A fictitious advertisement about what a present-day version of Gerrit Rietveld's Zig Zag Chair built in 1934 would be.
A Tribute to Gerrit Rietveld
THE LEGEND OF THE ZIG ZAG CHAIR
Starting off as a "Designer's Joke", the iconic Zig Zag Chair has evolved into a modern-day masterpiece.
Even if a physical chair is unattainable, viewers can still marvel at the timeless creation.
Represent a piece of history in a modern-day context. Representation: Visualization in Augmented Reality
PRODUCTION PROCESS 1. Film QR codes in the environment -Record QR Code in various places around UW 2. Model chairs -Research and build chairs to real-world sizes 3. Composite chairs onto footage -Use After Effects and Unreal Engine to track motion and superimpose 4. Render completed sequences -Leverage Unreal Engine real-time rendering
Filming QR codes in the environment
Filming a motion tracking printout around the University of Washington For After Effects and Unreal Engine to track footage better, we used a motion tracking printout in order to give some perspective and solid, flat tracking points to the footage.
Filming the code. Cameo of me and Verli in the reflection 😎 Used a rolling chair for ultra-stabilized motion.
Research for the chairs To accentuate that the Zig Zag chair came from a long line of historical legends in chairs, other models were made as a companion to the Zig Zag chair. The Ulm Stool, the Cantilever Chair, the Bibendum Chair, and the Barcelona Chair were all chosen as famous chairs in history.
Compositing Chairs onto Footage
From reality to....augmented reality Having the 3D models and the QR Codes filmed, the combination process could begin.
Superimposing the chairs onto the QR codes was a five step process: 1. Tracking footage -After Effects tracker exports motion data and a null 2. Import to 3DS Max and re-export as a .fbx file -Needed to change axis from Y-up to Z-up (why, Unreal Engine?) -Nulls aligned with origin 3. Parent chair to null and create lighting in the scene -Would need to sync lighting with environment around chair 4. render alpha channels & beauty pass -Alpha was to re-composite in After Effects 5. Render in After Effects final composition -After composite image, render out completed scene (whew!)
Realtime Rendering Approach
The Power of Unreal Engine Because of limited processing power, traditional CPU rendering was unrealistic for the timeframe of the project. By utilizing GPU Rendering from Unreal Engine 4, we could dramatically speed up the complex rendering and composite processes in order to make our AR ideas become reality.
Realtime Rendering on limited processing power Since our rendering hardware was limited to a power of a GTX 965M from a surface book, the rendering rate was below 30 frames per second at times. We found that combatting overheating was crucial to the success of the render, so we temporarily added some extra cooling to the back of the Surface Book:
-Research the history of design. We stand on the shoulders of giants. Design trends may change across history, but the fundamentals stay the same. The core principles of design are already ingrained into decades of previous work, and can inspire through Gesamptkunstwerk (the ideal design).
-There's always an alternative method. Being on a limited production budget ($0), no industry-grade camera stabilizers or render farms were available to our disposal, so we improvised using the resources we had. (Look in the reflection - The "Stabilizer" was an upside-down camera tripod!)
-"Less is more." - Ludwig Mies van der Rohe In order to showcase the chairs, no extra elements were necessary in the scene. Inspiration for the shot was heavily borrowed from Van der Rohe's International style, which featured long, flat reflective planes and rectangular architecture. The concept of "skin and bones" is an amazing medium to convey the greatness of the famous designers.
Project Context Augmented Reality, Motion Graphics, Design History Client Christopher Obzuko DESIGN 208: Design History Team Verli Chen, Tim Chong Duration 3 weeks Programs used Autodesk 3DS Max, Unreal Engine 4, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, After Effects