Real-Time 3D Modeling for Augmented Reality

I’m a big geek when it comes to the behind-the-scenes number crunching stuff that makes augmented reality happen. How it all works is a fascinating look at dynamic systems in concert. The two videos below show how on the fly modeling of objects can help create a fully interactive world with occlusion, shadows and other 3D illusions needed to created reality out of pixels.

The first comes from the Australian Center for Visual Technologies (ACVT) with a program called Jiim.  It allows in-situ modeling of the enviroment by picking up points and then allowing the user, in real-time, to draw in the world with those points as reference.   The resulting physics demonstration is quite impressive from throwing balls to killing moles.

The second video shows use of the MRToolKit to model a Chinese dragon figure in real-time and then interact with it.  The results aren’t as impressive as the Jimm ACVT video, but still, it’s nice to have options.

Having played around with a few AR systems like Metaio’s Unifeye, I can say that the programs in these videos look easier to interact with than what I’ve used before.  Instead of programming numbers and coordinate systems, the user can mouse click the world into existence.  Imagine if groups of people collectively worked on drawing in a city to create a general playground for augmented reality.  Just add some sweet HMDs and a SDK to create games and AR would be unleashed.