Today’s guest of Creator’s AR Journey is Aakash Mansukhani, a seasoned AR creator, who talks about his journey into the world of AR, his experiences, challenges, and successes in creating AR content, and his thoughts on the future of this rapidly evolving technology. Join us as we delve into the mind of this talented creator and discover the endless possibilities of AR.
Let’s start from the beginning! How did you start your AR journey? What inspired you to become a creator and what keeps you motivated to continue creating for this industry?
I come from a VFX background, features like plane tracking and target tracking caught my attention.
Achieving the same results with traditional video editing methods, it takes hours to render a minute of usable footage, whereas using AR on my cheap mobile device can do the same in real-time. The ease of use and the potential to showcase my creativity to millions of people combined with the technical marvel of tracking in real-time is what made me intrigued to explore the AR space more.
What is AR for you?
The advantage of AR is that it can be interactive, unlike any other way of taking in information. AR for me is just another media/content type. As some photographers and videographers create content to express their creativity and talents, I use AR to do the same.
How do you see the future of AR evolving? What kind of opportunities do you think it will bring to creators and brands?
I see the future of AR evolving alongside VR. Although due to the competition between the companies to capitalise on this upcoming market, they are missing out on the evolution of the tools required to make such technologies accessible to the mass audience. The opportunities this will bring to the clients and creators will only be limited by the acceptance of this technology by the audience and the creativity of the creators.
Using AR for marketing and advertising is something we have already noticed. The next big step in this evolution would be to use the same to let people from other backgrounds create content for other AR/VR users, making the field open for all and not just limited to programmers/coders.
Who or what inspires you in your work, and can you describe your working process? Do you follow a plan or work spontaneously? Do you have a specific style that sets you apart from other creators?
I take inspiration from many artists and movies. My main inspiration and motivation to pursue this field is the audience I reach out to using my work. I am blessed with an honest and open friend circle, they do inspire me with ideas and suggestions regarding the new things I should try in my projects.
I do not have a fixed working process. Sometimes it begins with an idea, sometimes it begins around an asset that I find on the internet that I’d like to implement in my project. I do work on multiple projects at the same time, so making my workflow organised and predefined has helped me a lot.
For the style of my work, I try to create unique effects in terms of ideas and execution to set myself apart from other creators. I focus primarily on the visuals and the overall experience to be happening, with appealing colour pallets, shaders and complex logic.
Can you share an example of a project where you pushed the boundaries of what is possible with AR technology and what kind of impact did it have?
I recently created a business AR card, it was a target-tracking experience which contained a real-time physics engine created without scripting.
The project was liked by many creators and helped me proudly share my business card with a hidden dimension in the AR space with an advanced technique showcased within it.
Can you list the brands you have worked with? What are the project(s) you’re most proud of?
I have worked with 30+ clients such as Meta, ICC, Sony Pictures, &flix, The great indian sneaker festival, etc. But one of my favourite client work was with an amazing company: Lad In A Battle. It consisted of me creating a super cute effect with a Meme cat and letting the users draw around with it using the back camera.
Collaboration is a crucial aspect of creating successful AR projects. Can you share an example of a project where you had to balance a client’s needs with your creative vision? How did you navigate that challenge?
Sometimes the client has an expected outcome with a pre-planned effect ideation. As a creator, it is our job to let them know that we are at their service but the client who is new to the space might not get the desired results using the same mindset used for other marketing techniques. Most times clients do understand and acknowledge your experience and make the required changes, in some very rare cases if the above doesn’t happen you do not have a choice but to give your all and hope for the best.
How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technology in the AR industry, and how do you incorporate this knowledge into your work?
Youtube! I follow many tech channels that are like tech news that keep me updated with the latest technologies released to the public. A lot of the knowledge grasped from the videos is like the tip of the iceberg, without digging deep with the source and how useful a service or tool is one cannot apply it or integrate it within an AR experience.
Plus the amount of time required to learn the new tools and optimising them to be run on mobile devices smoothly is a whole different fun challenge.
Can you share any tips or tricks you’ve learned along the way that have helped you to create successful AR projects?
Here are 3 Points I would suggest all AR creators to look out for.
- How technically advanced is the effect
- How fun is the effect to use
- How easily can someone else recreate it
If we learn these basic things, our work will give us a unique identity and attract clients and help you propagate to a new audience quicker than others.
What do you enjoy most about being an AR creator, and how do you balance the technical aspects of AR creation with the creative side? What advice would you give to aspiring AR creators who are just starting out?
The best part about being an AR creator is the amazing community and amount of users to whom I spread happiness via my funny and weird effects. Being able to express myself and my creativity on such big platforms is truly amazing.
Since I come from a VFX (arts) background, showcasing my creativity has never been an issue. I do my best to create a unique and visually appealing effect and once a rough idea has been set in my mind, I begin the technical part and do not care how easy or difficult the logic is since the end user wouldn’t be affected by it, it’s just the visuals and experience that count.
Hearing about Aakash’s AR journey was truly inspiring. From his early fascination with the technology to his current success as a creator, it’s clear that hard work and passion can lead to incredible opportunities in the world of AR. We hope that Aakash’s story has provided valuable insights and encouragement to other aspiring creators looking to make their mark in this exciting field. We look forward to seeing what Aakash has in store for the future of AR, and wish them continued success on their journey.