A Trip to a Different Reality
In this week’s Insider’s Look, we chatted with Twinkle, Donna, and Poelene of The Hand Creative about the exciting work that they do, and their experience collaborating with The Mind Museum and Mind S-Cool in the ‘What is Nature? Everything is!’ augmented reality book.
How will you describe your work and how would you explain the nature of your work like AR, VR, and Mixed Reality, to a 10-year old kid?
Twinkle: I actually have a 9-year old niece and when she asks me what we do, I just tell her, “Have you seen a digital object and do you want to interact with it? If you want to interact with it, it’s something we can do for you.”
Donna: It’s a toy that transports you into a different world.
Poelene: We make dreams come true. Our job is to make your favorite superhero or to make your favorite animal, either a unicorn or a dinosaur, appear in front of you using virtual reality.
What made you pursue a career in AR, VR, and Mixed Reality?
Twinkle: My partner and I went to Singapore and one of the things we did there is to visit museums, most of them science museums. We were very amazed with their technologies there. They have very engaging tools for the kids to play around, at the same time they use digital tools very well that it’s very simple, beautifully made, at the same time, it's educational. It’s very fun if you’re a kid and I imagined, what if we bring it here in the Philippines?
Donna: When I entered into The Hand Creative, they really brought art into life. It’s not something that you just watch. It’s something you can interact with. It’s something that you can touch, you can play with. It’s not only just a game, it actually serves a purpose.
Poelene: Honestly, I really didn’t plan to be part of this industry. But, working in this industry doesn’t feel like working. It feels like having fun while working. It’s art na nabubuhay.
How does science and art come together in your works?
Twinkle: I usually have three things. One, it should be entertaining. The second one for me is it should be educational. And then the third one is it should be engaging. The science part is the technology and the art part is how to make it very beautiful and elegant at the same time. Still, delivering the message that we would like to deliver to the target market.
Donna: I feel like people might view art and science like they’re two separate things but, scientists, for me, are creative and creatives can be scientists. The art part might be the vision or the concept, but the science is how it makes things happen. Other people can’t consume what is in your head if we don’t have science, right? So, science really makes things possible.
Poelene: I think science and art help us, our team, to execute any technology by giving us ideas. Science brings ideas for new possibilities.
How did the pandemic affect your job and the industry that you work in?
Twinkle: Many of our applications best exist to have physical spaces with them. It’s best experienced that way because you can see it physically, you can experience it. Many of our projects got cancelled, some were delayed, pushed back. Some were eventually cancelled. We were able to introduce different applications that our clients can use. One of the technologies we’re pushing is Augmented Reality. Another thing we’re also doing during the pandemic is we help out clients navigate through the digital space. For my job role, I think it didn’t really change much because as managing director, I usually go around different departments. What really helped us to stay afloat in this pandemic is our team is very flexible so we were able to adapt.
Donna: We had the advantage to pivot a bit easier during the pandemic, and really lean hard towards that technology aspect of our company. We started exploring more AR apps. Before, I was just doing the graphics but now, I’m forced to think more innovatively, creatively so that we can offer something new to the clients and improve their current brand experiences.
Poelene: The pandemic still affected our job since one of our purposes is to develop software and applications for promotional events. We were able to produce a platform for virtual events so that we can still help our clients with their projects or requirements even though events were cancelled last year and still this year.
How was it working on the ‘What is Nature? Everything is!’ AR book? How was the experience?
Twinkle: I like that it’s more of collaboration working with you guys. It’s not just a client telling us what they want. You guys were open to our suggestions so everybody was able to come up with something very beautiful. That really pushed our creativity and our technology. We’ve been doing a lot of AR applications but this one with The Mind Museum was really different. We usually do marketing, advertising but this was more educational.
Donna: For the process, I loved that we were able to branch out and explore more the 3D realm. For this project in particular, I was able to do the Aedi mascot. That was really really fun. It was really fun, in the sense that in the spirit of wanting it to be the best it can be, we were really putting out all the ideas that we could. And that mindset that it’s really for the users, is something that I really liked. For everyone to have that same goal, in just trying to make this as entertaining as possible, and educational as well for the kids, was really good.
Poelene: For me, as the middle-man for The Mind Museum and The Hand Creative, it was really challenging, but it was fun and it was perfect. I would also like to say that this project helped me to grow as a better project manager. It was all worth it.
What is the best part about working with an organization like us that is geared towards science and art?
Twinkle: It’s fun because what we’re doing is, we’re not selling. We’re trying to teach kids in a very creative, beautiful, science-y way. I’m glad that BAFI is very open to hearing our ideas on how we can push the technology.
Donna: As a person that loves to learn, of course you want to teach, right? So, being able to use art to make science available to other people is a very interesting process for me. And so, I really enjoy working with organizations that handle both because as a person, that’s really who I am. Being to share that with other people who are just as excited, is a unique experience, really, that you don’t often get to do.
Poelene: Another best thing is that I was able to learn that you can mix science and art with technology and make it informative, make it fun, make it interactive.
The Hand Creative offers unique and engaging digital technologies for any brand’s needs. Through Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Branded Games for Web, Kinect, Mobile, and other technologies; The Hand Creative delivers unique immersive and interactive brand experiences for events, mobile, and the web.
Amidst the pandemic, The Hand Creative continues to innovate event experiences with TwoZero Live - A Virtual and Hybrid Events Platform for conferences, product launches, corporate events, expos, tradeshows and more!
Special thanks to Lee Lusañez, Special Projects Manager, who provided the photos and other information in this article.
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