What is this project?
Hi This is Paint (HTIP) is a real-time collaborative painting, with a 3D model of electronic music producer, Flume, as its canvas. Participants can tap/click on his virtual face to add colorful paint splatters and other elements. Each addition to the canvas is broadcast to all other participants in real-time, encouraging collaboration and friendly competition between people around the world. We’ve also hidden a few Easter eggs for fans and non-fans of Flume alike to experience and play with on their own.
Why did we make this?
At Spinning Rock, we specialize in augmented reality and digital experiences with the goal of bringing people together. Following the shelter-in-place orders issued earlier this year to combat the spread of COVID-19, we watched the rise of video conferencing, live-streaming, and virtual art experiences, like Travis Scott’s Fortnite concert, as people searched for new and interesting ways to stay connected with friends, family, and fans while stuck indoors. We started coming up with some ideas for a virtual experience that people could work on together.
Right around this same time, we were finishing up Snapchat and Instagram AR effects for Flume’s most recent release, The Difference feat. Toro Y Moi. Flume’s label, Future Classic, asked us to come up with concepts for a song visualizer. To take the video in a more interactive direction, we decided to develop a version of the virtual experience we were brainstorming and Hi This is Paint was born.
A big ongoing inspiration was a Reddit April Fool’s Day experiment, called r/place, that took place in 2017. In it, Reddit users collaboratively and competitively painted a shared 1 million pixel canvas in real-time. The results of this 3-day experiment are really quite beautiful – you can read/watch more about all the drama, intrigue, and meme-ry at these links: [wiki] [time-lapse] [time-lapse w/ explanation] [VR 3D visualization]
What’s the goal?
The main goal for this project was to promote The Difference by creating an interactive experience for people from around the world. Rather than simply creating a video on our own, we wanted to allow participants to work together to directly influence the video through a fun and unique process.
In addition to just purely entertaining people, current events motivated us to consider how we might be able to direct any attention HTIP receives to causes and organizations that we believe in and want to support. We didn’t want to let HTIP be just another distraction from the world-wide protests against police brutality and systemic racism, so we included a prompt to contribute to the Equal Justice Initiative, a US non-profit that provides legal representation to victims of unlawful arrests and convictions, as well as re-entry assistance to those recently released from prison. Here are some links to other organizations to donate to and other ways to get involved: [list of organizations] [ways you can help] [more resources]
ABOUT SPINNING ROCK:
Spinning Rock is an award-winning, internationally recognized mixed reality studio. We partner with leading artists & brands to create immersive experiences and products that bring people together.
We are an industry leader in AR camera effects for Instagram and Snapchat, AR Native applications, web-based AR/VR experiences, and interactive installations.