Google Creative Lab’s new AR experiment helps you learn how to draw

Are you trying to learn how to draw? If so, you’re probably used to visiting YouTube videos in an attempt to learn different techniques and styles, but doing so has its downside — like the fact that you constantly have to look from your page to your screen. Google’s Creative Lab, however, wants to fix that issue and launched a new experiment called “Drawalong AR.”

The experiment is essentially a way to show developers and YouTube creators how they can turn education art videos on YouTube into a kind of virtual tracing paper using augmented reality. Using the tech, you trace over the image you are trying to reproduce by looking at your page through your phone’s camera — with an overlay of the image over the top. It’s a pretty neat idea, and a great way to improve your drawing skills.

“For the millions of people who head to YouTube to learn drawing skills, it’s frustrating to glance between the screen and paper to match their drawing up to what’s happening on screen — a process that loses a lot in translation. To provide inspiration to developers, the video and blog tutorial explores how ARCore can overlay YouTube videos on a sketchpad,” Google’s Creative Lab said in a blog post.

To showcase the experiment, Google partnered with popular YouTube creator AmandaRachLee, who’s known on YouTube for her drawing and art tutorials. The mastermind behind the concept itself is Jane Friedhoff, who works with the Google Creative Lab. Friedhoff also wrote a Medium post detailing the creation of the experiment, noting difficulties in its creation like the fact that it required high-fidelity tracking.

Of course, it’s not a perfect way to learn to draw. You still have to hold your phone over the paper and try not to move too much or the image may turn out a little skewed.

Unfortunately, there is no real way to check out the experiment for yourself just yet, but if developers take advantage of this for their own ideas, then it may become common to experience YouTube educational tutorials in much more immersive ways in the future.

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