First Review for Built on Bones!

So, I spent this week doing a lot of things. One of my favorites was freaking about my photoshopped proximity to lifetime hero author Neil ...

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Augmented Reality for All: Make-your-own in 30 minutes

Well, I thought I would expand a bit on my AR post, mostly because people seem a lot more interested in awesome hovering 3d images than in the metric qualification of surface expressions of ameloblast disruption (yeah... I know, go figure, right?). So here's an easy, totally free, step by step guide to making your own awesome bit of archaeology float around:


You'll need:


A webcam.


Google Sketchup. This is a fantastic little offering from google which makes it ridiculously easy to create accurate 3d models. You can create any shape you like, though I find recreating structures is the easiest place to start (die, CAD, die). There's a startup guide here, but you can get fairly complicated if you'd like. You can also import stuff in; using freeware like Blender you can easily convert 3d objects produced in other formats into something Google can read.


For this example, I made a simple box, which I then painted with pictures of my (internet) face:



Cool, now I have an object. Now I need a nice, off-the-shelf bit of kit to make my object appear in a digital video stream. This is where AR Media comes in. This is a pretty self-explanatory bit of kit, especially the free version--if you were to really want to invest in some WYSIWYG software for making these AR pop-ups, then I imagine the paid for version isn't a bad start. I'm in favour of having a bit more control, but for the purposes of making your own AR, for free, in about 30 minutes, I say all glory to the ARMedia Google Sketchup Plugin!

Go ahead and install the plugin. I'll wait. You'll also need to print out their standard AR marker. you can't change the marker in the free version, but, again... it's free.

Right. So, it's now all very simple point and click: open up your 3d object in Sketchup. Get your print out of the marker to hand. Run the plugin...



And proceed to revel in your newfound skill to control the universe.

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Trivia (personal)

archaeologist. dental anthropologist. yes, that's a real thing. Author of Built on Bones, available in February 2017 (UK), May 2017 (USA) from Bloomsbury.

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