Kanye West, Flume, and Travis Scott - AUGMENTED REALITY ALBUM COVERS
At B3D Interactive, we are inspired by the way in which augmented reality allows audiences to engage and interact with creative content in new and exciting ways.
Our senior product designer, Ryan Hafner, took some of our favorite musical artists and reimagined their iconic album covers as augmented reality experiences.
We sat down and interviewed him about the process behind his work:
What inspired you to make the album covers?
We are really big fans of Travis Scott and his new album, Astroworld. So when we were visiting his website one day and noticed a 3D version of the Astroworld head from the album cover, it kind of just clicked that we should do that in AR. We published it as a snapchat lens and posted a link to it on reddit (r/travisscott) and there was an immediate response. It became our most-viewed lens and opened up this whole idea of AR album covers as a series.
It quickly turned into more of a passion project for me. For anyone who loves music, album covers become this visual representation of the emotional connection they have to an artist’s music. I would listen to each album as I worked on it. Adding my own details and creating a new experience around each album made it feel like I was rediscovering the music - appreciating small details I hadn’t noticed even through countless playthroughs while re-experiencing the things that made me love each album in the first place.
What kind of programs did you use?
There are essentially 3 steps to creating AR content (4 if including sound):
3D Modeling + Animation: I do most of my modeling in Rhino and then import into Blender to animate
Texturing and Graphics: Substance Painter is for more detailed texturing and then I use Photoshop/Illustrator to create graphics and clean up simpler textures
Scripting and Publishing: Lens Studio (Snapchat), SparkAR (Facebook/Instagram)
What was the most difficult part of the filter/project?
Because album covers are so recognizable and meaningful to people (including myself), the margin of error I would tolerate was very small. I wanted to respect the original artist and capture every detail that they so thoughtfully created. Anything less than that would have felt disrespectful and while the audience for each cover probably would have been happy with getting it close, I think they really appreciated the attention to detail.
For the Flume - Skin cover, I did multiple iterations to try to get the curve of the flower, the colors, and even the position of each individual petal to be as exact as possible.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to make something similar?
For any creative content, you should choose subject matter that matters to you. The more passionate you are about what you’re creating, the more effort you’ll be willing to put in to make it great. Add layers and easter eggs. Let your audience unwrap your creation and discover things they weren’t expecting.
One of our cofounders is a really big fan of this artist named KAWS. KAWS just so happened to do the album art for Kanye’s 808’s & Heartbreak. So when I started working on that lens, we knew it would be really fun if we added a small easter egg for other KAWS fans.
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B3D Interactive is a spatial computing studio specializing in augmented reality. CREATE YOUR OWN REALITY.
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