V-ray.
We used Substance painter for rendering the preview of these characters. 
Usually we do four sides of each for internal/ external reviews.
Here is a preview from Substance for Emma that I did.
To keep the environment layouts as coherent as possible throughout 4 different kinds of sets, we made a lot of module assets that showcase consistent design elements.​​​​​​​
Then we have to build the sets with these modules that we made, we tested them out one by one, set by set. Below is a preview of all the sets we made. In total, we have a four lessons for kids to learn about money using this app. There are Earn, Save, and Spend, plus a Welcome intro. So we had to create 4 different environments for these themes.
Then we added the color design back to the sets, and composite them in real life settings.
Here are some close up beauty shots for you to enjoy! 
You might notice the models are low-poly (not as smooth ), that's because we had to optimized the assets for building an economical app. Meaning the app size can not be too large or else the phone can not load it, because not everyone has the latest high-tech phone. 

Despite the limitation of the devices for loading graphics, I am still very proud of what we have accomplished! Look how cute the sets are!

Starting with conceptual development and ending with delivery, we touched every aspect of this as we brought Emma’s colorful world to life. UX & UI Design, custom 3D pipelines, Creative Tech — we brought all the teams at BUCK together on this one.

Again, I am very fortunate to work with such an amazing team at BUCK! 

I hope you enjoy my post here!
Now, feel free to check out the app in the app store! :) ​​​​​​​

Special thanks to Phil Sierzega and Jose Fuentes for making a case study video!
Thank you for stopping by  (◉˘◡˘◉)
Ally bank: Adventures with Zeee Bucks

Ally bank: Adventures with Zeee Bucks