Augmented reality (AR) displays virtual objects embedded in a real environment.
Making certain that virtual objects display correctly is key for a great client presentation. The best way to do that with YARD is to establish good tracking before beginning a design or presentation.
Establishing good tracking at the start makes it easy to design at the correct scale and elevation while also making sure that the project being designed will stay in place and drift will be minimized.
Create Peripheral Vision
Peripheral vision, or side vision, is what is seen on the side by the eye when looking straight ahead. It is what allows us to see that objects are 3D. Because an iPad has only one “eye” (the camera), it has no peripheral vision.
To help the iPad understand the area in which you’ll be designing, simply walk around the space with the iPad in hand. Letting the iPad camera see the space from different angles helps create peripheral vision.
Set Elevation and Scale
The initial tracking process sets the elevation and scale so that the project will appear correctly and the presentation will flow smoothly.
The process begins with boxes that appear on the ground. Initially, these boxes will be red and yellow. The goal is to turn the boxes green; once they do, the iPad knows the world is in fact 3D.
If red and yellow boxes do not instantly appear, they will begin to appear on-screen as you move the iPad around and let the camera take in the surroundings.
First, move the iPad in a half circle around yourself. Then, return the iPad to center and look down at your feet.
To turn the red and yellow boxes green, begin to walk around the area where you intend to place your design. As you walk with the camera, the boxes will begin to turn green. Once four of the five sides have been viewed by the iPad at a relatively close distance, the camera will be able to pick up the details.
The green boxes serve as reference points to let us know what areas of the project have been covered by the camera.
NOTE: As you walk around, the iPad maps features of the world, including the cracks in the sidewalk, the leaves and angles of bushes, and the trunks of trees. These are great marker points that help keep objects locked in place at the proper scale throughout the design and presentation process.
Once good tracking is established, it’s easy to start drawing a design or inserting items from the YARD library to show your client.
Drawing a Design:
Objects are drawn in 2D with the line, arc and pencil tools and instantly turn into 3D:
Line: The Line Tool is for creating straight segments.
Arc: The Arc Tool is for creating curved segments in your shapes. This tool operates in two steps: first a parent circle is sketched, then a portion of the circle is traced to create an arc.
Pencil: The Pencil tool allows you to create freeform shapes as if drawing with a pencil.
Inserting Library Items:
Just go to the library, click on the three lines at the upper right, and select the item you’d like to add to your design.
What is Drift?
Virtual objects can “drift” when they’re not properly aligned with their real-world surroundings. Drift causes the object to move around in the scene.
A little bit of drift is okay; the client won’t notice it. A lot of drift makes for a bad presentation, and likely means that the area didn’t track sufficiently or that the area is too featureless for the iPad to fully understand.
NOTE: If there are no features for the iPad to distinguish, the tracking won’t be very good.
Go to Configuration and click Reset Tracking to start the tracking process again.
To help the camera see and understand the world, start by moving the iPad in a half circle. Then aim the camera down at your feet, raise it back up, and direct it towards the red and yellow boxes that will appear on screen. Keep moving the iPad around until the boxes turn green in the area where you plan to design or present.
This will help create a very successful client presentation.
Augmented Reality is 80% science and 20% art. How do you master the art of AR?
- Make sure the lighting is sufficient for the camera,
- Set the elevation and scale by tracking before designing, and
- View the design you create from the best angles.
NOTE: Augmented reality does not put 3D objects behind foreground objects.
TIP: When you’re walking around, make sure AR objects are always seen at an angle that keeps the technology alive. Never allow a foreground object to appear in front of your design. If a tree on the property ends up in front of your design, for example, it will cut through your design, and the art or illusion of AR will be lost.