Treadwater AR

AR Mobile App for Treadwater Graphic Novel

  • Mobile
  • Unity
  • AR

AR mobile app that makes it possible to interact with characters on pages of the Treadwater hard copies in Augmented Reality.

January 2017 – March 2017

Work done

  • AR mobile app for iOS and Android
  • Action scenarios for all AR characters
  • Unique experience that allows to immerse into the storyline


Darkrose Studios is an independent publishing company and digital studio that specializes in making and producing original Sci-Fi and fantasy works. Their main objective is to create content that really impacts and engages.


Treadwater began as an indie best-selling graphic novel and has since become a full-fledged franchise with a proven track record and rapidly growing following. The novel about a courageous team trying their best to maintain world peace has spread across platforms, digital and paper copies, interconnected through a single storyline. Treadwater has been featured internationally at world’s largest comic book conventions and made numerous appearances on top media platforms like WhoSay and Twitch.

PixelPlex team was excited to help expand the immersive capabilities of the comic books and apply our AR expertise. That same year PixelPlex engaged in a bigger Treadwater-related project and worked on Treadwater video game design and development.


Treadwater AR app, built and designed by PixelPlex, brings highly interactive mobile experience and blurs the boundaries between physical and digital environments. This AR solution works by supplementing images in the hard copy of the graphic novel with virtual 3D models appearing to coexist in the same space. The app gives a spectacular chance to interact with characters of the Treadwater saga right on the comic book pages using a mobile phone.

Key Functionality & User Flow

The Home screen of the app comes with the options for reading how-tos, watching original videos and proceeding to AR features. Guidelines help to easily locate all AR-enabled pages in the book and comment on where to click to unlock the AR animation.

We made the app UI intuitive and clear, so users can immerse themselves into the world of Treadwater in just two simple steps:

  • Click on the Treadwater Hexagon button to switch over to the in-app AR camera;
  • Aim the camera over the page and bring characters to life right in front of your eyes.

All characters have their individual unique scenario pre-sets that change according to particular user actions: tilting, lifting, shaking, or otherwise manipulating the smartphone, which in turn makes characters responsive and life-like.

By visualizing the print and pairing it with the augmented reality, the app establishes a bridge between traditional and digital reading, boosts readers’ engagement and loyalty.

No additional headsets required. Just a smartphone and your imagination.


  • Several action scenarios for each AR character
  • Ability to take photos/videos via in-app camera
  • Smooth, quick and thumb-friendly UI


Unity, Vuforia, ARKit, ARCode


  • Unity Developer
  • 3D Artist
  • UI/UX Designer
  • QA Engineer
  • Project Manager


3 months

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