We have all been sitting in our homes, wishing we had an escape. What if we had a window? a portal? through which we could escape and explore the wilderness out there. With Spark AR, we wanted to give this dream a shot.
What it does
Soon as you open the filter, a portal appears, you just have to tap on the portal and you will be transported into it. We chose this beautiful place called Vagamon. Also, we have provided a 2D map for the same place, the 2D map will show your current position. You can move the red dot to move through that place. You can tap on the objects to know more about them. You can also change the turn on rain by choosing different weathers in the UI picker.
How we built it
Vagamon is a lesser known place, full of beautiful valleys, waterfalls, animals, flower farms, trekking sites, simply a haven for anyone who visits it. First we gathered all the information of this place. Then built the basic layout, taking reference from Google Maps and other relevant websites. Then we segregated the salient features of the place that uniquely represent it. For e.g tea farms, small waterfalls, beautiful hills and paragliders. We then tried emulated those feature by building lowpoly assets of them with love and care. We obtained the actual terrain of Vagamon using the blender GIS add on. We also used the texture of the same, later we realised that building a stylised texture would be better as it would suite the art style. We also prepared a stylized 2D Map of the place to help us know what is where. Then started placing the assets on the 2D Map. Then we rigged the objects and added some relevant animations. We also built a 2D version of the place and put it on the map, so that you can navigate it using the red dot.
Challenges we ran into
Compressing so many assets and textures was a challenge. Putting those interactions on the UI picker was difficult.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We have never done anything like this before. Modelling, scripting, rigging and animation. We knew none of it. Now we can do some of all of it! Bringing an idea to the surface was also something we are proud of.
What we learned
Importance of proper planning. Maintaining good communication with the team, working together (even if teammates are physically far off.) Importance of properly naming the animation playback controllers.
What's next for The Portal
One day, we might expect to have portals for all the wonderful places in the world! This is an ambitious one. :) We see printed Maps all over us, we can build portals for all of them! It would be fun, educative and so entertaining!