Elli Maanpää

Animated Painter

Stockmann Christmas Window 2018 // Designing Augmented Reality - Elli Maanpää 2019

Designing Augmented Reality


Lately I’ve been designing Augmented Reality (AR) and it’s a kind of magic.

During three months at Finnish Augmented Reality firm Arilyn last Autumn I was part of creating AR for example Stockmann’s Christmas Window. Arilyn is one of the pioneers of Augmented Reality in Finland.

AR is as Google Dictionary puts it: “a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.” One of the most famous AR creations have been the game Pokemon Go – developed by Niantic. In the game youngsters ran around their neighbourhood to catch Pokemons with their phones.

Designing Augmented Reality - Elli Maanpää 2019

Stockmann Christmas Window 2018 // Designing Augmented Reality – Elli Maanpää 2019


My main focus at Arilyn was to master the art of targets. Target means the image that triggers the content it’s been attached to. Simply put: When you scan the image with the Arilyn App (it’s free) you open a door to video/animation/game on your phone or tablet. Since I’ve been a freelance illustrator for ten years I thought designing targets would be easy breezy. Put it’s not as simple as designing a pretty image. Target has to have enough cutting contrasts to be able to read well as a target. That means ongoing testing.

The biggest project I worked on in Arilyn was the Stockmann Christmas Adventure. I’m a Christmas enthusiast. So it was kind of a dream come true for me to create content for Stockmann’s Christmas window. The adventure started from the window and continued throughout the department store. I designed seven elf door targets to open with the Arilyn App. Inside them you could follow animated adventures of a flying squirrel Manteli (the name means Almond in English) and collect nuts to receive a small gift. Since video tells more than thousand words: here is a video made by Arilyn showcasing the Christmas Adventure 2018:

The adventure was in all of the Stockmann department stores in Helsinki, Turku, Tampere, Riga and Tallinn. Besides illustrating the targets I animated couple of the squirrel animations inside the rooms.

At the moment I’m continuing my journey with Augmented Reality. I’m creating my very own art project that combines acrylic paintings to drawn 2D animation. I’m so excited. More about it later. Inspire and be inspired.