Adobe Augmented Reality Residency
These are some experiments from my recent 3 month Augmented Reality Residency with Adobe. Having only explored AR at a surface level prior to this residency, I had some concerns about how far I could push the medium in ways that had not been explored before. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my existing creative process was flexible enough to work with AR. For most experiments, I still went through the steps of ideation, thumbnail sketches, asset creation and then finally to the execution stage in Adobe Aero. The following experiment explores the idea of a how a single photograph can trigger a chain of fond memories and suddenly you're frozen in time reliving precious moments.
The last stage of the creative process where everything comes together in Aero, is where things become somewhat non-linear. This is a slight departure from my usual process. A lot of assumptions are tested, leading to a lot of back and forth between the asset creation and the execution stage. AR projects are a lot more iterative than other mediums like animation and graphic novels which are heavily pre-produced.
I found that working with Aero was the most successful when the concept was clear and the asset creation was simple and quick. This allowed me more time to play around and experiment with interactions and animation in the execution/assembly stage. The following project explores the exquisite corpse game in an interactive 3D format where new characters can be created by scrambling existing ones.
As I went through various experiments, it became clear to me that some concepts and interactions work better in AR than others and the best policy is to lean into what is working well. AR is inherently site specific and a lot of the ideas that were a direct response to the environment I was in, felt more compelling than ones that were environment agnostic. This illustrated character is inspired by the twitter persona of Karl the Fog, and the following are some clips from the AR experiment I created during my visit to San Francisco.
Some of my experiments have not been site specific. I discovered that if an experience was environment agnostic, it became a lot more shareable. It took on different contexts according to where the experience was shared and encouraged a sense of play. This school of fish is one such experiment.
As the Adobe Aero app develops and offers more flexibility and interactivity in the future, I see myself exploring more complex ideas and multilayered interactions. I would love to create story based experiences that are either stand alone interactive narratives or are sharable extensions of stories that exist in other mediums like films and comic books. I can also see myself using Aero to create large scale, site specific art installations or more intimate room scale shareable experiences like this underwater experiment.
Approaching this residency with an open mind and an attitude of exploration and experimentation is perhaps the best way to navigate this journey. With a medium that's in the process of coming into its own, patience and the ability to move past or work around technical issues is key to having a fun and fulfilling experience.
I'm thankful to residency advisors George & Silka for their valuable insights and am honored to have worked alongside incredible artists and fellow residents Darren Booth & John Orion Young. A big thank you to Stefanie, Alex, Chantal and the entire Adobe Aero team for their inputs and support. This is been a uniquely wonderful opportunity that has greatly influenced how I think of storytelling and temporal mediums along with providing the space to think about my larger goals as an artist.
More AR experiments and experiences can be found HERE