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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.”
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.