Locate and Use Resources and 3-D Models for Augmented Reality – by Jeff Batt

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In January I researched a significant idea for working with augmented reality (AR) experiences–anchors. Anchors make it possible to set the real-world position and orientation of objects in your AR scenes in order that they stay put. The upcoming step following understanding anchors is learning to construct the AR content round the anchor. How can you make the AR articles, and what knowledge or tools do you have to construct it?
AR articles
What’s AR content? AR content could be a variety of things, but it is when the AR experience is triggered, what shows on the consumer’s device. This might be videos, pictures, or even 3-D objects. Those objects could be developed inside your AR authoring tool, or they could be built in a different modeling tool and brought to the AR authoring environment. You can show a variety of objects, pictures, and video combined into one experience. Adobe Aero also permits you to use those layers to make the depth of field and to bring in Photoshop documents.
Fundamental 3-D models
In this piece I will focus on 3-D models; how you how to get more sophisticated models and can make simple models. Many AR authoring tools allow you to work with shapes and substances directly within the application itself.
Truth Composer, Unity, and adobe Aero support inserting basic 3-D shapes such as boxes, spheres, cylinders, text, and right. All three tools allow you to manipulate those shapes to a certain degree, such as colors.
Unity permits you to create some materials that wrap shapes with patterns to make the experience more realistic. (Figure 1) You may add reflections and deeper layers to make objects look a lot more comprehensive.

Figure 1: Unity provides comprehensive tools such as this grass pattern
Reality Composer and Adobe Aero are restricted on designs and materials for today, but I see this. All of this means that you can create shapes and objects without needing to know tools or be a designer or developer.
3-D asset websites
What happens if you want? Fortunately there are many websites that offer premade 3-D models which you may buy or get for free. You can download assets straight and utilize it within the AR engines. No matter which you pick, after an advantage is in Truth Composer Unity, or Adobe Aero, you can adjust the size and rotation, and animate it in your AR authoring tool.
Let’s explore a few of these tools.
Unity asset store
This is my favorite one; by using the Asset Store tab you can access it from inside Unity. (Figure 2) Look for a model which you will need for your AR experience and bring it into your existing project. There are hundreds and hundreds of models in the store, a lot of which are free. You can make use of these assets, such as characters, buildings, trees, and much more as you build out your AR surroundings in greater detail. A good deal of these models also have built-in animations which it is possible to trigger within the AR authoring program.

Reality Composer and Adobe Aero Assets
Reality Composer by Adobe and Apple Aero have built-in libraries with hundreds of 3-D models. Click the plus button, search for the object’s kind you want, and then add it. (Figures 3 and 4) Like the Unity Asset Store, some of these models have cartoons built in, or you could animate yourself.

Figure 3: Truth Composer Assets

Figure 4: Adobe Aero Assets
Google Poly
Another resource is Google Poly. Google Poly is a place for developers, but many of the models are readily available to download for free and use inside your AR authoring tool. Look click on that thing, and put in it in the format for the authoring tool you are using. (Figure 5) if you’re working with Unity, you may download the FBX or OBJ file. You’ll have to download the file that is USDZ if you are working with Adobe Aero or Truth Composer. After you are using, you can adjust and manipulate the model to fulfill your need.

Figure 5: Google Poly Assets
Turbo Squid
Turbo Squid is just another resource like the Unity Asset Store or even Google Poly. (Figure 6) Some choices are free, and others do cost. Look for the model you want and download it. A number of these models are realistic but are somewhat more expensive.

Figure 6: Turbo Squid models
Custom 3-D models
If you do not find what you are searching for in the aforementioned choices, no need to worry. There are means to acquire the custom models you want. In case you have something quite proprietary to your organization, you may want to create the models yourself using modeling software.
Blender
Blender is a free application which allows you to make models and cartoons. (Figure 7) You can find tutorials on YouTube or LinkedIn Learning to get up and running with Blender. But, it is more complex than working with shapes in Truth Composer and Adobe Aero.

Figure 7: Blender
Maya
Maya may be intimidating at first. (Figure 8) This really is a very robust and effective tool employed for several 3-D animations. Even though a lot could be done within Maya, it is not as intimidating as you may think. By way of instance, I was able to design a full robot after a LinkedIn Learning tutorial in a matter of a couple hours. Maya provides a version for only $250/year. That is $20/month, and it’s almost the very same features as the full version of Maya. You can create animations and models which may be exported to Adobe Aero Truth Composer, or Unity.

UpWork
If all else fails and you need someone with more expertise to design some 3-D models for you, UpWork is a good resource to find a professional builder. I’ve used UpWork on many projects, and you all can find talent all over the world to help you with your custom projects. Just make sure you detail out exactly what you require upfront to avoid a good deal of back and forth.
Conclusion
Bear in mind, these 3-D models may be used to get AR articles and they may also be used for VR experiences. Whilst VR enables you to make a virtual camera where the user may explore the world from a controlled perspective, AR makes it possible for the consumer’s device to be a camera to the world to explore content from a bird’s eye perspective. The assets that you utilize for both are nearly the same.
Unity, Truth Composer, and Adobe Aero allow you to make a lot of content without knowing sophisticated 3-D modeling programs. It’s nice to have these resources visit when you need it If you require something beyond those basic shapes.
If you would like to learn more about AR authoring tools, particularly Unity, be sure to check out my Workshop at Realities 360 in March.
Want more?
If you would like to explore more about building AR experiences with Vuforia and Unity, Jeff Batt will teach a workshop at Realities 360 in March of 2020: “P16 – BYOD: Creating Mobile Augmented Reality Adventures with Unity”. In this workshop you’ll get started developing mobile programs that leverage ARCore performance and ARKit two using Unity. You will learn how to construct AR learning experiences for Android devices, and iPhones, iPads, reaching millions of users with devices they have. You will learn how to trigger these learning experiences that are augmented with printing stuff and 3-D objects and get tools and sample documents that you can use after the workshop is finished.
Jeff will also instruct a parallel session at Realities 360, “514 – BYOD: Prototype and Create AR Experiences With Your iPad”. In this session, you’ll discover how to add interactivity to them, and how to begin developing simple objects on your iPad with Realities Composer. You explore how to animate and insert audio to your AR experiences.
Registration for those Realities 360 Conference & Expo is needed in order to register for the workshop.

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