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Blog: 3d

Powerful New Interactive 3D Features for Developers

Chris Cameron June 23, 2014

Interactive 3D models have played an important role in the evolution of Augmented Reality, and today we’re making 3D even more powerful on the Layar platform.

We’ve added loads of new features that make creating engaging and interactive 3D content possible with Layar. Users can view these experience both on the Layar App for iOS and Android. We’ve also updated the Layar for Glass app to be compatible with these new developer features. Check out the video above to get an overview of the new features and see examples of how 3D can transform print and other everyday items into amazing experiences.

Virtual Showroom
The first example in the video for a virtual showroom that lets readers experience a new car model in 3D. The car rolls into position with basic programmable animation and you can tap on the doors to open and close them with our new object anchors feature. You can even get right up close to take a look inside or use the color picker to see what it looks like in your favorite color, which is made possible by the added ability to change material properties without reloading the model.

Channel Surfing
Next is a fun retro television example that showcases a pair of new features: changeable material properties (like with the car example) and video textures. The TV model shows a video texture playing right on the screen, and by tapping on the buttons of the TV you can switch channels and watch something else! This example also shows how you can now use the Pop Out feature of the Layar App with 3D models. In Pop Out, you can double tap or pinch to zoom, drag to move to model around and rotate with two fingers to spin it around.

Interactive Book Cover
AR is a powerful tool for education, and this textbook cover is a perfect example of how 3D can enhance this even further. The cover comes alive with a spinning model of the solar system with independently animated planets that rotate and revolve at their own speeds. As with the showroom example above, you can zoom in close for a better look at the smaller planets. We used a combination of changeable material properties and object anchors to make this example possible.

Video in the Round
3D domes are a great way to immerse yourself in an exotic location, and now these panoramic images can become dynamic videos playing in all directions. In this music video example, you can be the director and spin around 360º to watch the musicians dance, sing and play their instruments all around you. This example uses our new video texture feature inside of a sphere with a special video made by enCircle.

These are just a few examples of the countless ways you can use 3D models to enhance Interactive Print experiences with Layar. We have also released a new add-on (still in beta) for Blender which makes creating and converting 3D models for Layar quick and easy.

To learn more about how you can create 3D examples such as these, head on over to our Developer Documentation for detailed info. Or contact the Layar Creative Studio and let us build them for you!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/545

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Amazing 3D “Singing Stamp” from Vlaams Radio Koor

Chris Cameron May 9, 2014

The Vlaams Radio Koor (Flemish Radio Choir) from Belgium has created a series of 3D postage stamp videos for a new line of stamps, and the results are incredible!

As you can see in the video above, scanning one of the stamps with the Layar App displays a video playing inside a 3D model of a concert stage. The experience is incredibly immersive, as you can move in and out and look around inside the stage as a video message plays as the backdrop.

The video and Interactive Print campaign were produced and created by Havas Worldwide, one of the world’s largest marketing agencies. To promote a concert series of music based on letters sent by Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann, Havas created the idea for a “singing stamp” that comes to life.

How did they achieve this effect? It’s built from two basic components of the Layar Creator: a 3D model (using the HOTSPOT button in the Creator) placed on top of a video button. The resulting effect of being inside the concert hall is terrific!

Read Havas’ press release about the “singing stamp” for more information, including how to order your own set of the stamps!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/540

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Carice van Houten and WWF Help the Earth with Layar

Chris Cameron April 12, 2012

Click here to read the Dutch press release!

Layar has teamed up with the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF, or WNF here in the Netherlands) to help promote their campaign raising awareness about the environment.

And there’s a special celebrity guest helping us out: Carice van Houten, a Dutch actress known for her role as Melisandre in the hit television series Game of Thrones.

Thanks to our friends at Boomerang, special postcards are being distributed throughout the Netherlands featuring the famous WWF panda bear logo. If you scan the cards with Layar, a 3D Earth appears!

WWF is asking you to have some fun with their card! Scan the postcard and take a screenshot of the globe in a unique or funny way. You can see Carice’s example to get you started! Submit the photo to WNF and you could win a healthy, sustainable dinner for 2!

Check out the video below featuring Carice for more info! Good luck!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/376

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Augmented Artists: Submit Your Artwork for (Un)seen Sculptures

Chris Cameron February 22, 2012

Almost a year ago we told you about (Un)seen Sculptures, and Australian augmented reality art exhibit at the Surry Hills Festival featuring 3D models created by 13 artists from across the globe. The digital exhibit returns again this year, presented by dLux MediaArts as part of Sydney Art Month, and is currently seeking submissions from artists.

If you’re not sure what a mobile 3D augmented reality art show is, (Un)seen Sculptures describes itself as “a sculpture walk composed entirely of virtual 3D works that have been ‘placed’ at specific geographic locations.” Using Layar, visitors to the exhibit can view the sculptures (and any accompanying media) with their smartphone.

To submit your 3D digital artwork, you’d better act fast, the deadline is this Saturday, February 25th. Essentially, anything that works on Layar should be accepted, but make sure to keep models below 5,000 polygons and, in general, keep any files to a low size to avoid slow load times.

Submissions should include the following:

  • Artist name.
  • Title of work.
  • Any additional subtitles to be displayed in Layar.
  • 200 dpi image of the artwork (for printed promotional purposes).
  • An artist statement of short description of the work.
  • Link to the artist’s website.
  • 3D files of the artwork.
  • Any accompanying media files.

Any submissions or questions should be sent to filmcement[at]gmail.com. For full descriptions of requirements and guidelines for submission, see this PDF. We’re looking forward to seeing what makes its way into the show this year!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/369

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Layar Player SDK: Now With 100% More Animation

Chris Cameron May 26, 2011

At the beginning of the year, we introduced a big step forward in mobile augmented reality development - the Layar Player. This easy-to-use SDK allows those with a basic understanding of iPhone development to add fully-functional Layar AR into their very own apps by simply copying and pasting some code. Now layers don’t need to live within the Layar app itself, but can exist as their own app specially tailored to a specific purpose and experience.



Since then we’ve continued to expand our platform and enhance the functionality of Layar, and so it’s time to bring some of these improvements to the Layar Player.



The release of Layar 5.0 in April introduced several new features that help make augmented reality more interactive and social. These improvements are important for augmented reality as a whole because it helps the technology become more user-friendly. Now, with our latest iteration of the Layar Player SDK, developers can incorporate new Layar 5.0 features, including animation, into their own apps.



We still receive questions about the new functionality of Layar 5.0, so we wanted to use this opportunity to take an in-depth look at how developers can best take advantage of the Layar platform.



To show how current layers are using these features, we will showcase these features in the context of how one in particular - the Conquar game layer - has utilized them.



Social Sharing



With Layar 5.0, users can now connect with their friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter. A few simple authentications and Layar users can begin sharing all kinds of Layar content with the world. Users can even connect their Layar account with Facebook and Twitter, allowing them to log in with these networks.



When browsing layers in the catalogue, users can quickly share a layer in their Twitter feed or on their Facebook wall. Users also have the option to simply email details of a layer to their contacts, or to copy a short-link to the layer for any other social use.



Inside of a layer, clicking on a spot or POI will allow users to share that point on their social networks. As with layers, a personalized tweet-style message can be added to the item when it is shared, allowing users to add their personal touch.



With Conquar - a massively multiplayer AR game of territorial control - users can “attack” spots belonging to enemy teams in order to challenge that zone’s control. As they do so, they can also share their actions with Facebook and Twitter, encouraging others to join the fight. Screenshots can also be grabbed from directly within the layer and shared just as easily.



For users, these sharing capabilities enhance the interactivity of layers by allowing them to display their exploits to the world. It also attracts others to begin using these layers, creating buzz and generating growth of usage and content of a particular layer.



For developers, social sharing makes it possible to harness the viral nature of the social web in promoting content online. By encouraging users to share layers and content, developers can quickly and easily get their name out to public and to people who might be interested in using their layers.



Developers themselves can also promote their own layers by using the sharing functionality built directly into Layar. It is also possible to grab the data being shared, like screenshots, and aggregate it on a third-party website, creating a portal for your layer’s users to save, comment, rate, and explore items they’ve shared.



Animation



Another key component of Layar 5.0 is the inclusion of animation. Previously, 3D and 2D objects within layers were relegated to a life of paralysis. They simply sat in their position in the real world, limiting their ability to catch your eye and encourage interaction.



Now, however, any object in layer can come alive with animation. When spots appear in your vision as you experience the world through augmented reality, they can now drop into the screen, or grow in size or spin around. It’s a small change, but it goes a long way for creating a smooth blend between the real and digital worlds.



Users can also trigger animations by interacting with objects on the screen. Icons and 3D models - which can already have their own inherent animation by default - can be triggered to perform a secondary animation (such as growing, moving, rotating, etc.) as well. Additional attributes can be programmed into animations, such as changing speeds or positions over time.



These animation features have been intelligently incorporated into the Conquar game layer. The game shows icons representing locations to be conquered, and these icons grow in size when you focus on one. It’s almost as if the enemy icon is bearing down on your location, prompting you to attack it! It is also far easier to determine which icon you are currently viewing in the bottom info bar. Upon clicking one of the icons, it will spin in a slow circle as you view its info.



Putting it all together…



We’ve put together a video that sums up all of the great features of Layar 5.0, including the implementation in the Conquar game layer. You can see that video embedded below.



Developers can use these new features to create engaging and interactive augmented reality experiences for users on the Layar platform, but if you’d rather host your own app, the updated Layar Player SDK lets you do just that.



For more information and to download the SDK, visit our Layar Player page.



Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/288

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