The FYP in 4th year is a student-driven learning experience in which the student gets to choose a topic of his/her choice. For my FYP I chose to investigate how artists would find using an Augmented Reality (AR) display in their practice of observational drawing. The project spanned over two semesters and covered the following:
- Photogrammetry, 3D modelling & 3D Printing
- Research & Academic report writing
- Conducting a scientific experiment & analysis of the results
- Presentations & Video making
- Curating an art installation
I made 3D digital models using photogrammetry and 3D modelling. I used a DSLR camera and Meshroom software for the photogrammetry. I uploaded the models to Aryzon’s AR Studio app on iPad Pro for use in the drawing workshop. During semester 1 I was to be found in FabLab Limerick learning to 3D print my models on their Prusai3 printer. See more about that process on the Photogrammetry post.
Check out my presentation of the project in this video below
Drawing Comparisons exhibition video in this video below
The Drawing Workshop
Does the AR subject work as well as the real? It does in so far as it can be copied faithfully by the artist to produce a drawing that looks like a human subject. The artist may find it more fatiguing than drawing from a live model due to it being slightly more demanding on the optical system. The AR subject may appear to hover, which makes it appear weightless. It neither casts shadows nor reflects the light in the environment as a real subject would. As a representation of a human (or part thereof), it displays a visual simulation but lacks the sense presence of another being, which diminishes the enjoyment factor for the artist.
There is a level of interaction and engagement between the model and the artist that it cannot replace.
Regarding the question of AR helping people to learn skills, the Aryzon AR Studio app can help in the same way that copying from 2D images can be good practice for people learning to draw. It has some advantages over copying from a 2D image in that the user can rotate and zoom the object to view and draw it from various angles and at various sizes. A disadvantage is that it will not teach you to draw the subject using the direction, contrast or intensity of light into good effect because of its independent lighting system. It has therefore some possibilities to be used as a resource for the atelier system of learning traditional figure drawing.
Regarding the question of humans being centre stage in AR design. Viewing the display through an iPad is a bit awkward. A hands-free set up such as glasses or projections would help this technology to get out of the way of the task the human is focusing on.
Regarding comparisons, by far the most significant comparison is the freedom and expressiveness in the mark making of the drawings of the live model drawings compared with the straighter crisper marks in the drawings of the AR and 3Dprinted models.
I came up with an idea to make the artworks into objects to display
in the AR app. I reached out to a Blender expert who taught me the process of
making a JPG image into a digital object to display via the Aryzon AR Studio app.