When Malachi Bazan first heard of Augmented Reality technology a few years ago, he thought of zombies. That is, he imagined how this virtual 3D technology might be used—one could walk around on city streets with the camera of your smartphone or tablet pointed ahead, and zombies would emerge from a stop sign or a fire hydrant or a door handle. Zap!
Then Malachi started working for Dawn Publications. And his fertile imagination went in a little different direction. Why not use Augmented Reality to enable kids to look at Dawn’s non-fiction nature picture books and see the animals “pop-up” and move? Why not take the classic paper pop-up product to a higher level?
And that’s just what he did, with help from digital artist Chad Wallace. Chad was digitally illustrating a new book for Dawn, The Mouse and the Meadow. In the book, a curious young mouse ventures forth into a meadow for the first time and encounters a variety of animals. Some were friendly, like the turtle and the firefly, but others, like the snake and the owl, would have him for lunch. What a marvelous cast of characters for a virtual 3D pop-up!
Chad did some extra drawing to accommodate the action, and Malachi worked on behind-the-scenes programming. The result? Just take a look at the response of children seeing it for the first time, at dawnpub.com/apps/3dpopup. “I just had to try and see if this would work,” Mal said with his usual modesty.