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Can I Also Do AR???

Well well well….it seems I will be adding something new to my skill set😄

Long story short…….

When I started to take the intensive training from GameDevHQ we were told that we can do ANYTHING with the project as long as we completed the task of that week. Being given the permission I decided to make the project / game playable on mobile, but I wanted to take a little more step; I wanted to be able to play the game as a AR game.

And that's easier said than done😅

I had never programmed for AR before on unity so before thinking in making the game AR friendly I needed to start from the ground up.

Getting information was easy using Unity’s documentation, the tricky part is the following:

how do I approach AR on unity?

Why do I ask the question? Simple, there's different ways you can approach AR on unity and I will name just 2 since dose will be the ones I will be focusing on.

To make AR application / games on Unity you can use: Vuforia or AR Foundation

Vuforia is a plug in / package outside of Unity that you can add to and to your project and automatically has tools you can use to work on your AR application. You can go to Vuforia web site and see the documentation to set Unity to work with Vuforia and see the extra features. Some of the features are: image tracking, object tracking, etc. It is a nice tool.

AR Foundation is the build package that Unity provides with EVERYTHING you need to do AR application regardless of the devices you will use. Now, if I am not mistaken, AR Foundation is friendly for Android and iOS but iOS has another set of programs that you need to download since you can also use Unity MARS that only works for iOS.

Now finding out that I have different ways to approach AR I need to test, on a small scale, both Vuforia and AR Foundation and decide which will be the main tool I will use in my path to become an AR developer.

I started with Vuforia and in an instance I noticed some negative stuff that I did not like.

I started with Vuforia because part of the courses that GameDevHQ provides there's a course focused on making mobile applications using Unity and in one section it is shown how to make an AR application with image targeting using Vuforia.

I saw just the necessary videos to have an idea how to integrate the AR camera to use image targeting and to run a simple asset animation. Where I found the negative stuff was when I decided to make my own Image targets.

Vuforia already gives you images you can use to test out the application but you need to print out the images in order to test it. At the moment I was using Vuforia I was lacking on color ink so i decided to just make my own image, black and white, and use that for testing; that's when i nocete the flaw / negative of Vuforia.

When you go to Vuforia Documentation it tells you the steps to make your own image target and this involve to make a developers account with them; once you have this account you need to create a key, this key will be attach to your application / game and then you can create your database of image targeting.

Doing this I notice that Vuforia has a limit in how you can use your key since Vuforia is not a fully free system, it all depends on how you use your application / game and how it communicates to Vuforia servers.

Creating image targets at first was easy but that's when you notice the hiccups.

Since i am not a artist / graphic designer it seems Vuforias ask for specific details that your images must have to be able to be accepted as a target image, even if you try to use your image and you see it on unity it will not work since Vuforia database did not give the OKAY. I created my image following the same pixel size as the example Vuforia images but it seems i was missing something because it did not work and did not pass the OKAY test.

As a last resort i ended up using Vuforia images but using my phone to show the images on the camera and test my application.

I may be going hard on Vuforia since I don't see a specific detailed documentation on how to fill the target images fields to make my original images as target images. I will give it another go but I also found out that there's a limit on what you can do if your developer account is free, so I need to dig more on this.

The next step will be to test out AR Foundation since it is part of unity and all features are Free but i will test it out once i am finished with Vuforia.


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