Staggering in scale, the giant Cheriyal paintings are true precursors of the concept of immersive storytelling. The unique factor of these paintings is their scale and the experience of being able to interact with them as objects. Viewing them as images on the web does not really do them justice. The challenge was to devise a technique to let the viewer enjoy the stories without compromising on the style of the paintings nor on the story-experience.
The best solution that balanced both experientiality and accessibility was AR, and specifically a mobile app that used markerless AR. The accessibility issue was taken care of by putting the application in a mobile phone, something which most people have easy access to. The need for having specific markers or printed products to access the painting was also taken away with the use of markerless AR. The app lets you choose a story to view and then asks you to point your phone at a large flat surface like a wall, a table, or the ground. It then projects the painting in front of you in AR at real scale. You can then walk up to the painting and view the details of it, or back up and experience the scale of the painting in relation to real world objects in your field of view.
The output was an app designed with motifs from the Cheriyal style of painting. This project explored the physicality of storytelling devices and formats and how they could best be translated in a digital context. This particular art form or format of painting greatly benefitted from being represented in AR, but what is more interesting is that this opens up the door for other formats to be accessed in the same way as well.