February 2011

Maximizing Mobile Augmented Reality

You can’t stop progress.

Mobile Augmented Reality (MAR) should be flooding the consumer landscape within the next 6 months – whether you like it or not. I know a decent amount of the design and development community considers augmented reality in ANY form a gimmick but I fear they’ve forgotten what its like to say “wow”. Don’t get me wrong – it’s difficult to remain innocent when you know how all the special effects work but if you neglect the innocence of our audience then you will inevitably be left behind.

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Working with String

Please note that as of version 1.1 String no longer requires the preprocessor macro.

Let’s be honest, desktop augmented reality was a whole lot of something wrapped up in a whole lot of awkward. Static, integrated cameras and us looking like idiots proudly displaying black and white blocky printouts across our chests trying to convince our wives that this is “really cool”. Fast forward to now and let’s all embrace the new proper augmented reality: mobile augmented reality (MAR).

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Understanding iTween Callbacks

One of the most frequent problems I see people have with iTween is with callbacks that don’t fire.

At it’s core iTween leverages Unity’s SendMessage method for carrying out it’s 3 callbacks: “onStart”, “onUpdate” and “onComplete”. When you add an iTween to a GameObject, iTween will throw all callbacks against the GameObject that is being animated. Where most people have difficulties is when they assign iTweens to GameObjects that don’t physically contain the methods they are attempting to call.

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Masking in Unity

Masking is a fundamental technique that has hundreds of usages. Just take a look through some of the Flash work in my portfolio and you’ll see where masking really shines with respect to animating the introducing of visual elements. Coming from a Flash background, I was dumbfounded when I realized Unity didn’t have any technique for masking geometry and images. Luckily I finally found the answer in the “Depth Mask” shader.

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