The first music-based Augmented Reality App of its kind is available now for iPhone and Android users.
The App offers an interactive listening experience in augmented reality when combined with the vinyl format of space-rock trio Usurper of Modern Medicine’s (UOMM) second album ‘Everything is Nothing’, rendering the album’s artwork created by surrealist painter Liam Dee into dynamic 3D.
Designed by UOMM frontman Steven Aaron Hughes in collaboration with Dee and coder Steve Berrick, users need to buy the limited edition vinyl, which they can order to be delivered online, download the free application to ther iOS or Android device, and point their camera at the turntable to begin the rhythmic touch and sensor-based game.
Keeping with UOMM’s penchant for cross-platform art experiences, the aim of the App was to extend the musical experience beyond its 9 tracks and 50 minutes of music and evolve the album artwork into an interactive piece of art.
The intention might sound simple, but well, it’s not so easy to create.
“The artwork creator Liam Dee started off by building sculptures of the album’s cover artwork, which we planned to scan into 3D objects to be used in the virtual world, however, this proved a little difficult,” Hughes explains.
“So Liam opted to use a HTC Vive to sculpt some objects in VR using some new software called Kodon.
“This software allowed Liam to sculp in virtual reality then move objects into the game itself. Later these virtual sculptures were printed using a 3D Printer - so in the end they became real objects,” says Hughes.
“I think this process of virtual creation becoming reality is really fresh and exciting.”
Extensive code was used to track the record, which is in constant motion and makes the objects move correctly in the 3D space.
“We had to use quaternion mathematics to do this - pretty much the same sort of maths that NASA would use to geo-sync a satelite - pretty trippy stuff,” Hughes says.
The game went through many iterations and ideas before settling into its current form, which is a sandbox style painting/pattern game with the user in complete control.
“This was a big lesson in changing my expectations - my many ideas proved very difficult to get to work together when using code. I ended up hiring three more game designers to help explore these ideas before we changed the game from a sort of music video into a completely interactive experience,” says Hughes.
“The game works off different modifiers that are activated by tapping buttons on the side of the screen in the form of letters from the name of the album ‘E - V - E - R - Y ….’ which are all mysteries and do certain things like change the colours, style of audio reaction, size and shape of the creative forms that people draw.
“Users will be able to take photos and share their own art online resulting in a very interesting painting game that can be wildly different every time someone plays it.”
Order the limited edition 12” vinyl of ‘Everything Is Nothing'
Download the AR App for free: iOS | Android