ABOUT MURALIZE:

Muralize is a mixed reality tool for muralists. By holographically placing an image on a real-world surface, artists are able to trace a mural onto a wall with ease. Basic image manipulation such as flip/flop and scale are also available to the artist via intuitive hand movements. This allows the artist to have clear control over the way the outline is positioned on the wall before painting.

Q&A WITH SALLY AND TERESA

How did you come up with the idea for the project?

Sally was preparing to paint a mural in the Magnopus office where we work when it occurred to her that HoloLens could be used to scale-up the image instead of using a traditional solution such as a grid or a projector.

Describe the production process.

We created artwork in PhotoShop, imported it to Maya as a texture, and exported a textured cube to Unity. We then turned it into a prefab which could be spawned and positioned with gestures. Using this prototype with HoloLens, Sally was able to sketch the beginnings of a mural. After presenting this concept to Magnopus as a novelty, “Muralize” was greenlit as a full-fledged app for in-house development.

What was your biggest hurdle in creating the project and how did you overcome it?

Since the intended users are muralists (and not necessarily developers), we needed Muralize to feel like a familiar tool right out of the box. Therefore, the biggest hurdle was creating an intuitive UI/UX which would require little or no mixed reality experience to navigate. The UI achieved this by making nods to more familiar technology experiences, such as Instagram and Adobe Photoshop. The UX was made intuitive by reducing the amount of gestures required to operate the software. The application also incorporates a myriad of voice commands, following Microsoft’s “If you can read it, you can say it” paradigm.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to start building for mixed reality?

Check out Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality dev center – it’s an excellent introduction to mixed reality! There are many tutorials and resources you can use to easily get started.

What excites you most about the future of mixed reality?

Sally is most excited to see the impact mixed reality will have on artistic self-expression. Teresa is most excited for the positive impacts mixed reality will have on society, such as advancements in medical care, communication, and education.

Microsoft provided mentorship and guidance to each creator as part of this initiative.