• facebook
  • twitter
  • gplus
  • pinterest
  • instagram
menu_toggle

Bring your merch to life with augmented reality

Tagged with:

Tosca AKA Toscanabanana is a 21-year-old artist from the Netherlands who has freshly graduated with a masters in animation.

Not happy with just creating custom merch with her illustrations, she’s taken her merchandise to the next level, using the designs on her t-shirt and pocket mirrors as a way for fans to unlock animations using the power of augmented reality.

We spoke to Tosca about how she goes about bringing her merch to life.

Tosca, Illustrator, Awesome Merchandise

For the people that don’t know, AR is the technology behind apps like Pokémon Go, allowing people to create alternate animated worlds which live within the backdrop of real life.

“For me as an illustrator-animator hybrid, Augmented Reality is a great way to have the best of both worlds,” explains Tosca. “My illustrations get their moment to shine, but the animations are the real surprise factor.”

AR company Dutch Rose Media have allowed Tosca to create her own world, using their app to recognise illustrations which appear on her merch and automatically play corresponding animations on your tablet or mobile. The process from the initial sketch, to augmented reality can be a long process but is one which Tosca finds exciting.

“Firstly I look at my sketches which are usually all over the place. I draw on loose papers because I like to cut the drawings and paste them together (that’s also how I make storyboards). When there’s a sketch I like, I try to work it out into a full illustration. In this project, the illustration on the merch would also be the first frame of animation because when you do that it looks like the product really comes to life.”

Tosca always designs her merch with the animation in mind, sending them to her friends and even showcasing them on social media to gauge reactions before committing to her final version.

“After designing the products I have to animate everything,’ she explains.  “Most of the animations are made up of loops. Loops work really well with AR because the animation will just go on forever if you don’t stop it yourself. When the animations are finished I send everything to Dutch Rose Media, so they could put it into their app.”

Once in the app, when these images are picked up on the merch we help Tosca to create, it suddenly becomes an interactive experience.

“The reactions have been overwhelmingly positive! I have gotten messages on Instagram from complete strangers asking where they can buy the products, and even some people from Awesome Merch wanted the t-shirts.”

Although, with AR technology still having a few issues to iron out, there are some limitations to the type of merch you can use.

 “When you haven’t worked with AR before, the best thing to do is just to test everything! How does the animation look in AR? Is your illustration or photo recognisable enough to work as a trigger? What are the conditions for it to work?”

Contrast is Tosca’s key to designing triggers that work well, using black lines and shapes, but also a contrast of dark and light colours.

With her merch game already seriously high, Tosca is aiming to carry on creating even more AR products to stock her store.

To see more of Tosca’s work, follow her on Instagram here.

Gavin Strange, Awesome Merchandise, Birmingham Design Festival
/ Featured / Interviews

Awesome Merchandise meets Gavin Strange

Gavin Strange is a director and designer by day, working for...
Chris Do, Birmingham Design Festival, Awesome Merchandiseh
/ Featured / Interviews / Tools & Tips

How to value your work

Struggling to price your work? Not sure how to decide it’s...
Paul Woods, Awesome Merchandise, Blog, How to do great work and not be an asshole
/ Featured / Interviews / Tools & Tips

How to do great work without being an asshole

Los Angeles designer, CCO of Edenspiekermann, stubborn basse...
Awesome Merchandise, AOI, CacheteJack
/ Featured / Interviews / Tools & Tips

How to make an Awesome portfolio

We speak to Georgia Luckman from the Association of Illustra...
Birmingham Design Festival, Awesome Merchandise
/ Featured / Interviews

3 design truths they don’t teach you at uni

Birmingham Design Festival is a celebration of the entire de...
/ Featured / Spotlight

Print Your Awesome – Flat stock options

Whether you need business cards for your brand, flyers for a...
Sticker, Stickers, Awesome Merchandise
/ Featured / Spotlight

Sticker Your Awesome

Stickers are one of our most popular products here at Awesom...
Birmingham Design Festival, Awesome Merchandise
/ Featured / News

Awesome Merchandise x Birmingham Design Festival

We’re super excited to announce that we’ll once again be...
Awesome Merchandise, t-shirt, screen printing, Austin
/ Awesome in Austin / Featured / Spotlight

Awesome t-shirt printing in Austin

Since officially launching our second site earlier this year...
Luke Hodson, Awesome Merchandise,
/ Featured / Interviews

The Origins of Awesome

Badges will always hold a special place in the heart of Awes...
Aaron Draplin, The Travelling Canvas
/ Featured

The Travelling Canvas – Aaron Draplin

For the final bag in The Travelling Canvas series, we wanted...
Gigs & Graphics, Awesome Merchandise
/ Featured

Awesome Merchandise x Gigs & Graphics

We’re big believers in the power of collaboration and love...
Northern Ink, Awesome Merchandise, Northern Craft, Leeds, Leeds Tattoo Expo
/ Featured

Northern Ink in pictures!

Thanks to everyone who came to see us at Northern Ink on Sat...
/ Featured / News

Northern Ink!

This Saturday (13/04/2019), we're partnering up with Northe...
/ Featured / Spotlight

Stitch your Awesome

Get ahead of the merch game with our awesome embroidery offe...