At this year’s Apple development conference, the WWDC, Sir Peter Jackson’s newly established augmented reality (AR) studio offered a small glimpse of what they had been working on using Apple’s ARKit. Further details of that demo have now been revealed.
Head of Wingnut AR, Alasdair Coull spoke to BBC Click about what the studio had been working on, offering a more complete look at the ARKit demonstration. Viewed with an iPad camera, a landscape unrolled like a map on the surface of a table. Buildings popped up, showing what appeared to be a small American farmstead. People emerged from buildings to casually walk around and chat to one another, then suddenly, high-tech ships descend from the sky and begin to attack; One of the occupants of the farm goes flying off the table are fire and explosions pepper the AR landscape.
The demo was built with a combination of Unreal Engine 4 and Apple’s ARKit. Actors were motion-captured to give the miniature people in the demo the smoothness and realism needed.
As Coull told BBC Click: “Peter Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh, they’d seen some AR demos of some new hardware and were really excited about the creative possibilities. They’re amazing storytellers and they wanted to take their experience and use their skills and take them into this new medium.”
It seems that developers are only just starting to scratch the surface with regards to what AR and ARKit is capable of. BBC Click asked Coull if there were any plans for an AR experience using the Lord of the Rings universe and characters. Though Coull said there were no current plans, it is unknown what the future holds for Wingnut AR.
VRFocus will continue to bring you news on developments involving ARKit as it becomes available.