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Blog: animation

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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GIFs, Animations and More Come to the Layar Creator

Chris Cameron April 1, 2014

We’ve recently made an update to the Layar Creator that includes some fun and useful new features. Check out the video below to see what’s new! Read on below for more info.

GIFs – The Internet has fallen in love all over again with the animated GIF, and no matter how you choose to pronounce it, you can now use GIFs as buttons in the Layar Creator. It’s a really simple way to create a more engaging and visually rich experience, and can really help to make important items stand out. To do so, simply drag one of the default blue buttons onto your page, select “Custom image,” and then upload your GIF. Users will see the GIF animate when they scan your page, and they can tap on it to perform the action associated with the button. You can also use the “Show an image” button (now available as a basic button) to just display the GIF with no action tied to it.

Appearance Animations – Sometimes you want your buttons to make a grand entrance, rather than just appearing suddenly. With our new animations you can choose one of a few unique ways to bring motion to your buttons as they appear. They can spin, grow or pop into place – but don’t worry, they won’t repeat the motion over and over, it’s just a nice way for the buttons to appear on your page.

Add to Contacts – Our new “Add to Contacts” button (which uses the common vCard standard) is a perfect tool for allowing your audience to quickly and easily save contact details. While it can be used with any type of Interactive Print, it’s especially great for business cards! When you hand out your interactive card at your next networking event, your new contacts can scan your business card with Layar and add your contact info with just one tap.

Frequently Used Buttons – Do you use just a few buttons over and over in your campaigns? We’ve made it easier to access the buttons you most often use with this new section you’ll find in the right-side button pane. This is just another small way that we’re making it quicker and easier than ever to create Interactive Print.

Sign into the Layar Creator today to check out these new features!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/536

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StAR Wars: Watch the Rebel Alliance Battle the Galactic Empire in AR [VIDEO]

Adriane Goetz November 9, 2011

A few months ago we wrote about Spain’s Frikoño 2011 layer and the awesome 3D models of Star Wars spacecrafts therein.

Now developer David Contreras of Spanish technology group ESIDEA has upped his game, adding animation (and lasers!) to simulate battles between the aforementioned Star Wars spacecrafts.

Choose from nine different battle scenes, including the Millennium Falcon vs. a Star Destroyer, X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter and more. There’s even a reenactment of the Battle of Hoth, for all you AT-AT Walker fans.

Perhaps the best improvement in the new Frikoño 2.0 layer, however, is that you can view it from anywhere in the world. The layer text is in Spanish, but chances are most Star Wars fans will figure out what a “Halcón Milenario” is.

Read more »

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/356

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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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Share Your Augmented Reality Experience With the New Layar 5.0

Chris Cameron April 11, 2011

Back in February, we released a beta version of the next iteration of the Layar Reality Browser. Today, thanks to the feedback from the beta, we are very excited to announce that Layar 5.0 is now available (in full-fledged non-beta form) for both Android and iPhone.



So what do we have for you in this version? I’m glad you asked. Layar 5.0 now features the ability to share content with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. The next time you find a really cool layer, gain achievements or even spot a cool 3D model you want to take a screenshot of, you can quickly and easily share it with the world.



“This year we are continuing to look for more ways to bring augmented reality into people’s everyday lives,” said Layar CEO Raimo Van der Klein. “With today’s new version, we’re able to take a huge step closer towards that goal by giving users the chance to discover exciting new content and share cool layers and augmented screenshots with friends.”



As Raimo said, with Layar 5.0 also comes the ability for more interactivity within layers thanks to our animation capabilities. Layers are no longer limited to static content; now icons and 3D models can come alive with animation, adding a new layer of engagement to augmented reality.



Additionally, thanks to the great user feedback we’ve received, some tweaks to the user interface have been implemented into the client. We have made it easier than ever to save your favorite layers, and now we keep track of your most recently viewed layers in the “Recent” tab.



Finally, for our Symbian users, don’t worry! We haven’t forgotten about you. In time our Symbian client will be updated to include all of the same features found on the Android and iPhone clients.



So if you haven’t yet, be sure to update to latest version of Layar. For iPhone users, Layar only supports iOS 4.0 and higher, so if you have yet to update, you will be prompted to do so.



For those that are new, to download Layar 5.0 on your mobile device, simply navigate to either the App Store or Android Market and search for Layar!



Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/260

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