Blocker App – Augmented Reality Scene Blocking on your iPhone

January 16th, 2018
Blocker App – Augmented Reality Scene Blocking on your iPhone

Indie Devoloper AfteNow has developed a very interesting app for iOS 11 called Blocker, which enables real-time augmented reality blocking for staged shoots. Welcome to the brave new world of mobile phones doing everything!

blocker

The blocky guy is not really there.. or is he?

Imagine this: you’re scouting a location for an upcoming shoot and want to make sure that everything will go smoothly once cast and crew arrive. Well, just grab your iPhone and block the scene with virtual characters and props, cameras and lenses, right there on location. That’s exactly what Blocker for iOS is capable of.

Blocker for iOS

Just to get it out of the way: this app is not available for Android, and you’ll need a reasonably current iPhone or iPad. The key is the AR Kit introduced with iOS 11, allowing iDevices to handle augmented reality and providing APIs (Application Programming Interface) for third-party developers.

Blocker is basically a camera app with a twist. It acts as a director’s viewfinder, but the real magic is that it allows you to place virtual objects into the live camera image. Watch the video below to get the idea:

The first version of Blocker came out in summer 2017, and right now we’re at version 1.3. A lot of detail improvements have been implemented, such as an added button for deleting models instead of swiping. The unit of measurement can now be changed between imperial and metric. There’s also an extended character and furniture pack available.

Excuse me mister, can I help you?

The app itself is free but there are several in-app purchases which unlock the full potential of Blocker:

  • Complete Camera Pack $29.99
  • Extended Character Pack $9.99
  • Furniture Pack $4.99

Features of Blocker

Beside the obvious (and super cool) AR features of Blocker, you can also use it as a directors viewfinder. Also, you can calculate the path of the sun on any given day on the location you’re at with the help of a virtual sun.

As you can see you’re able to simulate any position of the sun along its daily path, and the augmented 3D models in your shot will cast shadows accordingly. Very neat!

When you’re finished blocking your virtual scene, you can capture stills of it. These can carry lots of useful information regarding camera model, focal length, camera height and so on.

The Future is Now

I don’t know if apps like Blocker will replace a proper director’s viewfinder or dedicated apps for calculating the path of the sun. Also, specialized apps like Shot Designer will still have their raison d’ être. But this is certainly a little app that can do it all, so let’s see where this leads us! I’m sure we’re only scratching the surface of what’s possible with AR these days!

links:  iTunes Store

Would you use this app for blocking a scene or is it too fiddly to work on such a tiny screen? Let us now what you think in the comments below!

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Funky Punky Monkey JunkJones PaulJesse Vander DoesOudom Rith Recent comment authors
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Shane Miesse
Shane Miesse
GuestJanuary 16th, 2018

Scott Barnes ok thats kinda cool

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Funky Punky Monkey Junk
MemberJanuary 23rd, 2018

Who’s that?

Tom Barnes
Tom Barnes
GuestJanuary 16th, 2018

Just saw this on black mirror

Mo Kim
Mo Kim
GuestJanuary 16th, 2018

Nice tool

 Jones Paul
Jones Paul
MemberJanuary 17th, 2018

very, very cool. this will seriously help my day to day shoot planning.
but i cant make it work on my iphone 6 plus running 11.2.2.
i only get a grey screen within the app- it doesn’t work through the camera. the app also never asked to use the camera too.

paul

 Oudom Rith
Oudom Rith
MemberJanuary 17th, 2018

Same problem here T_T

 Jesse Vander Does
Jesse Vander Does
MemberJanuary 18th, 2018

Developers of Blocker here. Unfortunately Blocker requires an iPhone 6s or better or iPad 2017. I must have botched something on submission to the store, cause it shouldn’t allow you to download it unless you meet those requirements. I will fix this on the next update. Sorry for the confusion.

 Jones Paul
Jones Paul
MemberJanuary 18th, 2018

Hi, thanks for the reply. I have also put the software onto my one year old ipad pro 12.9, and it will show an video image for about 10seconds, then the video freezes. So its working a little bit more…. not quite yet.
I think the ipad pro should be fast enough? the model is ML0N2X/A running 11.2.2.

I hope I can get this going as it is a very good idea. the amount of times I need to get an idea across and I end up drawing a bad drawing in photoshop over the recce shots!

cheers paul

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Funky Punky Monkey Junk
MemberJanuary 23rd, 2018

I just searched the app store for “Blocker” and it doesn’t come up. I scrolled down for many, many screens.

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