State of Matterless #17
Hello there and TGIF! As the Matterless team nears its one-year anniversary, I wanted to jump in with you on a technical dive into the behind-the-scenes processes that make digital things real.
Goals For The Next Phase
As we push forward with our first Matterless Studios companion app, it’s really important to focus on a set of goals. This way, the pace of our work stays manageable without getting lost in an endless creep of tasks. Here’s what we’re driving hard at for subsequent updates:
- Making your pet actively react and communicate with you
- Perfecting a seamless transition between the AR world and the physical world
- Crafting a distinct sound palette that blends the aesthetics of physical and digital spaces
We’ve put together this mockup video to visualize what we’re working towards. Have a watch and be sure to stay for the end to hear our first Matterless sound signature! Oh, and I suggest you wear headphones while watching so you can appreciate the nuances we put into our sound work. Just to be clear, this is a visualization of what we’re working to achieve in the near future and does not represent the state of our app right now!
Matterless Studios - A Vision Of The Future | Facebook
Check out this mockup of what we're working to achieve: highly reactive animal companions, seamless transitioning…
As our team grows, our processes must evolve to ensure smooth communication and a coherent vision. Our new art director Kevin has finished setting up documentation and work pipeline and can now turn his attention to the overall artistic direction.
This involves working with our creative director Charlie to create a mood board with an appropriate visual style and formulate a creative approach, and working with our 3D artist Merlin to improve the shader and procedural texture generator while implementing a concrete demo.
The goal of these tasks is to develop a semi-procedural workflow that gives us a unified artistic vision that is expressed with consistent quality through high-quality rendering and automated procedures. In short, it lets our workflow be like water while being reliably high-quality.
The Sound of Shiba
The animal companion in our current closed beta build is a loyal and adorable Shiba Inu, and in our efforts to make our furry friend more lifelike, our sound engineer Dusko has been recording and producing a library of sounds using actual Shibas! Fun fact: Shibas are extremely excitable and not exactly prone to sitting still for extended periods of time, resulting in shorter and more frequent recording sessions.
Dusko works with high-definition microphones and an acoustically treated sound studio. He captured a variety of barks, whines, panting, and other doggo sounds that can be classified into modular mood categories. From there, all kinds of sound layering and digital effects can be applied to the samples to give them a distinctly Matterless flavor. The recorded Shiba samples are subtly layered with the sounds of a German shepherd. A Shiba’s recorded voice can sometimes sound like a fox, so layering an undeniably canine sound like that of a German shepherd can give it a more dog-like quality. Dusko has also applied a synthetic effect at the end of recorded sounds to make our Shiba a true Matterless creature, and not just a straight 1:1 port of its meatspace counterpart. Re-listen tothe video above to hear it!!
The Magic of Shared AR
Driving all our hard work is our vision of elevating the public’s understanding of digital reality. We think deeply about the underlying essence of augmented reality, human perception, and connectedness in order to create genre-defining products that can radically transform what’s possible in digital space. Our CCO Damir did an interview with FutureFi podcast last week. He chatted about Matterless Studios’ pursuit of magic through digital companionships and toys, and the first ever social AR with precise positioning, and instantly shareable experiences. He also expanded on how Matterless is the world’s first studio utilizing monocular 3D hand reconstruction to allow even baseline AR-enabled devices to reach out into the world and interact with digital objects. Head over here to listen to the full podcast on your platform of choice: https://pods.to/futurefi
I hope you enjoyed the peek behind the curtain into how Matterless magic works. Enjoy your weekend and we’ll see you soon!
— Kerwin, community manager, Matterless Studios