Archive for the 'Actionscript' Category

Augmatic open source repository

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I’m a big advocate of open source. Sharing your work can improve the software, the community and your Karma levels. It’s also a great way to give back to the giants whose shoulders we stand on.

I’ve decided to go open source with all of my FLAR work to date*. This body of work can be found at the Augmatic Google code repository. There are almost 20 FLAR projects here including:

AR Business card
E Sting submission
Augmented Ribbons
Wallpaper AR Issue
Damashek AR Xmas Card
Fractal’10 Ident

I hope they come in handy for those learning AR and 3D in Flash. Make sure you do the right thing though. Simply changing a couple of colours and reselling my hard work is not the done thing.

If anyone manages to improve any of these projects, please let me know and I’ll update them with full credit.

*This doesn’t include the LearnAR project as the client purchased an ARToolworks licence.

Augmented Ribbons

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Here I’ve combined 2 reoccurring themes that run throughout my work – Augmented Reality and ribbons. It is an evolution of the particle trails code from AR Particle Beam. Initially I wanted to create a flocking effect for the ribbons, but didn’t quite get that far and ended up cheating. This will be the next step.

Check back soon to interact with the application. And I should also be releasing the source for this at some stage in the near future.

Adobe MAX Unconference files

As promised, here are the resources and source code from the Augmented Reality Unconference session I shared with Jesse Freeman.

You can download the source files here. One of the projects uses the native FP10 3D capabilities. The other uses Papervision with a 3D model exported from Blender as a Papervision class that extends TriangleMesh. Thanks to Lee Daley for the model. Both are FDT projects that make use of FLARManager.


FLARManager – Wrapper library by Eric Socolofsky.
Marker generator – Print out your marker and use this application to create the .pat file.
Blender – Free open source 3D software
Blender AS3 exporter plugin – This plugin allows you to export 3D models as AS3 classes. This works with Papervision, Sandy and Away.

AR E Sting submission

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The UK TV channel e4 is holding a competition to create E Stings. I suspect most of you don’t know what an E Sting is – I was one of you a few months ago. They are the short animated clips that appear between programs and adverts.

A team of us came together and this is what we have created.

It was Lee Daley who suggested we make an AR entry. He also did the 3D work. Since then my fiance Juliet Lall has graced the project with some illustrations and Rakesh Mistry has taken control of the video production. I did all the Flash development and took the role of project leader.

15 E Stings will make it on-air and there have been over 750 entries. Let’s hope the lure of a free AR application will improve my chances!

Ironic business card becomes accidental viral

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AR Business Card

Well, it’s been an interesting week to say the least. Although I have physically handed my new business card to only a handful of people it has reached enough to fill Wembly Stadium almost three times over.

About 7 weeks ago, in my spare time I created an Augmented Reality business card and posted it on my blog and Vimeo. I had a small initial rush of a couple of thousand views and then it quietened down. Standard story.

Then just a week ago things went absolutely mental. In the last 7 days I’ve had 45,000 hits on my blog and a quarter of a million views of my Video. I’ve being Tweeted something silly and blogged by such giants as Engadget, Popular Science, Gizmodo, Notcot and many others.

As a result, I’ve been approached by lots of companies and individuals expressing an interest in working with me on Augmented Reality projects. I’ve had parties approach me for interviews, articles, tutorials and to be involved in books and conferences. I’m passing the big projects onto my digital agency Skive and keeping the smaller ones for myself. I’m currently in the process of setting up a limited company so I can deal with all these projects on a professional basis.

It was fascinating to see how interest in this piece of work evolved over several days. There was an absolute digital ripple effect. It seems that Twitter played a huge part in driving the success throughout. It’s great to see, first hand, social media acting as a vehicle for non-commercial work to gain such a huge audience in a small space of time. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who Tweeted, blogged, emailed, commented and generally passed my work on to others.

So where to from here? I will be continuing to experiment using AR but in addition to investigating it at home I will be doing some more R&D at work. My aim is to set up a new ‘experiential’ department or possibly even a sister company focussing on AR, Multitouch and installation work at Skive.

So who wants an AR application? Form an orderly queue…

AR Business card

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Inspired by this guy, I just got a fresh batch of business cards from There’s not really enough space on a business card to explain yourself in any detail so I thought I’d extend it using augmented reality. I recorded a short video bio and created a 3D grid of coloured planes. These planes are updated with the colours from the video and extruded depending on the level of brightness.


This is now online for all to enjoy. First print out this (or open it on you’re phone). Then go here to play with it.

***EDIT 2***

Mac users with iSight camera who are experiencing a black screen might be able to get around this by Following these steps:

Right click on the app and select settings. Then click on the camera tab. There should be a drop-down menu. Select USB Camera.

Failing that apparantly it won’t work if you have any other apps that use the iSight open at the same time, so close PhotoBooth, Quicktime etc.

Thanks to JereDog and Bish for these workarounds.

***EDIT 3***

I’m using the following AS3 libraries in this project



Papervision The new version now uses the FP10 native 3D capabilities


***EDIT 4***

I’ve temporarily had to take the application down as I’ve had a huge amount of traffic which will undoubtedly cost a horrendous amount of money. Check back next week when things have calmed down a bit.

***EDIT 5***

OK the application is back up now. Big thanks to my agency Skive who are hosting it until the madness subsides.

***EDIT 6***

I’ve made quite a few changes to the applciation recently. The main change is that it no longer uses Papervision but is now run using the new Flash Player 10 3D capabilities. This has sped things up slightly. The app is now built using the PureMVC framework. There are also many optimisations and tweaks to make the app behave faster and better. If you click the link above it will now open the new version.

AR Particle Beam

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So I thought it was about time I jumped on the augmented reality bandwagon. Rather than the obligitory 3D model I decided to make something a little different. I’ve used 3D lighting techniques and physics here to create this beam of light surrounded by strange celestial light particles.

If you would like to interact with it, first download and print out the marker here then go here for a live demo.

Big thanks to a few people. First and foremost Saqoosha, the clever chap who created the FLARToolkit library, a port of the C++ library ARToolkit. Mikko Haapoja for providing a fantastic introduction to using FLARToolkit. Eric Socolofsky for building the framework FLARManager which makes working with FLARToolkit a sinch.

Incidentaly while making this, John Lindquist started an augmented reality competition on the Papervision forum. I’ve decided to enter it (hence the Papervision Logo on my marker – rules of the comp, not sucking up) so please feel free to vote for me on the forum. 🙂

For those of you who are interested, you can download the source code here. It’s an FDT project but it shouldn’t be too difficult to convert it over to your favourite development environment.

**** UPDATE ****
Kristin Rohleder has written a Flex version of this application and kindly given it to me to share with whoever wants it. He’s used the latest version of FlarManager and TimelineMax for the animation so the performance is probably far better.

You can download the project here.


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