Future Cinema

Course Site for Future Cinema 1 (and sometimes Future Cinema 2: Applied Theory) at York University, Canada

AR stories via Unity

Posted on | February 12, 2013 | No Comments

I have been pondering the material we read while I build my scenes in Unity for the group project. I think it is possible to create compelling stories and experiences with new approaches such as those we are using but it is not easy. The fragmented narrative is front and centre with our project. We are using objects once owned by a specific woman as a way of imagining her life.  Our story has a social element having been generated by the tragic end of an elder woman’s life. In order to do her justice we decided not to let it be the focus of our story but are including information about it on the related blog we started. It would undoubtedly make Jane McGonigle smile if we drew attention to the plight of elders who need our help. This is definitely one area where we can make huge improvements as was evident to me upon visiting the vacated home of the woman involved.

One of my limitations with this project had to do with not having exactly the right models to choose from. It would be great if I could make my own 3-D models. I think this is a necessity for being able to get past the cliched characters of the available components – (I love the dancing skeleton).  I think the software is incredible and the ability to create little virtual worlds is fun. Using it to construct cohesive narrative is not easy though so we will also be relying on responses triggered by music and video in conjunction with the virtual tableau. Meaning and fragmentary bits of narrative will hopefully resonate among the real objects we are using, audio, and video, augmented by the visual tableau made from 3-D models and other elements created and found in the Unity software.

I think using AR would also work in an art gallery situation. You would give the app to gallery goers as they entered. “Luddite” art pieces are placed around the gallery and used as markers to open other worlds attached to each piece. It could also provide explanations of the work and refer to its influences. Many new possibilities arise. Street graffiti might develop along these lines by using tags as markers. A whole underground communication network may evolve as writing scripts becomes more integrated into educational curriculums.  Stories will start to speak to their constituencies and demographic allowing for richer, multi-layered  and more immersive experiences where AR becomes another layer of a multi-mediascape.


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