Written by Julian Pössnicker on January 2024
In the last weeks, as part of the Exight Team, I worked on an AR experience for smartphones where I had the pleasure of creating and animating the 3D scene elements. This video is the target rendering we used as the art direction for the AR programming. The catch is that the experience doesn’t need an installation on device and is compatible with most smartphones and AR headsets. We will also optimize the experience for future devices such as Apple’s Vision Pro.
The design and art direction were the most important criteria for us. So, we created the scene completely in Blender and we chose the game engine afterward, based on our needs, programming capabilities, and server performance. We created the scene in multiple layers: the main Robot animation, the particles that form the exhibition stands, the ground and the particles above it, the table with secondary detail, and the background scene. With these layering, we could rerender and bake needed elements for the game engine to work properly and give us the needed results. We also used the layers to composite each element together to enable the exposure, depth of field, and motion blur in post. This helped us to change things, like the robot animation, more quickly because we only rendered this specific layer again and not the whole scene. Furthermore, it helped us to add pathtraced volume effects into the scene, without any visible noise or extremely long render times. But the main point was the style we could get if we created the lens effects in post. We used custom lens kernels from our own lenses to shape the bokeh in a certain way which is normally not possible in the Cycles depth of field settings.
In the end, we have a versatile setup that will not limit us artistically and will also transform our 3D elements into a nice-looking real-time version. We used the Unity Engine for the programming and Fusion Studio for Compositing.
The following Video shows the VFX Breakdown of this showcase:3D AR Blender CGI VFX Vision Pro VR