ARKit at Siggraph and WWDC: Wingnut AR (video)

Apple’s ARKit was recently launched at WWDC with Alasdair Coull from Peter Jackson’s augmented reality studio Wingnut AR demoing live at the show. We visited Wingnut AR in New Zealand and spoke to Alaister and got a private demo.

Wingnut AR’s Alasdair Coull demonstrated live their tabletop experience made with one of the first uses of Epic’s UE4 new forward renderer for AR/VR, rendering at 60fps.

ARKit on the Ipad in New Zealand at Wingnut AR’s offices.

The ARKit is a framework for building AR applications and games. iOS 11 introduced ARKit, as a new framework to easily create augmented reality experiences for iPhone and iPad. By blending digital objects and information with the environment, the ARKit uses Visual Inertial Odometry (VIO) to accurately track the world around it. VIO fuses camera sensor data with CoreMotion data and lets creators lock their digital content onto some kind of object such as a tabletop, and then track the iPad or iPhone camera as someone moves the device around.

With ARKit, an iPhone or an iPad can analyze a space presented by the camera and find horizontal planes in the room. ARKit can detect horizontal planes like tables and floors, and can track and place objects on smaller feature points as well. ARKit also makes use of the camera sensor to estimate the total amount of light available in a scene and applies the correct amount of lighting to virtual objects. ARKit runs on the Apple A9 and A10 processors.

Wingnut AR uses a range of software including Maya


Alasdair Coull will be interviewed as part of our MEETMIKE SIGGRAPH VR Village experience at 10.30 am on Wednesday. For all the interviews and details click here.

Wingnut AR was formed by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, the team is hiring at SIGGRAPH. Wingnut AR are currently about 12 strong, but they are seeking to expand.  Much of the current team comprised of ex-Weta Digital and Park Road Post staff. At SIGGRAPH they are looking to find 3D Artists, 3d-generalist/ Animators,  FX Artists, Pipeline Developers/Technical Directors and Software Developers. You can contact them at  via the Weta Digital booth.

At SIGGRAPH there is also now a new course by Apple called :


This course is being run by Geoff Stahl, Director of Software, Technology Development Group at Apple. It will give an introduction to Apple’s ARKit. The course will provide an overview of development paradigms and best practices and the selected computer vision techniques that are used withinApple’s ARKit.

It is an introductory level course that only requires a basic understanding 3D concepts. It is intended for  developers and 3D artists that want to build and learn about handheld AR techniques for themselves.