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Making art come alive with augmented reality

September 29, 2022

Making art come alive with augmented reality

On the evening of September, 13, 2022 Nathan Kemler, Director of Galleries and Collections at GVSU’s Art Gallery unveiled an exciting new augmented reality (AR) feature that will soon be available in the Art at GVSU mobile app.  This new feature is the fruit of a multidisciplinary team of faculty and students in GVSU’s Applied Computing Institute (ACI) who teamed up with Art Gallery staff earlier this year to investigate how the work of Mathias J. Alten could be brought to life using immersive digital technologies.   The project has been made possible by a generous gift provided by Art Gallery donor Anita M. Gilleo, granddaughter to Mathias Alten. 

AR combines the real physical world with computer-generated digital content to provide an enriched interactive experience.  The AR experience being developed by the team involves aiming a smartphone camera at a painting.  The algorithm processing the image data recognizes specific physical paintings in the real world, and in real-time replaces it with an animated version of the painting.  In addition relevant animated 3D virtual objects also appear and move around the physical space surrounding the artwork. A video demonstration of the new AR feature is available on YouTube

The team has been working on the project since May 2022, and hopes to launch the initial version of the experience before the end of the year.  The animations and virtual 3D objects have been designed by Prof. Julie Goldstein, a faculty member from GVSU’s Department of Visual & Media Arts and ACI affiliated faculty member.  The software development is being led by computer science Profs Dulimarta & Engelsma in ACI.  Computer Science graduate student Andrea Gonzales, an international student from Medellín, Colombia joined the team in August 2022.

The team was on hand at the recent September 13 Friends of Alten event to provide attendees live demos of an early version of the experience.  While the initial project is focused on AR enabling the art of Mathias J. Alten, the technology platform being developed is capable of adding augmented reality experiences to any artwork in the GVSU collection.

GVSU’s Applied Computing Institute is West Michigan’s experiential learning platform enabling industry practitioners and academics to work together, finding solutions to challenging problems in emerging computing disciplines and simultaneously enriching the learning opportunities provided to our students.  To learn about collaboration opportunities with ACI visit our website.

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Page last modified September 29, 2022