Timo Helgert was challenged by Global technology brand HONOR to reimagine an iconic landmark in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, using augmented reality AR.
Timo’s experience is a futuristic approach, playing on Hamburg’s status as one of the greenest cities in the world and creatively imagining what the iconic Wasserschloss would look if it was transformed by nature, including flora, fauna and fantastical creatures.
What inspired you to become a visual artist?
I started my online art journey at the age of 14, and my first venture in AR was in 2016 when I started to look for new ways to enhance the way I tell important stories. Using new digital techniques, augmented reality, and 3D design, my aim is to create escapist art that instils hope and peace in a busy world.
From 2D to 3D to AR, has it been hard to transition with the technology?
Each space offers something unique. For example: When you start working in 2D, you are working on a flat canvas and you can use this to your advantage. However, in 3D, a full new dimension opens up and if you were used to techniques that worked in 2D space, for example by enhancing footage with visual effects overlays, this won’t work so easily in 3D anymore, since now you have to deal with the artwork from each perspective.
My mentor told me to fixate on this new dimension and ask myself “What idea can I realize that would be impossible in 2D? How can I use this new medium to the fullest?” And when I started working with AR, I always kept his quote in the back of my mind. With AR the viewer has a lot of control over your art. You cannot “direct” them anymore, by preselecting the perspective, composition, lighting, viewing distance, etc. So, you have to design your artwork in such a way that it will look good to anyone, be it another artist who understands how professional lighting and composition works or someone who just pulls out a smartphone to have a fun experience.
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