Hard Place/Good Place Yarra Ranges. Video produced by Yarra Ranges Council.

Hard place/Good place is a creative research project, focusing on lived experiences of being in a ‘hard place’ or a ‘good place’, through a collection of personal and community stories, told through Augmented Reality [AR] experiences.

Hard Place/Good Place: Yarra Ranges (2022) reveals the stories of young people in the Yarra Ranges (Vic) who were impacted by the 2021 storm event. It invites the viewer into an immersive experience of places and objects that these young people identified as the focus of their stories. Exhibited at Yarra Ranges Regional Museum, 28 Sept – 27 Nov 2022. Read more at The Age here.

Inspired by works such as Parragirls Past, Present*  the AR works each explore the lived experience of place, comprising a spoken personal ‘lived experience’ narrative (up to 15 minutes) and 3D immersive experience of moving through that place, led by the recorded voice of the story-teller.

The AR experience is viewed on iPhone or tablet and created by 3D scanning of the place/location that features in the narrative. AR involves overlaying digital information (the scanned image) onto a real-world environment, with the effect that space in front of the viewer appears to be transformed.

The initial projects will focus on experiences in regional, rural and remote locations across Australia, including areas affected by drought, bushfire and flood. The AR works will be published online and exhibited via The Big Anxiety festival / The Big Reach in Queensland and in the Yarra Ranges in Victoria in 2022. See HERE for more information about Hard Place/Good Place at the Yarra Ranges Regional Museum.

The fEEL production team will offer mentoring and tech advice to support people through online meetings/ workshops (the project was originally designed to operate during times of COVID border/travel restrictions). The team now also travels to locations to scan and record stories.

The goal is to enable people to generate 3D AR digital stories in which they narrate their story while moving round a given site. They record a script or improvised story or conversation relating to the site. Then a 3D scan is created.

This test project is adapted for AR from the immersive film Parragirls Past, Present. To download the app, click here, or use the QR code below. This sample project, requires an iPhone 11 (or later) with current iOS. Or you can watch the video recording below.

Download a detailed project description as Download pdf here

Technical background

Augmented reality (AR) superimposes a computer-generated image or object on the user’s view of the real-world. It creates believable composites of virtual objects in the real-world environment. Just as in the real-world, visitors can circumambulate and explore a scene to examine from all sides or get closer to reveal more detail.

Places or objects suitable for 3D scanning should not be too extensive. The viewer should be able to explore the place in AR within the spatial constraint of a gallery space or even a living room. For example a single room, a small backyard, a street corner or a park bench with its immediate surroundings. The place does not need to be a one-to-one spatial representation, but could be assembled from multiple 3D scans.

The scanning process requires using an iPhone 12 Pro or iPad Pro. Here is a video that outlines the 3D scanning process.

A project flyer can be downloaded as PDF here.

A more detailed technical description can be downloaded as PDF here.

*Parragirls Past, Present: was created from photogrammetry scans of the Parramatta Girls Home site. You can read more about that project here