Virtual Clay in the Real World
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Met up with some old team mates from the SaveMyCar Judges’ Choice Awards and other folks from BeMyApp. Also got to know some of them a bit better. It’s generally rare to find people at these hackathons working on apps I know (and use!) so, surprisingly, there was this guy from ShopKick who quit his job the day of BeMyApp to start his own ultimate photo sharing/organizing portal.

Back to ClayAR… One interesting idea came from Jeff Weitzel, who suggested using more than two fingers for other motifs… On the iPad, 4 fingers let you swipe around in multitask, and three finger’s a crunch. For non-AR view, though, three finger toggle could be useful for switching to camera mode (i.e., pinch in/out to zoom cam, and single-touch to dolly the cam). This is to distinguish from physical manipulations to the mesh in multimode.

  • Three fingers single touch simultaneously toggles on camera mode
  • Three finger swipe left could be undo, Three fingers swipe right could be redo

Briefly demo’d ClayAR at my first 3d Vision meetup today. Arrived with something more informal than I should have… no powerpoint, just raw demo, and without much of a plan. Disappointed some, delighted others. But…

Some interesting ideas from the meetup for ClayAR -
Haptics feedback so you can “feel” the clay modeling (looking forward to trying out the Immersion Motiv SDK for this).
Showcase app for a highly precise 3d camera
Angel funding for such an app? (yeah right.)

ClayAR v0.002b will… VERY SOON… be officially on the app store for iPad. After tweaking a few UI sizes, I’m finding that I can actually create some nice goblets and some interesting zbrush porcupine orc-ish characters… even at 4 am in the morning.

Thinking of releasing it as ClayAR Lite Preview. Two things that are relatively straight-forward to implement to turn this into a free app with in-app payments:

  • There will be a tutorial mode that’s kind of like GuitarHero for sculpting… Learn to draw (sculpt) “step by step” by first pressing here, and then here, and then here. Users might be able to submit their own “tutorial mode recipes” to share how to create certain sculpts.
  • in-app “marketplace” where people can exchange their creation.
  • thinking about charging per .obj download uuid save on the cloud…

(Numbering might actually be v0.003)

The big caveat so far is that I still haven’t figured out what’s making these ARM processors die whenever I try to apply localscale operations dynamically per frame. It works quickly on non-ARM-based lowend devices like my first gen netbook’s (single core Intel Atom oldstuffs).

March 16: Opting out of Qualcomm’s MWC invite (offer sans travel reimbursement), I showed my first ClayAR table/booth-ish demo at SVIGDA Game Tech Night. Free, of course. The deal as always with my startup’s is that I put in no initial financial investment other than my time. (Devices used direct from manufacturer or carrier. Even hitched a ride there!) Lots of interesting feedback for this indie dev to muse on and add to v003.

There was a good mix from different sectors of the games industry — from recruiters to in-game monetization people to graphics designers and even Unity developers(!). The first two might be interesting for ClayAR as a service. It’s fairly simple runofthemill backend work to setup a microeconomy where people can trade and sell their clayar sculpts, for others to expand upon, or even take into their existing pipelines (or print). Who knows, one day, recruiters might recruit people to sculpt clay. o.O

Graphics designers/developer provided some feedback def. to be incorporated in upcoming builds:

Known Bugs: Gotta fix the localScale bug in View mode that froze (perceptively!) the zoom out/in. AR Cam/toggle second toggle (from default gray cam to AR) crashes on Snapdragon devices.

UI finetuning for iPad and tablets and other interfaces – make sure sliders are more easily accessible. Especially accelerometer strength slider.

Sensor Extremes: adjustable and tunable per taste

Materials and Shaders – people seemed to like the toggle, but on the iOS devices, difference in GPU lighting made the nice-looking shiny shader on the Android look with alienscopic lights (think SL with facelight 5000). Lighting control and Materials lab to be added in v003 or v004 (actually rather easy, just need to figure out how to make such an interface intuitive, to keep ClayAR Lite accessible to casual users).

March 17: At the ERT Dinner, Max Skibinsky and others suggested expanding the ClayAR marketplace so that people can take what they create and apply simple game “behaviors” to it, such as the ability to AR kick a weird ball they sculpted. Gamification to creation with a tutorial mode that teaches you where to press where to lathe a simple clay cup (similar to step-by-step drawing guides), with the idea being to let amateur artists feel like real artists. Using bump accelerometer as a way to easily transfer clay mesh from one device to another was also suggested. Bump accelerometer tag!

ClayAR v0.002 on iPhone 4

ClayAR v0.002 on iPhone 4

Thanks to SV IGDA setting a deadline of Weds the 16th for a booth demo space for nusoy, I’ve finally shoo’d away my procrastination to put in another weekend’s worth of work to release ClayAR v0.002 (Lite v0.2).

Device Endpoints

New features:

  • “New” button actually loads a new mesh – with choice of starter mesh! (pending v0.003)
    • Single color button backgrounds (rather than with indentation)
    • Strength slider is now wider and easier to use…
    • Strength slider allows text entry
    • Info/Help overlay button now in Menu, rather than in edit/view modes
  • User Login – Also has a “Just let me create now!” button, but all meshes here will be public. – v0.003 Pending
  • Load Panel – Pagination! – v0.003 Pending
  • Multi Mesh – v0.003 Pending
  • Mirror – v0.003 Pending
  • MacroMesh Operation: Stretch XYZ
  • Accelerometer-based AR
  • non-Snapdragon phone support, iOS support!

Lots more to come in a rather multiversioned roadmap including either multimesh or zBrush-like zSpheres (ARSpheres?) and displacement map painting

In other news, nusoy now has an AR app up in the Android marketplace — it’s just for the SVIGDA event, serving augmented reality sushi and a bowl of nusoy. It’s currently available for Snapdragon-phones only, and you’d need to point your phone at the yosunnusoy marker on my Macbook Pro to get the AR sushi to show. (For those more knowing of Ina Centaur’s legacy on SL, the sushi came from Inachi!)