Expression of Joy

Augmented Reality - art and drive


As lead designer on the BMW z4 campaign – I designed the interface for an application that allowed users to drive a 3D Z4 around their desktop, and create art as they go. Replicating the TVC where BMW got performance artist Robin Rhode to create a huge piece of artwork using the Z4 as a paintbrush – by attaching remote controlled paint dispensers to each wheel.
To compliment the application, we also created a strong online advertising package, a demo, destination page, and a viral.

So the idea was to give the user the ability to not be able to see the car in AR, but to actually drive it, And not only that – customise the car, and control the hardtop roof, but also paint tracks as they drive… just like what they would have seen on the TVC. A user could then take pictures of their “creation” or even record a video of their art, as they create it across their desktop. If they liked what they see they could then share it on facebook and youtube.

This was very very adventurous for an Augmented Reality piece at this time. Augmented reality was still new and prior to this most AR apps just let you view the car in 3D and that was pretty much it.

My Involvement

Lead designer, interaction direction for the AR application, animation, animation direction, page design, interface design, story boarding, widget design, rich media banner builds.

Tristian Pride and Laura Farmer came up with the initial idea for this campaign, with Creative Director Matt Firth steering the ship

Campaign Destinations

Go to 3D Z4 hub page
Go to BMW Expression of joy Youtube page

The Augmented Reality Application Interface Design

I was responsible for the interface design of this downloadable augmented reality application. A version was made native for both mac and windows.
To build this we worked with 3D AR specialists, Inition. As well as the interface design, I regularly liaised with the team at Inition to make sure the car handling and overall experience and interaction felt right. As this was a desktop application, rather than a website there was a big learning curve and a lot of communication/collaboration needed regarding how to create assets for build, while maintaining good performance, and a good looking digital product.

As we were using quite new or unusual technology we also made a demo to help explain it, and then we made a viral for it, featuring the car driving around various places in London. Kooch Chung was fundamental in the editing of these.



Online Advertising

Also a set of rich media banners where made to help push traffic to both the Z4 home page and the 3D Z4 hub page. This was the first time we had been able to get hold of genuine 3D assets of a car, so Al Dunford made a set of bespoke animations of the car driving round creating paint tracks. These were then put into the rich media banners, to act as the transition as the banner expands on rollover.

Awards and Recognition


Gold Award, Interactive Advertising – Augmented Reality. One show Interactive 2010

Game & Application Winner, Webby Awards 2010
Shortlist to the last 7 in the Interactive Tools category at the Cannes Cyber Lions 2009
Number 1 in a top 10 of AR apps
June 2009 creative showcase first prize
This has also been heavily featured in the press, in the usual industry magazines including Campaign, NMA, and Revolution. As well as general press like the Guardian.