In these books the reader discovers an additional layer, made of animation, which interferes with the printed images of the book. A lot of AR work deals with what we can call the "wow effect" - impressive 3D models coming out of the book, which can be compared with the beginning of stereoscopic movies for me. On the contrary, the most interesting point of this book is the subtlety of the treatment (layout and animations) and the coherence within the universe of these books. Animations blend in smoothly with the pictures, which takes out the "pasted arti- fact" effect. In this work the pictures are not just a background or a terrain, you really feel that they contain something, even that they are hiding things. These books are composed of texts and pictures, and the ani- mations reveal hidden elements in the pictures, bringing a layer of immersion. This is a subtle experience, the animations offer another vision of the pictures, also when they are gone, you look at the pictures differently, thinking of what they plausibly "contain". You don't close it the same way you would a normal book.
Alain Bellet, Head of Media & Interaction Design Unit / ECAL / University of art and design Lausanne
The technical part of the project is also of vital importance. The apparent simplicity of the system relaxes us from the usual "high-tech" side of Magic Books that restricts them to "sci-ﬁsh" universes. No element is actually recognized by the reader as a "machine readable markup", which is a great evolution. Mar- kers are by deﬁnition thought for the camera and not for the reader' eyes, and one of the main strengths of the "Haunted Book" is the fact that it can also be read without a camera and AR. The printed images do not lose their interest when the animation appears, they are not just a hook for a virtual artifact - on the contrary, they are properly "augmented".
Julien Pilet / computer vision lab / EPFL