One filmmaker shows how this feature, available on iOS 11, will let filmmakers introduce augmented reality into their video


Apple’s new augmented reality feature, the ARKit, could help amateur filmmakers use the tool more accessibly.

That is if you follow in the footsteps of one filmmaker who used the new software, available with the release of iOS 11, in its developmental stage to created this short film.

Augmented reality, alongside the development of virtual reality and 360-degree video, is being embedded more and more into filmmaking.

AR developer and filmmaker Duncan Walker made use of this to create this short experimental film with some CG characters he had already created.

He told The Video Mode: “I have long had the idea to create a digitally animated film, but using a physical camera. It wasn’t until Apple brought out ARKit that I was able to create the tools I wanted for the job.”

He used his iPhone to render his CG characters and used its camera to capture the footage he needed. However, he had to add a few features in order to create his shots, such as zooming, depth of field effects and film grain/distress.

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Mr Walker added: “I think the ability to add CG characters and elements to a shot in real time will be a huge time saver for independent and amateur filmmakers.”

“Even if it’s only used in pre-production for blocking out shots and doing previs for animated scenes.”

The update of iOS 11 will allow anyone with iPhone 6S or above to used the augmented reality feature, but as Mr Walker points out, to create his project he had to use game development tools.

Our colleagues over at Trusted Reviews give a great outline about the app and what it means. The tool works by using the phone’s cameras to map out the room or space around you, recognising where the walls and floors are.

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It’s primarily a developer tool, allowing people to build apps using its platform. However, apps to help filmmakers are now already being developed.

Mr Walker added: “At the moment it may be difficult for filmmakers to jump in and start using these kind of tools, mainly because they aren’t available publicly yet or, like my project, require using game development tools.

“But keep an eye on the App Store for any AR apps that seem useful, they are starting to appear already.”

You can check out Mr Walker’s website to follow his other projects.

While this is all in a developmental stage, the prospect of augmented reality becoming not just a tool for animators but also accessible to smartphone filmmakers is an exciting one.