Clover Dino picture book - Dev approach
I am working at the moment on an augmented reality demo project. Augmented reality is basically a display that overlays digital information on the physical world. We chose to make an augmented picture book with dinosaurs. Because dinosaurs are always cool. There will be a physical picture book and when a user points a camera towards a picture of a dinosaur, it is going to come to life. Depending on the dinosaur it will run, fly, or just rest and eat something.
Technology used is Unity in pair with Vuforia. Unity has great scene management capabilities and animation managers, so it is pretty easy to make a story with it. For moving along predefined paths I used spline controller, which lets you set up points and direction in a scene which will make a path for animated objects. On arriving to a specific point you can set up some special behavior and after a delay continue moving the object along the path. Vuforia has great tracking capabilities and it lets you set up image markers from a real image, not those QR-like markers that are mostly used. The picture that will represent a marker has to be as detailed as possible to improve recognition. On its developer site, Vuforia has a tool that will convert the picture that you want to use as a marker into a dataset that you can use in application for detection and tracking. Vuforia also has support for camera centered augmentation which does not require markers. So I made an extra scene where all dinosaurs walk, run and just chill around the user. Both Unity and Vuforia also have support for head mounted displays so I made two modes in application. One is for handheld display and one is for head mounted display (split screen).
It is a simple yet powerful demonstration on what can be done with augmented reality on smartphones. Currently, physical picture book is in the making; I am making some final changes in dinosaurs' behavior, so you will all be able to try it out soon.