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Making the most of ARKit with some RamJam experiments

Making the most of ARKit with some RamJam experiments

This week it has been all about ARKit. Keen to see what this new bit of tech from Apple can do and fuelled by skittles and haribo, we decided to have a bit of fun with it.

May we introduce to you, VR Jackson. Modelled on Tom, VR Jackson has been drinking beer and eating birthday cake as well as reading Viz on the toilet all in AR.

He’s really getting around our new, temporary home at The Skiff and making quite the name for himself.

These are early stages of what can be done with ARKit, but key for us was being able to test the tracking stability, introduce animation within the scenes as well as giving them that unmistakable RamJam finesse.

Apple ARKit is changing the way that we see Augmented Reality

Apple ARKit is changing the way that we see Augmented Reality

With the introduction of Apple ARKit, the days of the iPhone being used for such simple pleasures as browsing the internet, texting and making calls will seem archaic.

Apple’s ARKit allows you to create AR experiences for the iPhone and iPad within your existing environment. The key element of ARKit is that using Visual Inertial Odometry (VIO) ARKit tracks and maps the area around you. Combining this information with camera sensor data and CoreMotion data it detects horizontal planes like tables, chairs and the floor.

It is this tech that’s allowing developers to create amazing experiences within the real world and all without the need for a headset. Whether you want to see a robot dancing in your living room, Minecraft come to life in your kitchen or see what would happen if you added some of Apple’s CoreLocation tech into the mix, we are pretty excited.

Here are a few of our favourites so far.

Augmented Reality Minecraft

More about the project here

Real-time Mixed Reality ARKit/Unity rig driven by HTC Vive

Nothing normal about this

ARKit + CoreLocation = Andrew Hart’s Google Maps

More about Andrew here

Beating IKEA to it

Nice work

ARKit Inter-dimensional Portal

Made by

Measuring your kitchen

Developed by

Painting in ARKit

Making watercolours redundant

Future of ordering food

We are hungry

Watch this space for the RamJam offering…

App development diary – animation techniques

App development diary – animation techniques

This week we’re focusing on the animation in our app – inspiration, techniques and challenges.

We’re working towards completing a prototype of our app and have been concentrating on animation experiments with one of our characters, a toilet monster.

The idea is that each monster is made from objects you’d find in a house and associated with the room they’re in. We wanted to make sure the movement of the monsters’ was as fluid as possible to really get their character across so we tried out different animation software packages including Spriter, Puppet 2D, Smooth Moves and Spine. We finally settled with Spine –  it allows us to make the monster’s movements fluid with plenty of dynamic control and integrates well  withUnity 3D.

Animation techniques
One of the best things about Spine are the mesh warps – they allow us to distort polygon meshes of the characters’ elements making the animation feel more fluid while keeping the file size to a minimum. The skeletal animation and IK system allows the bones to move in a very natural way, the character can pose, bend and jump around with a lot of freedom.


Without the need to redraw sprite frames it makes the animation file size in the app a lot lighter.

Apart from the characters, we’re also animating other elements in each scene. In here we have water running in the sink (animated with Spine) and also liquids spill on the floor (a PNG sequence animated with After Effects).

Don’t miss our next post…’Developing with Unity 3D’

App development diary – concept & inspiration

App development diary – concept & inspiration

This summer we revealed details about the app we’ve been working on. If you missed our post then you can still read it here.

We’ll be posting regular updates on the app here so you get an idea of how the it’s developing – sharing challenges, inspiration and helpful tips. In this post we’re going to go through the concept behind our app and what’s inspiring us right now.

The app’s Idea
Having a good idea for an app is important, but not the only thing that matters. In fact, the idea for the app has evolved a lot from our original concept. Initially we wanted to create an educational app for kids based around dinosaurs (teaching them basic information about them). We soon realised that there are loads of apps covering very similar topics,  LOADS, especially in the under 6 year old market.

If you’re thinking of developing an app do insightful research; research as much as you can! The kids app market is pretty saturated and you want to make sure you get your concept nailed.

After many brainstorming sessions, we decided we wanted the app to feature dinosaurs but push the focus more towards fun with an underlying educational aspect. So we changed our concept quite drastically – out went trying to teach kids about dinosaurs and history, in came dinosaur kid characters that inhabit a world familiar to kids; the family home. The dinosaur kids mission would be  to rid the house of the destructive ‘Mess Monstas’ that have possessed various objects in each room. The underlying soft learning aspect means they tidy up the house and learn how to recycle on the way 🙂

Creative Inspiration
Creatively we were inspired by Adventure Time (love their animation style), the Toca Boca apps (for clean simple playfulness and great production) and the app Nighty Night (for the simplicity of the concept).

As for the dinosaurs, they have evolved (pardon the pun) quite a lot since our early sketches…

Join the video revolution – 7 reasons why you should use more video content

Join the video revolution – 7 reasons why you should use more video content

Online communication is changing the way we see the world and video is leading an exciting revolution in web content. Content online is important as it explains what you do – it helps people understand your products and services to add value to your business. Good content allows people to find you, drives traffic to your website, maximises your exposure and makes you stand out.

More and more companies are developing creative ways to engage with their audiences and video is rapidly increasing as a powerful communication tool. YouTube currently receives more than 1 billion unique users each month and over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month. That’s a huge amount of traffic.

On top of that, online video users are expected to double to 1.5 billion and online video traffic will be 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017 (Cisco). At RamJam we believe this video revolution is just the beginning and have compiled 7 reasons why your company should incorporate video content as part of your overall marketing strategy.

1 – Videos are simply creative and fun!
Everybody loves watching videos. It’s entertaining and a fun thing to do. Videos allow you to be very creative, personalise your message and shape the way you want people to perceive your brand. Why not make it fun?

2- Videos are multidimensional
Videos are a powerful communication tool that allow you to combine text, moving images and sound in one go. You can capture someone’s attention very quickly and engage with them at different levels to generate content that your customers will want to share.

3- They can convey emotions
Videos can convey your mood, tone and emotions through animation, live action, text and music. The possibilities are limitless! They allow you to deliver your message to your audience in a compelling way develop a long lasting impression in your audience’s mind, and extend the time people spend on your website.


 4 – Videos support multiple platforms
Videos can be hosted on multiple platforms, mainly YouTube and Vimeo. But they can also be added to your company’s website, blog, emails, social media channels, apps, banners or newsletters. You can watch videos on your computer, your laptop, phone or tablet – which makes them easily shareable, highly viral as well as increasing the traffic that your website receives.

5 – They help boost your SEO
YouTube is currently the second-largest search engine after Google. It receives more than 4 billion views per day. This means that video is easily searchable, and any videos you have on your site will help you rank higher in Google search results – making it easier for people to find you.

6 – They allow instant interaction and feedback
Videos are easily shareable through social media, allowing you to comment, recommend, rate and interact with them. This is a very powerful tool as it allows viewers the chance to give instant feedback and spread the word about you.

This also means that videos are trackable, so demonstrate key metrics and analytics about how your brand is doing out there. Having access to this information will help you understand your audience’s engagement and behaviour.

7- Long-lasting ROI
According to eMarketer, 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide consider video to have the best ROI out of any content type. Digital video lives forever, and it’s easily accessible at any time.

So, are you going to join the video revolution? Is your web content as amazing as it can be? You can make an explainer video, a teaser video, an animated promo video, a short or long film – the possibilities are endless. Need some inspiration? Check out our digital portfolio and if you need ideas, simply get in touch!