At Studio Giggle we like to find ways to integrate nascent technologies into our work to ensure that we are always creating the best innovative and immersive experiences for our clients. One of our latest projects was an AR flyer for theatre company Raucous as part of their Expanded Performance project. Augmented Reality is a concept that has been around for a number of years now. It was brought into the mainstream with the launch of the Pokémon Go app in 2016, but has been around for many years (to find out more about the history of AR and VR click here).
Raucous received funding from Bristol+Bath Creative R+D to create a prototype AR flyer, and hired Giggle to create a prototype. Giggle’s founder and creative director, Steve Garratt, has worked with Raucous before, so they knew they could trust us to follow their creative and innovative vision.
Raucous makes theatre that fuses digital technology to drive the narrative of a piece: spatial sound, augmented reality and projection mapping amongst other technologies are used to reveal imaginative stories. And as their theatre is immersive and innovative, it is only right that it is carried through all areas of the production, right up to the marketing of the event. So we set about creating an immersive flyer using AR.
The budget and schedule was tight so we decided to use Zappar, which is an easy to use tool that allows users to create complex AR without coding knowledge. Zappar also works across multiple platforms and devices, in addition, their WebAR function means that users can access the flyer straight from a web browser instead of having to download an app.
This was a really interesting time to undertake an AR project. As a result of COVID, more people than ever are used to using their phones to scan a QR code, whether it’s to check into a venue or view a menu. It’s been estimated that there will be 2.4 billion mobile AR users by 2023, so this was the perfect time to test out AR.
Raucous wanted to be able to send their audience an official invitation in the post with the QR code attached. This meant that we had to make the QR code fit in with the design of the invitation. We decided to cleverly integrate the QR code into a hazelnut, a key prop throughout the play. This was a slight creative challenge, particularly alongside the fact that the QR code had to work at a flat angle, instead of being held aloft. This meant a change of perspective and meant that every time we carried out a test we had to print out the QT code and lay it flat.
The QR code opens to a mini teaser video for a production. The clip shows a spooky pool of water surrounded by greenery. To make the water in the scene look realistic was another creative challenge that we faced. But after a lot of research, we were able to find a way to make the water look life-like, which added to the dramatic nature of the scene.
Working in AR is a newer workflow for our team. In animation, you can make a small change to the design and see it instantly. When building this, the team had to make tweaks to the code, then test the whole experience on a number of different phones and systems, to ensure that the tweak had worked across all systems.
See Raucous’ webpage for details of the project here: http://raucous.org.uk/expanded-performance
If you would like to receive a copy of the flyer email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and postal address.
If you would like to know more about Raucous, please click here. To find out more about AR and its unusual uses, then click here, or to chat with our team about AR possibilities, please email email@example.com or call 0117 972 0081