Today I’m announcing the first public availability of an application framework I’ve been developing that complements FLARToolkit and FLARManager, and makes it possible to rapidly produce Flash augmented reality applications.
This past year I spent many many hours with FLARToolkit and Eric Socolofsky’s excellent FLARManager. FLARManager makes the overall FLARToolkit configuration much simpler, especially if you want to mirror the camera or use multiple markers, and has some nice additional features like marker smoothing.
However, after two or three projects I found myself spending a lot of time writing very similar 3D asset loading and manipulation code, which FLARManager wasn’t really created to address. This is where the framework I’m announcing today comes in. A simple “show an animated 3D model on a marker” application can be written in about 5 minutes with about 10 lines of mxml code. Of course, much more complex applications are possible, such as the first application to use it, which lets you explore a 17th century “Cabinet of Curiosities” at The Getty Museum web site: http://bit.ly/GettyAugsburgAR.
The key features of the framework are:
- Clean separation between tracking libraries and rendering engines, allowing for easy mix and match
- Configure 3D scenes with a simple XML file and specify scale, position, and rotation
- Group 3D models and assign them to different AR markers
- Configure Collada animation clips (especially useful for Maya-exported models)
- Easily specify marker detection/removal behavior - fade out, fade in out, stay visible, or disappear immediately.
- Pluggable and extensible scene renderers – currenlty Papervision3D, Away3D, and Away3DLite.
- Integration with FLARManager and flare*NFT (commercial only)
- Sound manager for configuring and playing sounds
- Extend all XML configuration items with application-specific data
The framework is dual licensed in the same manner as FLARToolkit – it is licensed under GPL for non-commercial projects, or projects where you are willing to share your source code. For use in projects where you do not want to share your source code, a commercial license is available. Send commercial inquiries to:
The framework doesn’t have an official name yet, but I wanted to be able to share it with fellow ARE2010 attendees. You can check out the framework here:
svn co http://projects.patchedreality.com/FLARFramework/releases/v0.1 PatchedRealityFLARFramework
Or browse the source at:
There is a simple example application in the “examples/Simple” directory. More information and documentation to come.
If you’re going to be at the ARE2010conference, look me up and I’d be happy to give you a demonstration. I hope you’ll download it and give it a try, and enjoy spending more of your time on application/game logic than boilerplate code. And if you do, please share your experiences.