Steelers Terrible Towel Experience

Heinz Field, home to the Pittsburgh Steelers, boasts the legendary Terrible Towel wall; a historic collection of iconic yellow towels marking important occasions and milestones in the team’s decades-long story. Our team was approached to bring the wall to life with Augmented Reality. We created a mobile AR feature that allows people to scan the sign placed by the towel wall and scroll through 3D simulations of the various towels.

My primary contribution apart from the UI design was to create a lightweight, portable cloth simulation that could be accurate while being performance-friendly. When Unity’s cloth simulation proved to be too performance intensive for the feature, I set up the cloth simulation in Maya and exported the FBX in the form of a spline based animation rather than the cloth simulation, thus making it light and easy to pull into Unity.

In the process of creating these assets, I wrote several scripts to enhance my workflow in Maya, including tools to create and constrain joints to each vertex of a cloth object to build the spline animation.

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