[Making Of] The Merging How Augmented Reality Installations Work

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Making Of The Merging

How AR Installations Work

Increasingly, galleries and museums are featuring augmented reality installations as the technology becomes more accessible and fine-tuned. Through the use of AR, new audiences can experience next-level immersion in a familiar setting: the exhibit.

We posted recently about Nicola Verlato‘s The Merging exhibit/app at Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016, so check that out if you’d like to learn more about the event itself. This post will focus on the process work behind The Merging and how this project came to be.

 

Original final painting of The Merging

From Sketch to Sculpture

Nicola began with rough sketches to explore the various composition possibilities. After creating multiple ink drawings working out the details such as the who, what, why, when and where of the piece, he could move on and create 3D mockups in Maya.

Rough sketch done in ballpoint pen on paper.Rough sketch done in ballpoint pen on paper.

3D Composition Mockups

After experimenting with 3D compositions in Maya, he could go back in and sketch over top of the 3D stills. Working back and forth between 2D and 3D can be a huge productivity booster and time saver.

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Inspirational References

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Nicola’s Perspective

I spoke with Nicola Verlato about The Merging and was able to ask him a few questions. See his answers below (my questions are in orange).

What sparked your interest in combining technology with art?

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Nicola:  It happened a long time ago. In 1982 when I saw the movie Tron, I understood the perfect match between 3D technology employed to make the movie and drawings of early Renaissance made by Piero Francesca and Paolo Uccello, since I have always been a figurative painter and I have always wanted to renew form within the tradition of renaissance painting, I understood that for me it was absolutely necessary to include those technologies into my working methodology.

 

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Tron, 1982

Do you see augmented reality shaping the future of art installations?

Nicola:  I surely think that augmented reality will become an extremely important tool which will increase the level of complexity of our perception of reality as well as art installations.

People using The Merging app to view AR elements of the mural painting.
Users engaging with The Merging app to view AR elements of the mural painting.

What are your plans for The Merging’s future?

Nicola:  I’m working on bringing the project in to different venues in the U.S and Europe in galleries and museums.

Work in progress shot of The Merging app in early development.
Work in progress shot of The Merging app in early development.

The Merging & Beyond

The Merging was a fun, eye-opening experience and we’re interested in pursuing more projects like this. We’re currently working on more AR/VR/MR experiences and hope to continue pushing the quality of gamification and interactivity in museums.

If you’d like to learn more about The Merging, watch the documentary below. Thanks to everyone to contributed to this project, including Nicola Verlato, Leo-Z, Quantum Capture, and many more.

The Merging Documentary

The Merging – Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016 from nicola verlato on Vimeo.

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