A Page in an AR Book

The Legend: AR Storytelling with a 3D Printed Twist

The Legend is an interactive book that uses augmented reality to place the reader in the driver’s seat of the story. In addition to this novel storytelling technique, the physical copies of the book feature a 3D printed cover, furthering the uniqueness of this project. Created by Realic, Inc., this project is designed to allow users to create a 3D scan of their own face for an immersive AR experience utilizing an iOS / Android app as well as a physical book.

AR Technology

Augmented reality as a technology has had a bit of a rocky start, with a lack of interoperability between platforms, file formats, and other issues slowing widespread adoption. For instance, my primary use of AR is using Google Lens to create real-time translations of other languages. The Legend goes a step further by allowing 3D models to interact with the environment as well as the user, a compelling use of AR technology.

Books 3D Printed Covers
3D Printed Covers
Image: Realic, Inc.
Legen AR Book - High quality illustrations
High-quality illustrations
Image: Realic, Inc.

Augmented Reality Expirience
MP4: Realic, Inc.

The Legend – Storytelling via Augmented Reality

The Legend is an interactive book that uses an iOS / Android app to enable augmented reality that allows readers to bring themselves into the story.

Legend Myth Book on Mobile Device
Scan the Face Option
Image: Realic, Inc.

This style of augmented reality is not new (the Dali museum in St. Petersburg, Florida uses similar technology both in the museum as well as in their merchandise), but Legend goes one step further by allowing the readers to scan their faces and become the main character. While reading the book, users are prompted to take advantage of the AR features to interact with characters and props, furthering the story.

3D Printed / Polymer Clay Book Cover

Of note to 3D printing enthusiasts, the Legend hardcover book is advertised as being 100% handmade, and this includes the 3D cover. The cover is described as “3D Printed” and also being made with “Polymer Clay”. Based on the photos provided, it appears that the gold cover has been made on an FDM 3D printer, with visible striations and layer lines underneath a coat of gold paint. The black cover has a raised relief of Medusa, and appears to also be 3D printed and applied to the cover. This is an interesting application of 3D printing technology and I believe this is the first 3D printed book cover I’ve seen.

3D Printed Covers
MP4: Realic, Inc.

Book of Asmodeus

This is not the first foray into AR storytelling for Realic, Inc. An earlier Kickstarter campaign of theirs with a very similar premise (an interactive horror story called The Book of Asmodeus featuring AR models and a 126 page physical book with 3D printed cover) was successfully completed with a total of $28,030 raised. The comments from backers are largely positive, with some concerns being raised about app operability in future versions of iOS and Android.

The Book of Asmodeus by Realic, Inc.
The Book of Asmodeus
Image: Realic, Inc.

How to Buy the Legend AR Book

The Legend is currently active and fully funded on Kickstarter, with over $39,000 successfully raised against a $5,000 goal as of the writing of this article. Backing tiers include a digital-only version for $29, an early-bird special of $59 for a physical book featuring a gold 3D printed cover as well as the accompanying iOS / Android apps, and a few higher-tier options.

Read More: VR Museums

Throughout the years we have seen various applications of virtual reality in many areas of our lives, and in culture, museums were pioneering adoption of this technology in the form of VR museums. In this article, we will look at a few success stories, understand the volume of work involved and have a little glimpse into the future.

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