This one was probably the most fun I have had doing one of these challenges so far. @StudyGameDesign suggested we attempt making something in AR in an hour. Both me and a fellow student were up to the challenge but a bit hesitant on starting, we weren’t exactly sure what to do with it so hidden object was suggested giving us somewhere to start.
I began by looking around on the internet for how to get a webcam displaying in Unity. I did find a solution after around 10-20m but it didn’t help on where to take it from there. The solution I found printed what the camera sees onto a plane. I decided to put a simple model I had from another project in front of the camera just to see how it looked. It worked, but it wasn’t exactly AR:
So, I decided to explore some other options, I eventually stumbled on Vuforia and a tutorial on how to use it. Vuforia is a tool that makes AR very easy to implement and comes with everything necessary between its website and a Unity package or two. It is free to use for development but you do have to purchase a licence if you wish to use it commercially, it is a little expensive but if I ever wanted to make an AR game I’d consider using it again.
I had to first register an account and download all the files I needed as well as set up a project & licence key in the develop section. It was all quite straight forward but it did eat up some time registering and setting everything up. I then reached a point where back on the website I had to create a database (images for the camera to detect), I found a dragon tribal from google and used this image to get things going. This was quite a simple process and there’s a few things it can detect other than an image (which I think is quite interesting):
After I simply downloaded a package containing the images I uploaded and brought it into unity. I started with a blank scene and had to drag in a few prefabs (camera, image tile, lights and models for the tiles), after that it was ready to go. The time was pretty much up at this point and I didn’t manage to get a game, it did not include the hidden object theme. However, I did get a working AR prototype bringing a model into the real world via image detection, here’s what it looked like:
I don’t have the best quality webcam but I’m very happy with the results. I had no previous knowledge working with AR and managed to get something working in an hour, this is what I love about these challenges. I feel I could even easily create a game prototype given more time, below are the sources I used that aided me in this project:
https://developer.vuforia.com/ – Vuforia
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfxqfdtxyVA – AR Unity Tutorial (no audio but it still shows you what you need to see)