Tunneling in Augmented Reality

A magician never reveals his secrets… most of the time.

Since this post I did on augmented reality I’ve received a ton of requests for how to pull off tunneling and penetration effects in augmented reality. This blog post marks my giving in on trying to keep this effect a secret and I’m giving away a sample of how to pull off tunneling in Unity with depth masking. While this effect is geared towards augmented reality I hope the depth masking technique I used opens the flood gates of creativity for other effects.

Simply import the package below into Unity and take a look at the included prefab. This example will work perfectly with both String and Qualcomm’s augmented reality solutions for Unity.

If you receive an “ImportFBX Warning” just ignore it.

(P.S. switch the Texture Format of the CasketShadow.png file to RGBA 32 bit to improve the appearance of the shadow around the rim of the opening)



  1. steve
    June 29, 2011

    I think your missing the scene file in your package.. ?

    • June 29, 2011

      Just drop the Prefab into a String or Qualcomm augmented reality scene and you are good to go. Including a scene could complicate things.

    • steve
      June 29, 2011

      ahh got it. thanks.. i also did a small video capture at , i basically took their demo scene, replaced a cube and rotated your asset. cheers.. now if we could only get fluid dynamics working in this to see the water slosh around 😛

    • June 29, 2011

      Looks like you’re getting some depth sorting issues with the shadow. Maybe pull it up a hair away from the mask layer.

    • steve
      June 29, 2011

      It *seems* your prefab has 2 casket shadows.. is this needed?

    • June 30, 2011

      Nice catch, thanks! Updated and fixed.

  2. July 2, 2011

    Wow – nice work and thanks so much for sharing!

    Will link to any great results I get –

    Thanks again!

  3. August 24, 2011

    Thanks a lot!

    • August 26, 2011

      Love your animation style man 😉

    • October 27, 2011

      Wow thanks! 🙂

  4. February 23, 2012


  5. Dre
    May 2, 2012

    Hey! Thank you thank you thank you. I<3 Pixel Placement! This has helped me tremendously fellas!

    • May 2, 2012

      Thanks! No “fellas” here – just me 😉

  6. Reis
    June 14, 2013

    Hey Bob, Been following your work and development for some time, really inspired and I think I can say on behalf of everyone thank you for making your work open to others! Thank you for this one in particular!

  7. Nicken
    March 11, 2014

    wow . This is great. Been Googling everywhere just to try and find the name for this visual effect especially in AR. You are a legend!