Presenting Dr. Skully: Our Latest Augmented Reality Project

Augmented Reality allows us to do so many different things that we decided to create a fun, edgy project that would showcase some of the capabilities it has while encouraging people to spread the Augmented Reality word.  And so, we present to you Dr. Skully, the creepy-cool inhabitant of the Mirror of Misfortune.

The challenge for our team was to create something even more interactive than the typical Augmented Reality site; we wanted to involve the user in more than just holding up a symbol that created a 3D object.  With Dr. Skully, you not only hold his horned head in your hands, he talks to you, telling you your misfortunes for 2010 in the areas of love, work, style, and more.

We first produced Dr. Skully’s Augmented Reality symbol on ski caps (see the video here), which works great and further intensifies the experience because Skully’s head replaces the user’s in the webcam.  We realize, though, that mass distribution of the caps might be a long process, so we included a printable marker on the site.

To build Dr. Skully’s environment, we dove deeper into Flash and Papervision technology to create the fiery glow around Dr. Skully using Fire Effects, Particles, and Layering.  Another new Augmented Reality feature we used with Dr. Skully is an overlay over the webcam video to give the picture a grainy, spooky feel.  We have not seen that done with any other Augmented Reality site.

We were also excited to explore all the new audio features of FlashPlayer 10.  The audio on the site adds to the mysterious feel and helps Dr. Skully talk.  We were able to animate Dr. Skully’s jaw, using audio levels to create the illusion of speaking.

Though this project was mainly for fun and to experiment with some of the possibilities of Augmented Reality, we feel confident in our skills and experience and look forward to venturing into AR games and other highly interactive projects when we find the right opportunities.

Become a fan of Dr. Skully on his Facebook page or follow him on Twitter.

Visit Dr. Skully and hear your misfortunes at drskully.com…if you dare.

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