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Photo by @risokichi
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AR Blending: First Experience!

Today AR Blending (Blended Reality/Occlusion) has been rolled out to a broader range of selected devices, including newer iPhone models. This is a huge update for AR photographers who want their photos to be even more immersive than before. In this article, we will provide you with some tips and tricks, and feature some of the work already done by the AR community!

To have access to the feature, and if your device is capable of running AR Blending at the moment, you need to follow the update provided to you under Settings > Niantic AR. Once the update is done, a new toggle is added in the upper right corner. This toggle provides you with the option to turn AR Blending either on or off

AR Blending toggle
New AR Blending toggle in the upper right corner

When trying out Reality Blending for the first time, you will be welcomed by a rather glitchy experience. However, do not let this hold you back, as some photos might turn out really well. For the moment being, it is rather a trial-and-error where you have to discover what works well or not.

When starting out, there are some tips and tricks you want to take into consideration to get the best result possible. First, if you want to shoot in landscape mode, be sure to lock your screen rotation in your phone settings. If not, you will get an error message “Reality Blending is not supported in landscape mode.” Second, because AR Blending is still rather glitchy, it is advisable to press down the shutter button at all times and release it when the Pokémon stops glitching, and the blending looks realistic. And lastly, how brighter the location, the better the outcome!

AR Blending
Lock your screen rotation in phone settings to be able to shoot in landscape while using AR Blending.

AR Blending glitch experiences

AR Blending is surely not on point, yet, which leads to some interesting experiences and rather funny AR photographs. The images below are shot by the community and show how AR Blending can turn out when glitches arise (for the better or, the worse).

When glitches in AR Blending make sense

gengar ar glitch
Photo by @pokemonphotosjp on Twitter

At first, I found it very difficult to use that feature. Since the Pokemon wasn’t shown well and only the face was shown, I thought that I might be able to take a picture of the moment of passing through a ghost type wall. While shooting Gengar, place Gengar in the same position as the wall (to take a picture of Gengar jumping out of the wall). I used that function to take a picture when I wanted my face to come out. I think it is for beginners, so please try it.

(Pokemonphotosjp)

As you can see, the current glitches actually might provide you with some creative outcomes. The Gengar shot by @pokemonphotosjp now really looks like it’s emerging from the wall like a ghost!

Floating Pikachu face
Photo by @PokmonG02218540 on Twitter

While certain glitches do not always turn out realistic, they sure make up for some funny content!

AR Blending perfectly executed

When AR Blending works out well, you can really get some immersive shots, including the Pokémon “as if it was there.” Beneath, you can find some photographs already shot by the AR community, showing the possibilities of this new feature!

Meditite chilling around
“Taking a picture requires some patience with AR blending, but if you take it at the right moment, it can turn out awesome!” (pkmnsnaps)

Your best buddy by your side
“One step away to get your favorite Pokémon with you for real… but you have to be patient! Advice: bright light, bright light…! the results are much better!” (Lpogtokyo)

Leafeon greatly positioned behind a bench
The frank impression of AR blending seems to be still developing. I thought that a straight door would hide it neatly, and part of Pokemon would come out in front. The trick is to shoot a little away. If it is too close, the appearance of Pokemon becomes unstable. Also, there is always a moment when the Pokemon can be hidden well. Determine it well. If you can use them well, this technique will be a wonderful work of art. -Risokichi

No problem taking your puppy with you with AR Blending!
“My Lilipup came into my bag, wanting to go for a walk” (SakuPokemonGo)


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So far, AR Blending is very tricky, but when the technique is mastered, great AR photographs can be made. We hope Niantic builds further upon this technology so that objects will be recognized more easily, and fewer glitches occur. Although we do believe this will force the AR community to be more patient and creative than ever before!

Tag your AR Blending photography on Twitter with #G2GAR, and we’ll retweet some of our favorites!

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Ash Ketzchup

Pokémon GO photographer traveling the world to meet new people!

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