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Creating Models for AR applications

Though we cannot change reality, we can enrich how we experience it in our day to day existence. Augmented Reality (AR) as a technology has matured over the past few years; and we are seeing more and more real-life applications being off it.

So what is augmented reality?

Augmented reality is the mixture of virtual reality with real life, using layers of computer generation to enable us an enhanced interaction with reality. This is usually done through apps (such as Pokémon GO), but can also be used for sporting events, driving, and much more. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it.

AR brings together a new way of information sharing and interaction capabilities that ultimately, help address the business requirements better. It is a blend of the physical and the virtual worlds, with the real-world elements. It augments the computer-generated perceptual information to render immersive experiences. The information may be in the form of sound, video, graphics, and more.

Augmented reality on smartphones

(Courtesy: Google)

Augmented vs Virtual?

Augmented Reality (AR) adds digital elements like low polygon models to a live view often by using the camera on a smartphone. Examples of augmented reality experiences include Snapchat lenses and the game Pokémon Go.

Picture depicting augmented reality

(Courtesy: Google)

Virtual Reality (VR) implies a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical world. VR uses similar markers and math algorithms, but the environment is completely simulated. Once the user turns his head or moves eyes, the graphic reacts accordingly.

Picture depicting virtual reality

(Courtesy: Google)

AR and Blender

AR applications require low polygon models to help users digitally visualise using among others the camera on a smartphone. These models contain a significantly smaller number of polygons and therefore require less computing power to render. Models that have fewer polygons are best used in real-time applications that require fast processing, like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), cross reality (XR), and games, especially mobile games. While there are no particular requirements in terms of the number of polygons necessary for preparing augmented reality models and scenes, it is good to consider that people use various devices to retrieve this content. Some mobile devices may be quite old so it is always the best practice to keep the number of polygons low.

While the most current devices could easily process 30 to 40 thousand polygons, to stay on the safe side it’s best to keep your scenes at 25 thousand polys for mobile devices.

Here blender comes into play. Blender is a free and open-source 3D computer graphics software toolset used for creating animated films, visual effects, art, 3D low polygon models, motion graphics, interactive 3D applications, virtual reality, and computer games. Blender also helps to decrease and increase the polygon count of the model as per your requirements.

Blender 2.8 User Interface

AR in horticulture

Horticulture is the agriculture of plants - mainly for food, materials, comfort, and beauty for decoration. Augmented Reality is able to enrich the gardening experience. It is an ideal solution for those who want to start farming operations in the initial stage, such as home gardeners. Gardening is a conventional pastime of many people, it can include adults and a younger generation too. With Augmented Reality and an appropriate App, people could with ease try before investing in a plant or a tree.

With the help of low polygon models we can use AR mobile applications to place, drag, or move the potted plants and decorate our surroundings. Here I show a potted plant that I designed and modelled in Blender. Blender allows various features (like texture, thickness, angle, shades, colour) to be included to make models real-life like and those models could then be used in AR applications (such as in gardening) to enrich reality.

Picture depicting 3D object view of a potted plant

Picture depicting potted plant with color & texture

Picture depicting real-time view with polygon counts


New technology enhances human opportunity. AR as a technology should be expected to dramatically increased our productivity and our standard of living by being an interface bridging the digital and physical worlds. At BridgeConnectBiz, we can help you create low polycount models for your AR and VR applications. Feel free to connect with us by liking our page, leaving a comment, or following us on our LinkedIn page.

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