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AR in a Bottle: Students Discover and Create New Digital Worlds at XR Marin

AR Bottle World student project created in the Fall 2019 AR Student Academy [No Sound]

Students in the Fall 2019 XR Marin Augmented Reality (AR) Student Academy used digital art to enhance an ordinary plastic liter-sized soda bottle that otherwise might have ended-up recycled or in a landfill. A simple scan of the 2D graphics wrapper around the bottle by a screen device like a cell phone or a tablet loaded with an AR app launches wonderfully animated 3D digital worlds inside the actual bottle. Like a secret message within the vessel to be discovered, extracted and unraveled, the AR app instantly enables the animations to appear within the vessel. Each student created their imaginary landscape populated with animals and then all were integrated into a collective looping animated AR experience within the bottle.

"The AR Bottle Worlds were 3D modeled by the students in a low-poly style," said Solomon Smith, Lead XR Instructor at XR Marin. Students used several programs to create art for these projects. 2D art was drawn and animated using the GIMP image editor. A 3D modeling program called Blender allowed the students to build, rig, and animate the models. The artwork was brought into the Unity game engine to finalize animations and create intractable elements. Students used the Vuforia augmented reality toolkit with Unity to enable their 2D graphic images to be recognized, tracked, and displayed.

The AR Bottle Worlds project introduces students to the idea of enhancing objects in our physical world with digital imagery. This lesson also teaches foundational skills in digital art, 3D modeling, animation, and programming with Unity. Moreover, students learn to create entirely new worlds from their imaginations while discovering new relationships between technology and environments both physical and virtual. Apply now for our upcoming Spring 2020 Student Academies at XR Marin.



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