While working at the Digital Corps, Ball State Sports Link, an immersive learning organization on campus that produces on journalism and telecommunication focused on Ball State athletics, came to us wanting an interactive experience for game-attendees to have with their content.
We created an Alternate Reality App that allowed users to see 3D models of players and their stats, scan QR codes and watch videos, and explore a virtual model Ball State's campus.
We then created a database for Sports Link to upload and manage their content that would be used within the app.
During this project, I worked closely with developers as a UI designer for the mobile app. I also assisted the animators with the 3D model of our campus. I also worked on the design and front-end coding of the database.
Very early in the process of this project, the conversation of UI elements started. Because this was an alternate reality app, all of the elements were going have to be visible on any background, as the background is determined by the user's phone camera. On the flip side, we also didn't want the elements to stand out so much that they take away from the overall effect of the alternate reality- after-all no one was using the app to see the back arrows. In the end we went with a very minimal design of the UI elements in white.
Because all the separate sections of the app involve a lot of interaction on the user, we needed instructions on how to use each them. We decided to use a small card that disappears once the user touches the screen was the best solution.
This project had a very quick turnaround, and the photogrammetry work was by far the most intense process. To add to this, our team had one opportunity to shoot the entire football team within three hours. Our method of photogrammetry evolved and changed many times throughout the testing phase, but in the end we landed on the practice of shooting hundreds of photos of the subject at many different angles and then compiling these photos within a 3D software. In the beginning of our testing phase, we were only practicing with one subject to keep consistency within our tests. Because this test subject was white, and we have many black and hispanic football players, this was a huge over-site on our team's testing. About 2 weeks before our shooting deadline, we tested a person of color on our team. Because darker skin tones absorb more light, the product was less than acceptable, resulting in a last-minute change of our studio set up on shooting day.
While I did not play a large role is this aspect of the product, this taught me the importance and of racial equality within testing phases and tech.
3D Campus Model
Nikki Dixon and I were responsible for creating the 3D map of Ball State's campus. She created the 3D structures and I created the designs to lay over the shapes. I also photographed the buildings and designed the cards used to describe the buildings and landmarks.