Exploring the Unity MARS Starter Templates

Starter Templates are predesigned, customizable building blocks created to help AR developers save time in Unity MARS to deliver projects faster. Read on to learn more about each of the templates we’ve created. You can follow these instructions to access the Starter Templates in your Unity MARS project. 

In conversations with early adopters, we’ve noticed an exciting change as they’ve become familiar with Unity MARS for developing augmented reality (AR) experiences. They’ve stopped talking about how to solve a problem for a specific device, and have begun discussing real-world data and how content connects and adapts to it. The conversation has moved from low-level problems to more advanced scenarios enabled by spatial computing.

Unity MARS introduces a new design language for describing and referencing the real world in a digital context, broadly or specifically, in Editor and runtime. It allows developers to describe and tackle much bigger applications than would be possible otherwise. But like all languages, it must be learned. 

Starter Templates are our way of supercharging common workflows used with AR and showcasing the best of what we’ve learned from our customers. Unity MARS currently includes seven Starter Templates: 

Blank Tabletop, 1:1 scale Tabletop, 10:1 scale Face mask Game, basic Game, advanced Training

Here, we take a closer look at them.

Blank template

For the go-getters and highfliers, you have the option to begin a project with a blank canvas. It includes a preconfigured MARS Session, user, and camera, along with point cloud and plane visualizers to get visual cues when scanning the environment. When you open a Scene in Unity MARS, the first proxy is in place.

Unity MARS creates proxies, or stand-ins for real-world objects, by matching it against positions it finds in the real-world environment. Unity MARS typically adds the user first as the first match for a position, as the user’s position corresponds to the simulation camera. 

Tabletop templates

We wanted users to have an example of the canonical “object showing up on a table” scene. There are quite a few ways to create this kind of setup, such as using Unity MARS’ drag-and-drop workflow or the proxy shortcuts in the Unity MARS panel. The template has the advantage of having all of the condition values already tuned. The object placed is a simple Unity cube. We expect users to replace this cube with their own digital content.

We offer one template at 1:1 scale for interacting with life-sized objects in AR, and another at 10:1 scale. The “miniature” template demonstrates the best practices for creating tabletop visualizations of “large” content, like cities. We generally recommend users create their content at 1:1 scale and then use the “World Scale” parameter of the Unity MARS session to render it much smaller relative to the real world. Content performs best when it is created at life-size and then scaled down – trying to produce small objects tends to lead to precision issues.

Face mask template

The face mask template was designed as a starting point for developers looking to create content that is anchored to a user’s face. You can decorate the model like you would a mannequin. This content can be solid meshes, like funny glasses, or more ethereal things, like particle systems or other visual effect targets. This template includes a face

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