Exploring the Three-Dimensional Digital Frontier: A Deep Dive into Augmented Reality and Creation

I don’t think the digital world is inherently two dimensional. I think it’s three dimensional, just like our physical world. Last week and a lot of this year, a lot of my augmented reality work has been going viral. I have so many comments and questions and I wanna be able to answer them all. So if you wanna know how I make these things, what I use them for, what software I use to make them, and what exactly you’re seeing in an easy to listen to way, you are in the right place. Along the way, I will try to answer every single common question that I get. And maybe this will be a cool introduction to a new topic that I think we’re gonna be hearing about a lot in the near future.

Let’s start with this recent piece I’ve been making AR or augmented reality rings for a while. And this one came from a comment that I got was on an already kind of viral video suggesting that I make one the bones on the inside. There were a bunch of comments on that video saying I should make something with bones and a lot of other really fun suggestions. But this was the top comment and the first comment that I saw saying that. So I’ll put this back up on the screen to give this person their credit for commenting this. If you are totally new to augmented reality or you saw that and you’re completely confused as to what you’re looking at. How much of it is real? Is this a filter? What are you seeing? I’ll start really basic. It’s not real. It’s digital. It’s not real at all. It’s not physical at all. But it’s not using the same video editing process that you might think that it’s using. I’m not filming my hand and then taking that video and editing something onto it. I’m filming it in real time with an effect so I can film an unlimited amount of using this ring and wearing this ring without ever having to put it back into my computer and edit it after I film in. So filters are augmented reality, but not all augmented reality are filters. We just see filters as the most common and usable example of augmented reality that we see right now as it starts to be part of our world more and more.

So how do I make this? How I start when I’m making something is first I imagine what I wanna see and the concept and the whole idea. After that, I’m kind of painting in my head what I wanted to look like and imagining what I’m gonna have to make to get it to look like that.

From there, I go into an error software. There’s Effect House, there’s one studio, this one I made in Meta Spark. You can bring in any existing 3D files, ones that you make or ones that you download. I use blender and I use Nomad Scope to make my own. And sometimes I just download things that already exist so I can add it into the whole scene to make the concept faster.

The key part of this technology that I use is called target tracking. So that means I put an image on my physical hand, and that lets the software know where the effect needs to go. And I can move my hand around as much as I want, and the effect is still going to be tracked there. It’s interacting with the camera to let the camera know where to place those 3D elements in real time, so I can film it in real time. Otherwise, I have to go in afterwards and edit every single thing or track it afterwards and editing. But with target tracking, I can kind of break that wall and place something into the real world so it can be used in real time. It’s like a QR code, but instead it’s instead of scanning for a website, it’s showing where to place a 3D object in space. This is the most exciting part to me because it means that our physical world and our real world can start to interact in real time in 3D instead of having to edit a video afterwards, a flat video. So once the target image is on my hand, I can test out the rings. I need to guess the exact size of my hand. And maybe I guess wrong. So I have to go back in and adjust things, make the glass looks too thick, maybe something doesn’t look right or it’s just not working yet, so I have to adjust it before I can then capture the final video.

For the see through effect, I got a lot of comments saying maybe it’s some kind of AI, maybe it’s some kind of filter or some kind of camera within array. That’s all very cool, but this is not using AI. A lot of people confuse AR and AI, and it’s totally separate topics. And if you wanna learn more about that, you should just look into the differences between those two definitions. I know for people who are super new to any of this kind of thing that it’s easy to get them overlapped, but it’s totally separate technology. You can use the technology together, but it’s not inherently related or the same thing. So what I did is I just eyeball the color of what the background would be. And in some cases, I just use an image at the same angle that it would be at, as if the hand wasn’t there for effects. If you’re a creator, I think it helps to make AR more interesting if you can include things that look very realistic, mixed in with the things that are just not possible at all. I think for any of my things that I’ve had that go viral, there is an element of something digital that looks real. And even sometimes I wanna put in something real that looks digital.

For me, I’m kind of used to this process because I came from a background of hyper realistic painting. So I can kind of speed up that process and guess the elements, the texture of the glass, how thin or thick it should appear based on the details of reality without taking up too much of my time. So for example, for this ring, I just had to guess the texture of the rings, the size of the rings, how dark the metal should be, where the light should be coming from. So it looks as realistic as possible to be able to make it in that timeframe before I’m turning around and capturing the video. You can see here how, if the color is slightly wrong in the tone or the shade, it’s gonna ruin the whole effect. It’s just not gonna hit the eye of the way that it needs to.

This happens a lot in AR because the amount of the effect can react to the physical scene is limited right now. But in the future, I imagine things will be able to adjust and react really seamlessly with the environment to look super realistic as part of the effect. I’m just kind of forcing that now and that’s where the realism comes from. So once we have that, I can capture the effect. This could be published as a filter. I do also publish filters and I make filters for brands of all kinds and all sizes, for big companies, for marketing campaigns, any kind of realistic down to quizzes and gaming kind of filters. It’s the same software. I’m working in the same space and that’s who we are as AR creators. I usually just use my effects for my videos and I don’t publish them publicly on my page because in order to use them, you would need the same tracking image that I’m using. I usually just publish the ones that can be like widely used.

So how did I even get into this? How do you get into this? How do you make your own ideas? Where do you start? For me, I believe we’re gonna live in a world covered in augmented reality. There are so many exciting applications for this technology outside. Many reality creators are excited for the whole world of experiences that AR can bring us for fun and for art, but also for accessibility, education, marketing, gaming, for connection, advertisement, fashion, and so much more.

And what does that mean? What do I mean by that? Imagine a world where you can see live subtitles on anyone. Or you can walk by a restaurant and see what their hours are, how long the wait time is without ever even having to open the door. Imagine a world where you can cut back on your scrolling addiction by placing a physical version of an app in only your bedroom.

Things make sense in certain areas. Information about cooking makes sense when you’re in your kitchen. All the advancements that we’ve made to assist us are flowing through the same devices in our face, giving us the same experience physically over and over again just looking at a screen. It doesn’t have to be that way, and this is why we’re so excited about an augmented reality world. You can probably think of a lot of interesting uses to be able to take all the functions of your phone and spread them out into the world where you use them and when you’ll be using them for a more cohesive life, where you’re not relying on the same screen for every single thing that’s digital or that’s connecting you to other people.

I don’t think the digital world is inherently two dimensional. I think it’s three dimensional, just like our physical world. I like to make accessories, experiences and push the limits of those boundaries. Now to be ready when that world starts to take shape even more. But before that world, before an AR glasses world or a brain implant world, how can we enjoy AR? Now we probably know about filters. I like to use it as a visual effect. It’s super effective in marketing. I’ve reached over 1% of Instagram with one video just using this technology to make something that’s new and eye catching, I’ve gotten multi millions in reach across platforms, across Instagram and TikTok and Weibo and every single other platform you can imagine having things go viral over and over again prove that we can really make something that people can react to and discuss and have an opinion on that they haven’t seen before.

When we can design things outside of physical materials, the possibilities are so endless. And it’s not necessarily unique to my art. I mean, I love my art. I think it’s great. But there is so much room out there for people to be creating things. So this kind of future can take shape and this kind of world can take shape across every industry. We need so many people’s voices and opinions to join in and start creating things for this feature so we can have that beautiful, artistic, creative, forward visual, forward, conceptual, amazing, high level, inclusive, accessible, gorgeous world that we wanna create.

Hopefully that’s a helpful little insight into what’s going on. If you saw that video, no matter where you’re entering into understanding augmented reality, hopefully you gain something from a question that you might have had or for whatever reason it was, they clicked on this video to learn more. Thank you for spending the time to listen and stay tuned because there’s a lot more where that came from.