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First AR tutorial

25.03.2010 Uncategorized

The ever growing interest in Augmented Reality (AR) application makes it an important scenario for a generic web-based 3D framework. However, there is a main problem. Web-Browsers (UA) /HTML does not provide any API to read the pixels of your attached video-camera.

Until now there were only two generic options to overcome this problem: Utilizing a specific AR-plugin (fast, but with all plugin issues) or Flash-based. Flash is also a plugin but installed on more than 90% of all UA and can read the pixels directly.
AR demo with Flash/X3DOM

But pure Flash-based AR-solutions have one major drawback. Flash has no API to access the GPU directly for 3D rendering. Therefore all 3D-render  libs are limited (e.g. polygon-count and shading feature) compared to some hardware accelerated solutions (e.g. WebGL).

We use in this tutorial and Demo a Flash-based tracker (which processes all camera-pixels) and create the 3D-overlay with X3DOM. The result is quite impressive. Really fast AR-apps, without any plugin (besides Flash) and a very simple production pipeline.