Blocker is a Revolutionary AR Application for Filmmakers

Filmmakers rejoice! Augmented Reality just made your job a whole lot easier.

Much has been made of the storytelling capacities of VR and AR, but what about using them as tools to aid other storytelling media?

The recent release of iOS 11 has ushered in a slate of new AR applications into the mainstream, and while many are just for escapism and fun, others have been designed to enhance our lives and work with the unprecedented functionality. Blocker sets its sights on cinema, letting creatives worldwide optimize the filmmaking process by harnessing the power of mixed reality for conception, composition, and collaboration.

“Our goal is to pull storyboarding and shot blocking into the real world, so that it’s intuitive and expressive,” said Jesse Vander Does, the Director of Technology at AfterNow, the company behind the application, in a statement.

If AfterNow sounds familiar to you, it’s probably from the the line-around-the-building Mixed Reality Easter Egg Hunt the company put on at VRLA.

Of course, this tool provides viewfinder and storyboarding features through the camera, but the functionality of Blocker extend beyond basic recording of the world around you. Creators can augment their scenes with 3D models that allow them to actually see what the blocking of a given scene might look like—down to a surprising degree of detail.

As you can see in the image above, the app includes presets for cameras (400, to be precise) to let creators replicate the end result as closely as possible. This is an especially useful tool for directors wanting to block out their scenes without involving crew-members who don’t necessarily need to be there otherwise.

What’s more, the app includes a physical model of the sun to let creators simulate shadows and color—providing invaluable help in grasping what the basic lighting needs of a scene will be during production.

Once the scene has been blocked and lit, creators can snap stills.

These stills can be sequenced into storyboards for export to any existing workflow—including all the important information in each, such as camera and lens type.

Given the app’s robust toolset, we’re just wondering how long it will take before creators start composing full movies in the app!

Blocker is now available for download on the Apple App Store for iPhone 6S and newer running iOS 11.

About the Scout

Jesse Damiani

Jesse Damiani is Editor-at-Large of VRScout and Deputy Director of Emerging Technology at Southern New Hampshire University. He's also Series Editor for Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan University Press) and the author of @endless$pectator: The Screens Suite #loliloquy (BlazeVOX, 2017). Other writing can be found on Adweek, Billboard, Forbes, Quartz, and The Verge.

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