Can we teach theory and practise simultaneously to turn photography learning into a fun and enjoyable experience?
Magic Hour is an iPad game designed to teach the basics of photography through varied missions allowing for a gradual learning curve.
It relies on a physically accurate digital reproduction of a high-end camera that uses real-word parameters (focal length, aperture, shutter speed, exposure) to generate virtual photographs.
In parallel, a simple AI is used both to give missions to the learner-turned-wildlife-photographer and to judge the results, providing each time detailed feedback and improvements tips. A virtual tutor is available as well to help the user navigate the camera and provide the theoretical explanations on each parameter.
Besides being able to learn with a (virtual) professional camera and having a personal tutor, an interesting benefit of learning photography this way is that each parameter can be isolated. For instance when the user first learns about aperture, the camera interface is only allowing for modification of the aperture, and the aperture only affects depth of field. This avoids confusion linked to interconnection effects (in photography virtually every parameter has an effect on other parameters) and allows for gradual learning.
Another benefit and a strong motivation when we started working on the project, is that we can provide at all time interesting subjects (seagulls, crabs, air balloons etc..) and the perfect light (hence the name) for the users to practise and train their eye.
Press (VR version):
- Engadget, "'Magic Hour' is photography 101 in VR"
- Digital Trends, "Magic Hour lets you practice your photography skills in virtual reality"
- PetaPixel, "Magic Hour is a New VR Photography Simulator"