Dr. Seuss’s ABC: An amazing AR Alphabet!

Behind the app

The view near Sugar Creative's first studio provides daily inspiration for the company’s creativity

The view near Sugar Creative's first studio provides daily inspiration for the company’s creativity

Immersive fun for everyone

Sugar Creative is an agency that serves clients with not only creative services, but also by developing the technical back-end solutions for multimedia storytelling and brand engagement. It’s known as an immersive innovation studio, focusing on using emerging technologies to create AR, VR, and mixed reality experiences.

The team balances creative playfulness with a focus on the future – anticipating it, imagining its possibilities, and delivering projects that bring us one step closer. This approach has landed them projects spanning marketing for global consumer brands, to voice-based AR for medical researchers, to next-gen storytelling for multimedia franchises.

Will Humphrey, Lead Creative and Studio Director, Sugar Creative

The ability to take the imagined and make it real is at the heart of all human progress, and it’s truly something that connects us all.

Will Humphrey, Lead Creative and Studio Director, Sugar Creative

Create a world you’d like to see, using tools from Unity

As a platform designed for collaborative, interactive projects, Unity is an important part of the technology toolkit used across Sugar’s studio. In fact, Unity is the development engine they use for animated, interactive, or immersive, so – increasingly important in the agency world – there are a number of Unity development experts on the team.

Wallace and Gromit: The Big Fix Up launch trailer

Wallace and Gromit: The Big Fix Up

Sugar’s Unity projects under development include:

  • EducateAR – a multiuser AR learning tool funded by the Welsh and U.K. governments
  • Wallace and Gromit: The Big Fix Up – a transmedia experience created with Aardman as part of the Audience of the Future program
  • A portal-driven, true crime AR experience that lets users step back in time to explore famous crime scenes
How to expand a beloved brand

Designed to enhance the way children learn to read, the Dr. Seuss’s ABC – An Amazing AR Alphabet! app, based on the bestselling book Dr. Seuss’s ABC, encourages children to learn their letters in a fun, engaging, and unexpected way.

Playground character based photo showing occlusion - AR

Playground character based photo showing occlusion - AR

Combining play with learning, the Dr. Seuss’s ABC – An Amazing AR Alphabet! app brings the magical imagination of Dr. Seuss to life. Every character from the pages of the book Dr. Seuss’s ABC has been meticulously recreated in 3D and presented in AR for the very ­first time.

Learning through play is a much better way

Sugar created the app in consultation with educational psychologists and teachers to ensure suitability for younger users, increasing understanding and engagement through interactivity, and all interactions are driven by intuitive behaviors. Importantly, the experience retains the magical quality and memorability that Dr. Seuss achieved with the book.

Play-based learning in AR

Susan Brandt, President, Dr. Seuss Enterprises

Dr. Seuss Enterprises is committed to embracing emerging technologies... creating meaningful storytelling and learning experiences for children.

Susan Brandt, President, Dr. Seuss Enterprises

Stories in AR, enhanced with tools from MARS

To do justice to these beloved characters and stay true to the Dr. Seuss aesthetic, Sugar needed a way to give them life.

“Unity MARS was the first way to do that without requiring machine learning and without having to do costly development in order to create characters that are able to live in the world around you,” says Will Humphrey. “We saw its potential immediately.”

Getting realistic looks for an AR take on books

The advanced logic and API use of Unity MARS captures awareness of the user’s real-world environment for rich immersion and amazing realism as characters interact with actual surroundings.

Tools like the Simulation view for rapid prototyping and experience mapping, plus the ability to deploy a single app to both iOS and Android saved Sugar 65% of their development time.

Bringing the iconic characters of Dr Seuss’s ABC to life

Bringing the iconic characters of Dr Seuss’s ABC to life

Jason Veal, Managing Director, Sugar Creative

As we continue to develop and partner with Unity, and through our work with our friends at both Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Aardman, we’re thrilled to build new types of immersive experiences and stay focused on innovation.

Jason Veal, Managing Director, Sugar Creative

Raising the bar with lifelike AR

“When we say it comes to life, the character materializes as a moving, nearly tangible entity in the room you’re standing in, as if it’s right there with you,” says Will. “Viewing through the lens of your device, you can walk around it, see it from the other side or from behind, or duck under it to see it from below. It’s fully present in the space you placed it.”

Dr Seuss’s ABC—An Amazing AR Alphabet! interactions in the real world and in the simulation view.

Dr Seuss’s ABC—An Amazing AR Alphabet! interactions in the real world and in the simulation view.

3D renders achieved in Blender

Besides using Unity for real-time creation, Sugar is a Blender house, and these tools played a big role in ensuring the illustrations from the book were lovingly created as 3D models.

Combining the CG assets from Blender with Unity’s shaders, Sugar was able to maintain the classic look in interactive format.

Will Humphrey, Lead Creative and Studio Director, Sugar Creative

Before we go too far down the road, we have to make sure it will look right at the end. Anything we make is put immediately into simulation view in MARS, we render it with a specific viewing scene, and we always root it back to what makes it beautiful and magical.

Will Humphrey, Lead Creative and Studio Director, Sugar Creative

Take your journey into AR

Learn how you can create a truly interactive AR experience for your customers that responds to the world around them.

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