Be the Iron Man You Wish To See In The World


Background

My name is Naia McNatt. I am a junior and founding student at Washington Leadership Academy. I'm also an intern at Capitol Interactive which is how I got the opportunity to build the face mask. Some of my favorite hobbies are playing video games and drawing. My entire life has revolved around tech since the first day my uncle let me play his original Xbox. I was involved in everything geeky from console wars to Samsung vs. Apple. However, I never really got into computers until I was introduced to AR by my supervisor at Capitol Interactive, Joseph Cathey.


How I Did It

I started out by going to Sketchfab and picking out an Iron Man helmet and imported it into Spark AR. I then used the position manipulator to move the mask over my face in the camera. After that I placed it inside the face tracker so it would follow the users face. I then decided to add Iron Man’s signature weapon -- his repulsors. I went to Sketchfab and searched for a simple 3D circle. I then imported it into Spark AR and placed it inside a hand tracker so it would follow the user’s hand. To add more interactivity to the project I decided to make the user’s blinking control whether or not the eyes in the Iron Mask glow.


Iron Man’s repulsor is a laser weapon that is shot out of the circular white light in the middle of that hand (left of image)

Iron Man’s repulsor is a laser weapon that is shot out of the circular white light in the middle of that hand (left of image)


Struggles & Work Arounds

When trying to save and import my project I ran into a problem of the file size being more than 20 megabytes -- the max file size allowed by the software. The first thing I tried was removing the previously mentioned repulsor that was set track the users hand. When this didn’t work I realized that a lot of the textures and nodes on the mask weren’t needed. Finally, I choose another Iron Man Mask with a lot less nodes, vertices and geometric shapes in turn, helped lower the overall file size of my project making it easier to export. After switching to a whole new model due to file size issues. I now had a new problem: Finding a way to implement the ability to control the glow of the eyes with blinking back in. To do so, I added in canvases to hold my rectangles and made the rectangles the same color as the eye nodes from the previous model. I then minimized the size of the rectangle to fit inside the mask so it would be more visually appealing. To reinstall the blinking controls I used the patch editor to connect the eye tracking to whether or not the canvases and their corresponding rectangles were visible to the user. I then minimized the size of the rectangle to fit inside the mask so it would be more visually appealing.


An image of the Patch Editor used to make the blinking controls

An image of the Patch Editor used to make the blinking controls


Why I Chose to Make This Idea in AR

AR was a useful tool when it came to making the mask because I didn’t want the mask to completely wrap around your head. I also didn’t want it to be a full application because it’s not something that you need a whole world or storyline to enjoy . By creating a social AR experience it allows users to take photos with the face mask without having to download an application.