Tag: 3d

Starting an Android AR Project with QCAR

Qualcomm LogoIn my previous post, Augmented Reality on Android, I listed several AR libraries for Android. After reading and trying some of them, I finally decided to go with Qualcomm’s QCAR. By great coincidence, QCAR’s first production-ready release happened this week with version 1.0.0.

My reasons for choosing QCAR

  1. Official support for a great list of devices, old and recent
  2. Their demos, tested on my Samsung Galaxy S, are way snappier than other libraries I tried
  3. It recognizes partial markers (when partly in the camera’s sight)
  4. Great developer guide and API documentation
  5. Great developer community (forums)

Loading a 3D model

As stated in my previous post, I need to load a 3D model over a marker when it comes in the camera’s sight. The model I have to load is a .obj file, but QCAR only “works” with .h files (the usual way of doing things in OpenGL). I found two ways of solving this problem:

  1. Converting .obj file to .h file using this script: OBJ2OPENGL
  2. Using a second library to load .obj files

Right now, I’m trying both options. I’ve had success with the min3d library, but I’m experiencing some image distortion. I still have a lot of work to do. Like I said before, I’m no Android expert, and I’m still learning the basics. I’ll be back soon with more on this subject. In the meantime, feel free to post any comment or question.

—- EDIT (September 9, 2011) —-

I am not working on this project anymore, but I’d like to let everyone know I didn’t use min3d. I converted my 3D model to OpenGL ES .h file. Read this post for more information.

Augmented Reality on Android

AR Baseball Card

Augmented reality is an old concept but only recently, we start seeing more and more of it on our phones. Here’s my quest for finding a good library that will help me build an Android augmented reality as requested by a client. I want to add to at the moment of writing this, I’m fairly new to Android development and I’m about to create an AR application for the first time of my life. What are we waiting for?

Client needs

  • Display a 3D model of “something” on an event ticket

Library requirements

  • Recognize a pattern or a picture (that will be printed on the ticket)
  • Add a 3D model layer over the pattern or image
  • Be as responsive as possible (lagging AR sucks)

Available libraries

Obviously, finding an AR library for this small project would be a good thing. After searching Google for a while, here’s what I have found:

  1. Magnitude (Google Code project)
  2. Qualcomm AR or QCAR (Qualcomm AR SDK download page)
  3. ARToolKit (Sourceforce page)
  4. Popcode (Popcode official demos)
  5. AndAR (Google Code project)
  6. Android AR-Kit (GitHub page, tutorial)
  7. Mixare (Official website)
  8. NyARToolKit (Official website)

1. Magnitude

First, the project’s last update was in July 2010. Not too old, but not that recent either. Second, it seems to be only based on GPS instead of marker recognition. Also, the author says it uses AR-KIT (listed 6th in my previous list), ported to Android. It can’t help me.


Updated for the last time in December 2010, this project offers multiple target recognition and seems to have great documentation. This library is definitely worth a try.

3. ARToolKit

Not much is said on the project’s page, but it seems somewhat serious and works with marker recognition. Will probably give it a try.

4. Popcode

Their demos look very great, but based on their documentation (if I understand well), it only works with specially designed Popcode markers, and as of now, there is no way to display my own 3D model, if it’s not previously saved on the device’s SD card. It seems to be a great library though, so investing more time to understand the way it works correctly would be a good thing.

5. AndAR

Already tried it to create a green cube that appears on a marker. Works great and is very easy to use, but I experience a lot of lag with my Samsung Galaxy S. I’ll take a look at the library’s code and try to find what the problem is if I can’t find a better library.

6. Android AR-Kit

This was originally an iPhone only library, but it has been ported to Android. Two major problems though: there has been no update since December 2009, and it only works with geographic localization.

7. Mixare

This seems to be a very nice library that supports both Android and iPhone. Problem for me: it only works with geographic localization.

8. NyARToolKit

This project supports many languages (Java / Android / C# / ActionScript3 / C++). Here’s the link for the Android project. The project is well alive with last commit on April 15. It supports multiple markers and is definitely worth a try.

Now what?

Now I gotta make tests with: QCAR, ARToolKit, AndAR, and NyARToolKit. Stay tuned for the upcoming conclusion in a couple of days or weeks.

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