Ukiyo-e is a traditional Japanese art that vividly depicts the life and scenery of the Edo period. The name ‘Ukiyo-e’ originally means ‘Floating World’ in Japanese. This makes us wonder if we can bring these static pictures into life and make them really ‘floating’ with the help of AR technology. To achieve this, we developed this iOS app with an AR Camera that allows the user to see modern interpretations of the original art pieces. With the success of the implementation of our app, we also look to extend its usage to other kinds of exhibtions under a museum setting. In this project, I was in charge of the development of the iOS interface, view controllers and the integration of the Unity contents into the app in Xcode. I also worked on some of the AR contents in Unity. Note that some of the art pieces that we overlaid on the original works are done by the Japanese artist Segawa Thirty-seven and the Singaporean artist Sokkuan Tye.
The AR contents are first developed in Unity. We used the Vuforia library to achieve image recognition of 9 target images. Then we overlaid new contents on these images, for instance, 3D models we made in Blender, videos done by the Japanese artist Segawa Thirty-Seven and images done by the Singaporean artist Sokkuan Tye. When these works are done, we exported the contents as an iOS component so that we can integrate them into our app.
Once the Unity component is embedded in the iOS app, we are ready to go. Our overlays are grouped into three different categories: static, dynamic and 3D. For the first group, only a static image is overlayed over the original while for the second group, a motion picture is presented.
For the last category, a virtual button is featured. It is realized through scripting with C# in Unity and is specifically designed to introduce a larger degree of user interaction with the 3D model we built for one of the images. Once the button is clicked, the motion of the 3D elements will be triggered. Meanwhile, if the button is released, the overlay will resume its static state.