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Instagram users snap dragon flying over iconic north-east castle in new augmented reality filter – Evening Express

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A mythical beast has been spotted circling the turrets above Aberdeenshire’s Craigievar Castle.

Instagram users will spot a peculiar animal flying about the grounds of the 1576 Scottish Baronial tower house as the castle becomes Scotland’s biggest ever augmented reality (AR) filter on social media.

An eye-popping 3D model of Aberdeenshire’s Craigievar Castle has been launched on Instagram by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) in a partnership with supermarket franchise Lidl.

The filter superimposes an incredibly lifelike projection of the fairy-tale castle onto smartphones and tablets via the face filter on Lidl’s Instagram.

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The castle can be seen from every angle by moving the devise around with a nod given to the mythical beasts carved on to the castle’s figurative cannons, as a dragon circles the turrets and flaps its wings.

The AR filter was conceived during the coronavirus pandemic to allow visitors to experience the Aberdeenshire castle, which has remained closed this year, in an innovative and unique way.

Typically the exquisite example of Scottish Baronial architecture receives 22,000 visitors annually – believed as one of the inspirations for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle – with visitors flocking to see the enchanting rose-hued turrets.

Craigievar Castle pictured through augmented reality.

This is the first time an augmented reality filter has been created on this scale in Scotland. The entire exterior of the 86ft high building was meticulously scanned with a fleet of drones. Hundreds of images were combined to build the model, which were then used to craft the 3D Instagram filter.

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Archaeologist for NTS, Dr Daniel Rhodes said: “It is brilliant to be able to share Craigievar with people in this way, especially just now.

“It is a lot of fun to have a pink castle popping up in your living room and being able to fly around it but what you’re seeing on your phone is a conservation-grade scan of the property.

“That is valuable to us in a number of ways. It gives us an incredibly detailed documentation of the property that we can refer back to in future years and you can really see how the castle was constructed over the centuries by the different habitants.

Instagram users enjoying the augmented reality of Craigievar Castle.

“It also shows off the property in a way that has never been done before in Scotland. Using an augmented reality model within Instagram is hugely fun and it’s a way of bringing conservation and our country’s history to people in a way that wouldn’t have been possible until a few years ago.”

Ross Millar, Regional Director for Lidl GB, said: “We are delighted to be launching this innovative project with National Trust for Scotland, and hope that people have loads of fun exploring this magical Scottish landmark in a truly unusual way.”

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