Following Firefox's addition of native VR to its web browser, Google has flipped the switch on ARCore, a platform for building augmented reality apps on Android.
ARCore, which is in early preview for experimenting, uses three key technologies to integrate virtual content with the real world as seen through your phone's camera:
• Motion tracking allows the phone to understand and track its position relative to the world.
• Environmental understanding allows the phone to detect the size and location of flat horizontal surfaces like the ground or a coffee table.
• Light estimation allows the phone to estimate the environment's current lighting conditions.
ARCore enables AR development across the Android ecosystem, giving developers the ability to make compelling AR experiences without the need for any additional hardware.
ARCore is designed to work on a wide variety of qualified Android phones running Android 7.0 Nougat and later. During the SDK preview, ARCore supports Google Pixel and Pixel XL and Samsung Galaxy S8. As the developer preview is refined, Google is adding new devices, with a target of 100 million devices at launch.
ARCore works by doing two things: tracking the position of the mobile device as it moves and building its own understanding of the real world. These capabilities combine to enable ARCore to build its own understanding of the world around it.
ARCore's understanding of the real world lets developers place objects, annotations, or other information in a way that integrates seamlessly with the real world. Motion tracking means users can move around and view these objects from any angle.
For a more detailed breakdown of how ARCore works, read more.
Unreal Engine adds support for Google ARCore
With Google's announcement of ARCore, Epic Games announced the inclusion of Unreal Engine support within the platform that brings augmented reality functionality to Android smartphones starting today.
Epic is working to empower developers to create AR experiences using Unreal Engine, which is gaining deeper AR platform support daily.
Unreal Engine 4.18, coming in mid-October, is shaping up to be a major release for AR, with more mature ARKit support, along with early access support for ARCore.
"Augmented reality is the next step in the evolution of the smartphone," said Mark Rein, Co-Founder and Vice President, Epic Games, "and Unreal Engine developers are already hard at work on great AR experiences. ARCore will help further drive AR adoption by empowering developers to build and ship cross-platform AR experiences."
Tree generator for Unreal Engine is available
Speaking of Unreal Engine, a preview for a new tree generator for Unreal Engine is now available.
Developer S. Krezel published the preview on Youtube in July that shows the generator parameters,, optional chopping points, impulse force reaction controls and other peakable parameters. Download it from OneDrive.
ShaderMap 4 is free for non-commercial use
ShaderMap 4 is out with a laundry list of new features like added support for loading 3D models and a built-in help system along. with bug fixes
The image generator for 3D artists also includes 16 bit image maps, which greatly reduces memory usage, Improved Normal Map; Histogram and Normal Map Radar; Triangle Coloring and Color ID maps from 3D models; support for legacy plugins; channel toggle in Map Preview, and more.
ShaderMap 4 will continue to be developed through 2017 and 2018. The goal is to add the more features like a better Material Visualizer, UV overlays and additional Model Setup geometry for AO shading.
Polyport Beta is out
D3crypt3d has released a beta version of Polyport, its security software for digital assets.
Polyport allows digital asset creators, collaborators, and owners, from small industrial design teams to large production studios, to securely share assets, monitor how, when, and where they are being used, and provide enforceable metrics (time stamps, IP addresses, unique machine identifiers) to protect intellectual property.