Monday, April 20, 2020

Awesome Augmented Reality with EyeJack

Shirley Rossman, 4th Grade Teacher at West Holt Elementary, leads her students in a creative autobiographical writing project each year. Based on the book "Who is Melvin Bubble?" by Nick Bruel, students engage in perspective writing, as each page describes themself through the eyes of a friend or family member. The final page is all about the student from the point of view of the student themself, and this is where we collaborated for an augmented reality twist to this project. 

  • Students wrote their drafts on paper and collected digital images of the family members and friends who were "telling the story."
  • I created a template file in Keynote that students could personalize with their content and eventually export as pdf for self-publishing/printing. 
  • Using the camera on an iPad, students took pictures of each of their handwritten final draft pages and added them to the appropriate placeholders in the Keynote template.
  • Each photo of the "narrator" of the page was opened in the Clips app, a cartoon filter was added, saved to camera roll, and then Airdropped to the students to add to their book file. 
  • We took photos of the students themself (one close up of their face for the cover and a full-body waving shot for the first and last pages) and used the Clips app to "cartoonize" and Airdrop as well. 
  • Using the free voice memos app each student recorded an audio narration of their final page of text (explaining who they are from their own point of view). 

Using Keynote again, students created an animation for their final page. The trigger image was their waving photo. It was added to a slide and then that slide was duplicated. Slide 1 will become your trigger image (export as png with transparent background) and Slide 2 is where you lock the image to the background and then create your animation around it. Then shapes, drawings, images, etc. were added, formatted, and then animated with motion paths and effects. Timings could be set to automatic, but students were encouraged to aim for about 30 seconds of total animation length (to match the maximum audio recording duration). When complete, the background image was unlocked and deleted, the slide background was set to transparent, and the 2nd slide was exported as a gif. 

I used the EyeJack Creator app (free download for Mac) to assemble each student's augmented reality experience for their final page. 
  1. Add trigger image (exported png from 1st Keynote slide)
  2. Upload animated gif (exported from 2nd Keynote slide)
  3. Add audio (mp3 from Voice Memos)
The EyeJack Creator app generates a QR code which is also saved and placed on the page in each students' Keynote "book."

Now, when people read their book, they use the free EyeJack app on their phone to scan that QR code and then hover over the trigger image on the page to see the animated come to life in AR. 

Each student's finished Keynote book was exported as a pdf. 
I used the softcover Tradebook option (Economy, color) on to order a printed copy for each student and their family. (Approximately $5 each when all was said and done.)

In addition, for fun, I made a version for Mrs. Rossman and myself that had just the final page from every student's book into a class compilation of Augmented Reality student "About Me" animations. 

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