AR Storytelling

VR brings the audience to the news, AR brings the news to the audience.

When I was at Los Angeles Times as a creative technologist intern, our team brainstormed an idea to partner with our food team to bring the best burgers to our readers using AR. We believed that it was not only a novel way to present news but also a great opportunity to democratize the technology.

To achieve our vision, I teamed up with Nani Sara Walker and we went to more than twenty local burger restaurants to work on photogrammetry. We have developed a system/workflow which allows us to capture hundreds of photos in 10 minutes.  

During the project, I also partnered with talented 3D artists outside the Times. By working with them, I got to improve my 3D modeling skills and mastered the PBR workflow. By the end of the project, I became very confident of my photogrammetry and 3D modeling skills, from capturing photos to produce the final low-poly but realistic PBR based models, size of which are less than 5MB, including all materials files.  

Additionally, I also learned how to convert traditional .obj files to other new formates, including .usdz, .glb and .fbx, for all news platforms. Whatever you are on iOS or Android, mobile or desktop, or even reading the news on print newspaper, we had created a way to adapt your needs. 


After the AR burger project got published, we have received tremendous positive feedback on social media. Also, the project converted 12 viewers to be the Times' subscribers in the first 12 hours. And the average time people spend on the content was longer than other text stories in general. 

Check our project on different platforms: 

                                                     Apple News: The best burgers in Los Angeles

                                                     Website: L.A.'s 21 Essential Burgers

                                                     Snapcodes on print newspaper: L.A.'s 21 Essential Burgers

Two models created independently by Alex

Scan the Snapcodes using your Snapchat App to view burgers


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© 2019 by Zijian (Alex) Li