Redwall Abbey Interactive Pamphlet
My process in making a mixed reality experience
Note: I used images from multiple creators. This pamphlet up is for educational purposes and to expand my skills as a designer.
As I learn more about mixed reality, I find myself needing to be comfortable designing for print and adding AR elements to it, as this is something that could be quite promising in growing technology. For this project, I decided to make an augmented pamphlet on a childhood favorite of mine, Redwall by Brian Jacques. His book series is all about woodland creatures having adventures, and all of them revolve in some way or another, around Redwall Abbey. So I thought it would be fun to make a pamphlet introducing “visitors” to the Abbey, and learn more about it.
I mainly used Adobe Indesign to make the print version of the pamphlet, and ZapWorks to make the AR assets for this project. I also used Photoshop and Illustrator to help with Asset creation.
I wanted to make a sketched out plan for my pamphlet on paper, but before I did that, I needed to do some research into which assets would actually be available for me to use.
The goal was to find images about Redwall, maybe even artwork for the book itself, and other images that looked similar. I wanted the images to be drawn or painted as I thought that would help with the matching element. Because I wanted it to look like these images were actually drawn or painted onto the pamphlet, I brought in the images one at a time into Photoshop, and erased the edges of the pictures with a feathered eraser. It actually worked out fairly well I think.
I also needed to find digital assets that I could use for my four augmented features I wanted to add to the pamphlet. Since this would focus on using the Widget portion of ZapWorks to make the assets, I wanted to try different kinds of Augmented Experiences: video, audio, image, and slideshow. I will explain more what these assets were later.
Sketching a Plan
After making sure I had enough assets, and I was getting a feel for what the pamphlet could possibly look like, I sketched out my idea on paper, making sure to have my ideas organized.
The idea was to have the following information get across to visitors at Redwall Abbey: a brief history, places at the Abbey to see, creatures that could be seen there, and foods that could be found there, too. I also wanted to add a map to the pamphlet as an augmented digital asset, and I thought that would fit into this project. I put in relatively where images may go, and so it would match how many images I was actually able to find.
Pamphlet Creation on Indesign
After getting a plan down and some assets created, I went into making the pamphlet. I had to make sure I had a style guide in place so I could making things easier for myself.
I decided to stick with the Argons George Regular font, and the Bell MT Regular font. Normally for my projects I would choose san-serif fonts because a lot of what I make is to be seen digitally, but since the pamphlet would be read in print, I chose a serifed font for my main body font. This is because serifed fonts are easier to read in print.
I used the color picker from Illustrator to pull a couple of colors from one of the images I found. I didn’t end up using the orange, but I did use the red and the green in parts of the design.
Putting the Pamphlet Together
I found a image of parchment paper online, and used photoshop to fix some of the rips and get rid of the oil stains, and used it as my background. Using the columns tool, I made sure to evenly split two page pamphlet into three sections. My image files were organized in such a way that they won’t be moved after I imported them into Indesign, since moving file locations could break the image link inside the project, and cause issues.
I put in the images, and wrote about the Abbey from things I remembered reading the book series, and from things I had to look up. As I was working on this project, I had the Redwall Animated series on in the background so I could have some inspiration and information for the pamphlet. I highly recommend the animated series.
ZapWorks AR Asset Creation
I used the ZapWorks Widget creator to make the four AR assets I wanted in the pamphlet. I had an idea of what to add before the pamphlet creation, but wanted to have the pamphlet somewhat completed before working on the AR assets.
Image: Map of Redwall
I wanted a map of Redwall to be one of the AR assets, and I decided this before I found anything. I was worried I would have to do some research and create the map myself, but I luckily found this map on Inkarnate. This was exactly what I wanted for this project. Before I found this one, I found a sketched copy by someone else, and I was about to use it, but found this one instead which worked out better.
Video: The Lost Legends of Redwall - The Scout
I knew that finding a good video to match my theme would be an issue, but luckily Soma Games is currently working on a Redwall Video game, and has released cutscenes for The Scout on YouTube. While many of the videos were about game development, and about the story of The Scout itself, this particular cutscene I found demonstrated one of Redwall’s key features in the books: the story-telling and gathering aspect.
Audio: Martin the Warrior’s Sword History
I recorded this myself after doing some research on Martin the Warrior’s sword. I had some knowledge of it from reading the books, but I needed to read up on the history since my memory was a bit shaky. I used the quicktime player and the Blueball microphone to record my audio again, and added on the audio as the background audio in the ZapWorks widget. Doing this had me put on something else so something could be displayed, so I found a nice image of Martin the Warrior by Erin Marantette. I added this image because it depicted the sword itself the best from what the books had described. I was going to add another image of a sword, but it didn’t work out as well.
Slideshow: A Recipe for Scones
This was the asset that caused me the most trouble. This originally wasn’t going to be a slideshow, but when I put in the whole image of the recipe, ZapWork’s compression algorithms made all the text blurry. Instead of sharing the original recipe page, I decided to clip the image assets from the recipe page, use the same colors and fonts in the pamphlet as well as the parchment paper background, and make a series of recipe cards. I used Indesign to create these. It actually turned out very nice, and looked like old recipe cards, which was what I was going for, and best of all, the recipe could be read!
After creating all of these, and adding their zap codes (with the red color on them) I added music to each of them. I wouldn’t have done that if it wasn’t for the issue that there was built in background music that I could not get rid of. It did allow me to select some nice medieval music to them.
Here is the AR Pamphlet with all the ZapWorks codes if you’d like to take a look!
This was a fun project for me, and I liked that I was able to design it the way I did. The pamphlet to me looks a bit busy, but it’s hard adding information to a small amount of space. I did have issues with ZapWorks, but it was my first time using it in a project. I may want to look into doing 3D work for it in the future to help me with my augmented Christmas cards, as it has wider device support.
Thanks for Reading!