Welcome, the DreamPort team is in touch. We create educational and marketing content using augmented reality technology. Today we want to share the story of creating UZTI, one of the largest augmented reality projects for our team.
The idea of presentation AR applications is not new. Virgin, Liebherr and almost all major car brands have long used augmented reality to showcase their product. Here it is important to pay attention to the word product, because it is often the main «actor» in any marketing application, but not in ours — and below you will find out why this happened.
Appearance of an idea
In February 2020, we were approached by our friends from the marketing Agency Marco with the idea of creating an application for their client, the UZTI plant. We found this idea interesting, so we started creating a creative concept for such an app.
Example of a creative concept
Example of a creative concept
A couple of days later, the concept was ready and sent directly to the marketing agency, and a couple of days later they received a response: «The client liked the ideas, but they want to meet in person and discuss the project in detail ».
We had a very fruitful meeting, where we were able to find out the main «client’s pain». The fact is that, as in any market, the plant has its own competitors, and the products at first glance, all players have about the same. Therefore, we decided to show the app not the product itself, but the approach and process of its production, with emphasis on key points.
This is how the idea of a presentation application of the plant appeared, which shows the full production process of manufacturing insulated pipes.
How the project works
To put it simply, the entire project is an application for iOS and Android, which includes an animated layout of the plant, where the production process of an insulated pipe is continuously taking place. The animation starts with the truck bringing steel pipes to the factory, and ends with the finished insulated pipe being sent to the customer, but between these points a huge number of actions are performed, thanks to which high-quality products are obtained at the output.
At the start of the project, we wanted to reach the maximum number of users, so we added two modes to the app: augmented reality viewing mode and 3D mode, so users with outdated devices can use this app.
We have tried to give the app user maximum opportunities to gain experience:
- The app can work in two modes AR and 3D
- The content is played without any marks or labels attached to it
- The user can interact with AR content
- All important and interesting points are marked with zones of interest with text explanations
Using the app is extremely simple, by installing and running the app, the user only needs to select the AR or 3D content viewing mode and observe the production process, and by clicking on the areas of interest, you can get additional information — everything is as simple and clear as possible.
To recreate an existing enterprise in all its details and put it all together in an app is a task that requires significant resources and an experienced team. In fact, we needed to create animated characters, machines, cars, and most importantly, create a continuous chain of production process that would match the real one as closely as possible.
Example of hardware modeling.
In total, the project involved a team of three modelers who, in addition to models, did texturing, animation of characters and equipment. Two developers were engaged in building UX/UI, creating special effects and building the production cycle at the enterprise.
General view of the UZTI plant in augmented reality.
Work on the project began in April 2020 and ended in July. we managed to complete such a large project in such a short period of time due to the fact that all the specialists who worked on the project are on our staff, and the team has not changed during the work on the project.
When we start implementing any project, we start with the development of the application architecture, user scenarios, a user path map, and a draft prototype, which at the final stage results in a design concept approved by the client, and developers receive a ready-made UI kit for building the interface.
UI-kit and user path map
Due to the fact that AR content should be played without problems on a variety of devices of all price categories, we use the Unity engine to develop such projects, thanks to which we can optimize the content that our modelers prepare in 3ds Max and Maya3D.
To display this content, we used the AR Foundation as an add-on, which allowed us to take into account one of the main tasks of the project — to provide access to the content to the maximum list of devices, and for developers it is valuable because it represents a single way to interact with the ARCore and ARkit technologies, which make it possible to position an object on a plane with stable tracking, without using tags.
Even before the start of the project, we understood that the quality of models and detail is one of the main requirements of the client, so modelers had to solve a difficult task every day — to maintain high image quality with limited performance of mobile devices. To create this level of content, modelers prepared models and textures manually, without using automated processes for rendering highlights and other effects.