Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Art Exhibit .. Augmented Reality for amplified learning

Cross post from silvanameneghini.com

Augmented Reality allows you to expand the experience of the real world with information, video, sound, GPS data, and so on. If well utilized, it can be much more than just another cool tech thing... You will see below an example of how Augmented Reality was used to expand the experience of visitors to our school's Art Exhibit. Students in Mrs Carpenter class had to reflect on and verbalize their artistic choices, an augmented reality layer was created for viewers of the exhibit. In the process, students were excited about sharing with an authentic audience and had to really recall and reflect.  It created a hyperlinked reality that enabled amplification of the viewers' learning experience that was much more engaging than text.

aurasma1  By pointing a tablet or smartphone at a painting, through the viewing lens of Aurasma App, visitors could learn about the artist that influenced the work and techniques that were applied. Through Aurasma, an "overlay" video appears to be coming directly out of the painting and the student starts talking to you. 

But wait... this engaging effect of merging the video with the real object does not happen automatically in Aurasma Studio. It was consciously created to provide the "real" augmented reality experience, through the use of green screen effects. In order to do that, the overlay video had to be superimposed on the image of the real object, which is easily done with the GreenScreen by Do Ink App on iPad . So we first took a picture of the painting that was then inserted as a background  at the Green Screen App. As we hold the iPad to record the student, we would already see the painting image on the background, allowing the correct positioning of the iPad camera to give the desired illusion. This is a very easy and quick process if you have a green screen already setup in your school and the students were able to do the recording by themselves.

Green Screen effect to create Augmented Reality Overlay
Green Screen effect to create Augmented Reality Overlay


 Below you can watch the overlay video for the Horsehead painting created with Green Screen by Do Ink, and check the type of content on artistic choices and technique. Aurasma was used only to create an "Aura", which is a combination of the "trigger" image (picture of the real object, in this case the painting) and the "overlay". This work was a collaboration between the teacher, Mrs Carpenter and the HS Academic Technology Coordinator, Mrs Meneghini.

Dane M res
Original student painting


How to:

Step 1: Take a picture of the real object for your Trigger Image
    • Tip:
      • If the trigger image is not detailed enough it will generate an error.
      • Crop the image on its more detailed parts.
      • The resulting Aura will be focused around the cropped part, but at least it will show.
Step 2: Use a Green Screen App to create an Overlay Video
  • Install Green Screen by Do Ink from Apple Store on iPad or Cell Phone (Tutorial)
  • Add the Camera to record over green screen
  • Add the Trigger Image (the same as the real object - will show on the background)
  • Place camera so actor appears in the right position over background image
  • Record
Step 3: Use Aurasma Studio to create an Aura
  • Prefer the online Aurasma Studio to the App
  • Add a Channel
  • Add your Trigger image
  • Add your Overlay video
  • Create / Add an Aura:
    • Select Trigger image
    • Select Overlay
    • Choose Channel
Aurasma Studio
Aurasma Studio windows: Trigger Images, Overlays, Auras 

Step 4: Provide instructions for Viewers
    • Install the Aurasma App
    • Search for your Channel
    • Follow the Channel
    • Then point to the real object and see the Aura come to life!


  1. It was delightful to see another level of student interaction through their art. The students came alive in front of their painting to explain aspects of their work!

    Thank you for the step by step descriptions on how to use it. My students will be very excited to try.