Net-Zero Visions: Interview with artist Aaron Allchin

Net-Zero Visions brings together communities across Devon with the creative industries and transition experts to produce positive ‘Visions’ of six locations as carbon net-zero in 2050. These locations will have their Vision realised by acclaimed professionals in different media, including animation, illustration, interactive games, and public murals.

During this exciting time as the Visions approach completion, the commissioned artists will be interviewed for a behind-the-scenes look at their creative process, collaboration with communities and next steps for their work.

An example of Aaron’s current work-in-progress. 

Tell me a bit about yourself!

I am Aaron Allchin, a 21-year-old 3D artist studying Game Arts and Design at the University Of Plymouth. I began 3D Modelling in 2018 but I would always look at the games I played as a child in depth and try and figure out how it worked from a technical view. My biggest inspirations come from the CGI used in films such as the Marvel series and Lord of the Rings. Nowadays, most of my art has been developed to be used in video games and mobile applications. 

How did you get involved with Net-Zero Visions?

I got involved in Net-Zero Vision through the university and my course lead, Joel Hodges. Since then I have worked with other members of the university, Net-Zero members, and freelancers. We also attended workshops with Net-Zero to get an idea of the public’s opinions, talk with artists within the community, and develop our ideas for the project around their thoughts. 

Please describe how you are creating the Visions.

This Project will combine both physical and digital art using AR technology with a mural depicting a net-neutral vision of the city. Our goal as the digital artists is to create a more interactive experience with the public that will engage and inform them via their phones. This will be done by adding and animating 3d models such as bees flying across the mural and possibly including links and pop-ups to learn more information on areas selected by the user. The mural we are working on will be found at the sustainability hub. 

What are the next steps for the Visions? Did you learn anything from this process, and what would you like people to take away from them?

So far, we have the software capable of tracking the mural and animating 2D and 3D art on top of it. This is the core of our project, however we want to include additional features that have not yet been implemented such as the aforementioned links and pop-ups. As this is the first time I have worked with AR technology I am still learning how to use these features correctly, but I am more confident in developing for mobile apps since taking on this project. When people use the AR filter, I want them to be able to take new information away with them and to learn what can be done in order to help with Net-Zero plans for the future.