Project AURORA aims to train art creatives in Berlin to plan, concept and create their own Augmented Reality applications. The project offers the School for ARtists training during which artists learn the necessary tools and technologies to augment their works.
Initial situation in the creative sector
Due to the shift of human reality into the digital world ever since the 1980s, the analogue world of immediate experiences is no longer the only location and object of creative encounters.
Even though digitalisation has been rapidly progressing in the past years, the analogue world is not out of focus of creative minds: more and more artists have taken an interest into Augmented Reality since this technology combines both the analogue and virtual reality. Whether it is the public space, stages, cultural property or classic media: they can all function as potential projection surfaces for digital content.
The use of Augmented Reality applications can add new dimensions to existing works, they offer the possibility to play with recipients’ perceptions etc. Additionally, art is able to reach a broader audience by using those new opportunities of interactive and playful experiences. As a result of this, acceptance and reach are heightened.
The preparation of media for this cutting-edge technology is still rather complex due to it gaining popularity only in recent years. No modular technology exists yet that would allow creative minds inexperienced in software development to plan and implement advanced Augmented Reality applications without guidance.
This is exactly where project AURORA (Augmented Reality – Organisation and Operation of an Application- and Trainingcenter) comes into play.
The project AURORA
Starting from September 2018, the ERDF-Project AURORA based at the University of Applied Sciences (HTW) in Berlin offers art creatives, interpreters as well as employees of small companies in the cultural and creative industry the opportunity to educate themselves about Augmented Reality and Digital Media within the School for ARtists training.
The training will be held periodically and offers practical courses that demonstrate already existing best practise examples of Augmented Reality solutions from the creative sector and aim for participants to develop ideas for their own implementations; following that the basics of the Game Engine Unity and the AR library Vuforia as well as techniques to produce digital content for AR applications will be taught. Another course will focus on process management as well as pricing and publication of AR applications.
This teaches art creatives all necessary basic knowledge to augment their analogue works and media with digital information – such as videos, animations, audio sequences or 3D models -, that can be viewed and interacted with by using a mobile device.
Some of the conceived AR applications can be realized with the help of the AURORA project personnel after the end of the School of ARtists training. Resulting applications can then be published as part of the INKA AR app in the Google Play and Apple App Store.
Project AURORA offers all necessary resources for the development of applications during the School for ARtists and the ensuing application development phase – this includes necessary licences, AR and media production workstations as well as a production laboratory.
Every year the conference “Culture and Computer Science” organised by the reseach group INKA will offer the chance to present the project and its result to the public.
The training offered in the context of the School for ARtists is directed towards art creatives, interpreters as well as employees of small companies in the cultural and creative industry, preferably from the following areas:
- book art and literature,
- visual arts,
- music and
- performing arts.
Ideally the creative works supposed to be augmented should be real cultural artefacts, that receive added value by digitally augmenting them. Creators should also own the rights to their works.
Structure of the training
- Course 1: Examples, conception and design of Augmented Reality applications in the cultural sector
- Course 2: Media production (Animation, audio, video, 3D)
- Course 3: Introduction into the production of Augmented Reality applications with Unity and Vuforia
- Course 4: Augmented Reality process management (i.e. production process, pricing, publication in the Google Play- and Apple App Store)
- Course 5: Productionlab
ATTENTION: Since the next semester at the HTW Berlin is planned to be digital and the campus is still closed for normal operation, the last round of AURORA courses in September 2020 has to be cancelled. Alternatively, AURORA DIGITAL (in German) offers digital tutorials as an introduction to the development of augmented reality applications with Unity.
Due to the project being funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of their Stärkung des Innovationspotentials in der Kultur II (strengthening of innovation potential in the cultural sector), each School for ARtists training can be offered for only a small catering fee. The workshops will be held in German.
Project coordinator AURORA