Shapeshifter Monarch App


Record-breaking New Zealand tours, scene-setting appearances at festivals like Glastonbury, The Big Chill, Big Day Out and Parklife, sold-out performances across Europe, worlds-colliding collaborations with Symphony Orchestras, multiple music awards, four EPs and five LPs, three with platinum sales, and an army of fans who return to relive the experience time and time again: the towering achievements of NZ Shapeshifter, the future-shocked soul outfit who hail from Christchurch New Zealand, were built by a living, breathing band of musicians, with all the form-changing sonic possibilities live instrumentation offers.



We were approached by Shapeshifter to create a music video for their latest single “Monarch”. Shapeshifter have always positioned themselves on the cutting edge of technology when it comes to putting their work into the digital medium. They needed a music video, but wanted something that would work beyond the normal broadcasting media (like television) and something that would engage with a more social and online orientated audience.


Our process began with siphoning visual inspiration from the song and looking into alternative ways of telling the story that we were unravelling. Our creative path led us to develop an augmented reality experience via an iOS app (with the expertise of the team at Roam Creative), something that would be visually intriguing for an already “mobile-device-dependant-tech-savvy” viewer (it’s a challenge these days to create something that genuinely surprises and delights).


The animation comes to life when the user picks up on the tracking image, unveiling a world of strange surreal plants and creatures which respond to touch and proximity. The scene slowly evolves over time, growing and changing as environmental effects take place. At any stage, the user can draw two vertical lines on the screen to pause the experience and take a photo. Photos can then be shared with friends and Shapeshifter.


The end result is something that Shapeshifter can use to engage with their audiences in arguably a more interesting way and also opens the potential for a two-way dialogue with their fans – unlike traditional music videos which are simply a one-way projection. The fact that this app becomes a worldwide product makes the Apple App Store a potential new market for the band, showcasing their music to viewers who might not be familiar with their music.



To get started, simply download this app and get a copy of the marker. The marker is the image needed to trigger the experience. Find the marker in the menu section of the app, where you can email it, or visit Shapeshifter.

Open the app, and point your device at the marker that is on a screen or on a print out. For more information follow the instructions in the “help” section of the app. We would love to hear your feedback so please let us know what you think.


Requirements ~ This app works on the following devices: iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad2, iPad3 running iOS 4.3 and above.


Credits ~ Shapeshifter – music, NZ on Air – support, Watermark – animation + artwork + support, David Way – art direction, Tim Lenton – animation direction, Tess Monash – animation, Reagan Qiu – unity development, Roam Creative – IOS development, BE Creative – UI / UX design.


Awards ~ 2012 DINZ Best Awards – Interactive Bronze.