Birthday Wish for Someone Special

Today we’re celebrating the birthday of one special young woman.

And for the sake of confidentiality, let’s give her the appropos moniker “Pam Sandwich”.

Pam is celebrating a great milestone in her life today, and as such deserves something special.

No, not “special” as in that Werther’s Original candy in case you were wondering (Watch that advertisement here!).

Someone much more special than that. Pam is a lovely young lady who was the inspiration for my last origami post on here (See Origami Rose!).

So, Pam, here is a short wish …for me to wish….(cue awkward Austin Powers wordplay moment)…you all the very best on this special day.  I am truly sorry I had to miss out on your birthday celebrations out on the town tonight, so…

Here is a picture. Of some dessert.

download the app now :)

download the app now :)

Looks like a regular 2D picture. But keep watching this space for something else special soon….and enjoy, my dear.

Best wishes,
Nick.

Mushroom Sauce for Steak

The original recipe asked for button mushrooms and red wine.

I’ve adapted it from the following page link below, so acknowledgment is due to the original authors:

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/14563/peppered+steak+with+creamy+mushroom+sauce

Believe me, substituting wholesome earthy Portobellos and dry sherry makes this just as much of a more-ish creamy sauce that goes delicious served even with just a nice crusty baguette or your own favourite bread!

Image

Serving Suggestion

But try it on a good steak first. You won’t be disappointed.
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Note on ensuring proper scale of game objects for a game – From experience

Well over the past few weeks, I’ve also been working on a game within Unity. I worked with my own custom models created in Maya 2012, and imported into Unity as FBX.

From experience, I’ve learned that you can change the scale factor for imported models in the Inspector window in Unity for your model meshes.

Just try and get the scaling right in Maya BEFORE importing! This is easier for simple geometric models, but probably not as manageable when you’re dealing with complex poly models.

Forgive me if this sounds so noob , but remember this is from a programmer’s perspective : I know more about programming than art and 3D modelling.

Milestone – Filling out my AR research work in final days

Well so far I’ve succeeded with displaying a trackable image on a marker.

As far as things go with the Vuforia SDK, I’d still like to get my own demos to test and report on the following Vuforia SDK features:

  • Multi Marker Targets – tracking multiple image targets to entirely ‘wrap’ a target (such as a paper box) with AR projected images.
  • Framed Marker Targets – for linking an ID marker (like my black and white Butt Marker) to a 3D model.
  • Occlusion Management – Have a 3D model appear to be “beneath” a trackable image
  • Video Playback – Playing a video on a “Movietexture” overlaid on a trackable image.
  • Background Texture Access – Be able to distort a trackable image texture by moving the 3D model’s position over it.

If time permits, I will also create small interactive demos based on the Metaio mobile SDK. This would be advantageous as I’d be able to offer my own critique of two different AR SDK capabilities side by side.

 

 

Making my own ImageTarget project using Vuforia Extension For Unity – CoffeeCup

Custom ImageMarker Project using Vuforia extension for Unity.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR DOWNLOADING COFFEE CUP DEMO
TO ANDROID HANDSET:

If you have a copy of my AIE graduate business card, you can download the app to view the coffee cup as below.  Here;’s the link to my Android AR App:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/72299624/coffeeCardDemo.apk

Don’t have a copy? No worries! I have customised this for you so you can STILL view a gorgeous AR coffee cup in glorious 3D.  Once you’ve downloaded the app from the above link from my Dropbox, simply install it, run it, and point it at the image further below. If you want to see it, scroll down past my little rant just beneath!

Now then,

For my next trick….just kidding.

No really.

In this post I wanted to show you a side piece of work I produced which served two purposes:

1. Another demo for my portfolio of works based on my research of AR.

2. Just to really try and impress the hell out of people and hopefully score a bid in advertising for cafes!

While the latter may be a pipe dream for now, the former was achievable, and has been achieved.

Gratefully, I acknowledge my good friend Karl, a master digital artist who at the time of this post, has also been attending the Academy of Interactive Entertainment.

His expertise produced a 3D coffee cup model that allowed me to texture it to my liking and implement on top of my trackable marker.

The trackable marker itself was an image that I borrowed from good ol’ Google Images. The link to the image is provided below:

http://www.dailytechbits.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Stock__Coffee_Beans_by_unamanic.jpg

In terms of scaling the model to fit the bounds of users’ Android viewing devices, I had to play around with various sizes. The size I eventually settled for will generate reasonably once you can track the marker with your Android device. I did find I had to keep my device fairly stable to render the 3D model on screen.

The screenshot of the result is provided below:

Custom ImageMarker Project using Vuforia extension for Unity.

During the first build of the Android app (.apk), I almost panicked when no 3D model generated on top of the marker image. My first thoughts were that I violated one of the guidelines of creating a suitable trackable for the AR app. See the caption “Coffee For Two?” below the trackable in the above image?

Well image trackables do require that there is a border of whitespace around the trackable image in order to “distinguish” the bounds of what to track in order to spit back a 3D model.  How much is required though is unspecified. Covering the caption with a piece of blank white paper did not appear to solve that problem.

Reopening the project within Unity, I checked the DataSets and images attached to the AR camera. And there I found my problem. The DataSet must have been reset to Vuforia’s default “woodchips” XML, and the image to be tracked was the corresponding ‘woodchips’ image. Oh dear!

Reimporting the proper DataSet and image resulted in the pretty floating coffee cup you see above. By adding a simple RotateObject script in C#, I was also able to allow the viewer the pleasure of viewing the 3D cup from all sides without having to turn the printout one bit.

Origami Rose – A Special Someone

It’s certainly been a while since any of you last saw any new posts in this section of my blog.

Things have been so hectic with study in game programming, that I wanted to take some time to share with you all something which I have discovered.

It is beautiful, pure and simple in its elegance.

Please note, that by the use of the neuter ‘it’, I’m covering for the identity of a female (human of course!).

I am not at liberty to disclose any names. But I do hope that both she, and you Reader, see how special she is and how much she has inspired me in the short time I’ve gotten to know her.

This is to let her know in my own unique way that she is always on my mind.

Beautiful Woman, this one’s for you….

 

Devotion

Taken at a local cafe … took mere minutes to make.

 

 

Addendum OR How I got a Vuforia project to work on Android without Unity

The Natives

Hi all,

Just thought I’d share this little gem – it’s amazing how when we start to see the big picture, we understand the various parts that make up the whole.

In two previous posts, I wrote about how I compiled and built a sample project using the Vuforia SDK to run on my Android phone.

Well I forgot to mention one little thing – it was built independently of Unity – that is, the original Vuforia developers built part of it using Native C++ code – with the Android NDK.

For this reason, before I could even build the existing code in the Eclipse Java IDE for running as an Android application, I had to build the C++ portion.

Following the steps in the Vuforia SDK Dev Guide (click THIS LINK HERE and expand the link ‘Getting Started SDK’ then to the sublink ‘Step 1: Setting up the Development’ till you see Cygwin), I downloaded and built a .so Object file in the Cygwin shell.

With this object file created, I was then able to use the Vuforia’s QCAR SDK.