onvert seems to be a fairly new entry into the smart-phone Augmented Reality market, and they're running a competition to start things off: http://onvert.com/competition/. I'm still kicking myself for not submitting to the Layar one, so I couldn't let this one slip by.
onvert use quite a nice system where you scan a QR code to launch the augmentation - removing any chance of confusion between different people's creations. The best part though is its simplicity. You can just upload 2 images to the website (a target image and the augmentation), and you've got yourself some AR. This obviously means that you're limited in what you can do with it, but it covers a lot of what people will want to do.
Topic of Submission
I've got a few ideas, but the first one that I went with is based on toy packaging. It seemed best if the augmentation provided half of the content; not just a little bit extra. The concept was to use a transforming toy, where the AR revealed what it looked like in its transformed state.
However, I didn't want to get disqualified at some point for using copyrighted imagery. So...
Creating a Transforming Robot
Time for a lengthy diversion. I decided to create a papercraft robot for "simplicity". The basic process was:
- Create a rough prototype in polystyrene.
- Create a 3D model in Google Sketchup
- Convert it to a paper model using PePaKuRa Designer
- Add some chopped up photos and graphics
Shown below are the prototypes (the one on the right was to check face orientation before adding graphics):
And the finished result (click for larger image):
Not bad as a first attempt at papercraft, but definitely more work than I was expecting.
The diversion continues, as now it was time to create the packaging. The most important features are the onvert QR code and reference image on the back. You could pick up the box, scan it, and then see what the transformed version would be like.
Finally the OnVert
Eventually it was time for the main event. Using photographs and graphics from the previous steps it was fairly quick to put together. I went with 3 layers in the AR - a shading layer, an intermediate step, and then the final transformation - arranged in a kind of upward spiral. The images, including reference are:
With the composite image:
Experience it yourself using the tag and reference image below: