You drop $400K on a picture of a bored ape or a colorful bear, what do you do with it? This is the question that has been pondering my thoughts for quite some time now. Usually, when you buy a piece of art, in real life, you can hang it on a wall and admire it and showcase it when you have people over. Why not do the same for NFTs?
That's exactly what I have been exploring lately. In Particular AR we already have a powerful feature where you can select a photo, design, artwork, etc. you have and display it in an AR frame so you can virtually hang it on a wall in your room. You can then save the experience and share it with the rest of the community and everyone can load it up, place it on their walls, and admire the artwork.
It's a really cool concept and we have already some amazing artworks shared by the designers on Particular AR, but how can we push this even further? How can I improve this whole idea and most importantly, what can I achieve with using only Reality Composer, since I don't really know how to use Blender or C4D? The end results were quite good if I do say so myself as I was really surprised what you can do even with a limited toolset.
The first AR experience I designed in order to showcase NFTs is a small cozy and very old-fashioned room where I featured 5 artworks from the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection. I placed a sofa in there too, a small glass table I build with primitives with a turntable that actually plays some cool ambient music. I also added a couple of wall displays with some "naughty" easter eggs.
I was pleased with how this turned out as you can load it up and you can physically walk around, listen to a cool beat and check the artwork up close. But it isn't without its faults. The file size is relatively big for the small number of stuff that was included in the experience and the ambient music is quite glitchy as multiple sounds might play on top of each other. However, the biggest issue with this experience, as it was also pointed by my co-founder, is that it looks well, old and simple. Also, white walls, really?
NFTs are the future and they should be displayed in an exciting way with a futuristic look. For the next one, I wanted to go all-in and design an edgy neon cyberpunk-inspired augmented reality showroom. That's exactly what I did and the result blows the first experience out of the water.
I documented all of the steps on the Twitter thread that I am embedding here which you can check at your own pace as it's quite long. Now, it is really important to remember that I only used Reality Composer, which if you have used it before you know how extremely limited it is, so I had to get quite creative to hide a lot of the shortcomings.
Reality Composer is a great tool to quickly design simple AR experiences, but the moment you want to do something a tad more advanced, you are out of luck. For example, one thing that made my life hard while designing this experience is the lack of using an occluding material or doing a simple boolean to "cut" models. Another thing is the lack of a sidebar where you can see and quickly select amongst the models you are using in the experience, think the layers from Photoshop. If you go through the Twitter thread, you will see more of these shortcomings and how I overcame them.
The end result, however, is quite spectacular all things considered. Yes, it would have been way easier and faster to create this whole 3D model in a more powerful software like blender or C4D. Having said that, you can still design an amazing AR experience using only Reality Composer. I managed to create a futuristic cyberpunky-inspired NFT Showroom where you can walk around, listen to some cool ambient music, and admire some cool NFTs. The experience is now live on the Particular AR app. Try it and let me know what you think.