Skip to content
Create web-based AR, VR, interactive 360° experiences and more.
Branch: master
Clone or download
Rob Manson Rob Manson
Latest commit e3d33f9 Mar 18, 2019
Permalink
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.
README.md

README.md

awe.media is hiring

If you're an experienced javascript developer and you're interested in pushing the boundaries of Virtual and Augmented Reality or Computer Vision then contact us through jobs [ at ] awe.media.

This is your 'how to' guide to creating awe apps

This page is for people interested in creating web-based Immersive experiences (Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Interactive 360° Scenes, Mixed Reality, etc.) using awe.js on the the awe.media platform.

It provides you with an overview of the different 'how-to' guides that are available to show you how to use different features and concepts when creating your own awe app.

If you have any questions or need any other information please contact our support team (support [at] awe.media). We love to help people get the best out of the awe platform.

How do I create an awe app?

To get started you can create a free trial at try.awe.media. This lets you explore what you can create with your own awe app. This will setup your own awe app domain (e.g. 1234abcd.awe.io), and all the experiences you create will be accessible as pages under this domain (e.g. https://1234abce.awe.io/my-first-webar-experience).

Once you've explored your free trial and you're ready to turn it into a real project you can activate your awe app. This will give you control over publishing your awe app (e.g. if you want it to be public for others to view), plus unlock other features so you can add more custom Javascript and CSS, etc. It will also add additional views to your app so you can create up to 5 of each type of experience.

Beyond that, you can also purchase more value added features including additional views (e.g. AR images/3D scenes/pages), increase your upload limits, add your own custom domain and add your own custom branding. You can even fully remove all awe branding to create your own white-label experience.

How do I test and share my awe app?

To share your creation all you need to do is share the web link to your awe app (e.g. https://1234abcd.awe.io). You can even deep link directly to a specific experience you have created (e.g. https://1234abce.awe.io/my-first-webar-experience).

All anyone needs to do to try your experience is open this web link in the browser on their computer or in their pocket. No apps to download or install. It works on over 3 Billion web browsers around the world - including iPhones, Androids, Computers and Head Mounted Displays.

(After our next release) During your trial you can share your creation with anyone and it can be viewed up to 50 times. After that it will be placed in private mode and you will need to activate your app to make it public again.

If your app is in public mode, then when other people access your app they will see the experience you have created without any of the creator options.

How do I add content to my awe app?

If your awe app is in private mode then you will need to sign-in on any device you use to view and edit your creation. When you are signed-in you will see your app in the creator mode. Using this friendly web UI you can easily upload images, videos (including alpha/greenscreen videos), 3D objects, 3D animated clips, audio files and AR target images to your awe app. You can do this from your computer, tablet or mobile device and the whole creator experience is very similar across all devices.

You can then simply add these media assets to your 3D scenes, lay them out and add actions and interactivity to create rich and immersive experiences.

What types of experiences can I create?

You can think of your awe app as a single page web app. Under your top level awe app domain (e.g. https://1234abcd.awe.io) you can create individual pages. These pages are a combination of HTML content, a 3D scene, additional interactivity and animations, plus AR or VR functionality. We call these combinations views as they are what your end users look at and they provide a unique view onto the real world or into a virtual world.

The 3 main types of experience you can create are:

  • image: These are image or Natural Feature Tracking based AR experiences that let you glue digital objects onto images in the real world
  • standard: These are 360° or VR experiences that work on computers, mobiles and head mounted displays with controllers
  • location: These are location based AR experiences that use GPS to place objects in the real world

NOTE: awe.media is the only platform in the world that provides Natural Feature Based image tracking in the web!

One of the most powerful features of your awe app is that it makes it easy to seamlessly link from one type of experience to another, all within the same app. For example:

  • You might want your end users to start by scanning a QR code or entering a web link.
  • This can then open their camera through their browser to let them view AR overlaid onto a poster.
  • Once they've interacted with this poster you may drive them to unlock a location based experience (e.g. a treasure hunt) that leads them around the local area.
  • And once they find a specific item you've hidden in a specific place then this may unlock an interactive 360° experience. This is just one simple scenario that shows how you could blend different modes into one seamless experience using a single awe app. The creative options here are endless.

Stay tuned because we have some exciting new modes and options we'll be announcing soon!

Are there any quick keys in the creator UI

If you are signed-in as a creator on your computer browser you can use the following quick keys.

  • O for object editor
  • B for background (only available in standard views)
  • T for target image (only available in image views)
  • L for live preview
  • S for scan (only available in image views)

Of course you can use the creator UI on your mobile devices too, but quick keys are not supported there.

Getting started writing custom code for my awe app

Now lets look at an overview of the different places where you can add custom Javascript and CSS within your awe app. This will introduce you to the key concepts that make your awe app work.

To get started you'll want to enable console output in your awe app. We have turned this off to reduce overhead and prevent our production awe apps from polluting the browser console. But to interact during development you want to turn this on.

Copy this line into your Javascript console and hit enter, then reload your page.

document.cookie="enable_console=1"

What are the types of objects in my awe app?

Below we outline 17 key Javascript objects you can work with when creating custom code for your awe app. By convention all awe related objects and functions use all lower case with underscores. This makes it easy to differentiate awe related objects and functions from APIs and objects provided by the browser.

Another key part of your awe app is the orange circle that sits in the bottom left hand corner of your window. We call this the awe doodat. If you are signed-in as a creator then the doodat will almost always be there and you can use this to access the different modes and editing tools.

However, as a creator you can choose whether you want your end users to see the doodat or not. It does provide a useful UI that lets them easily change mode, etc. But if you want to remove some or all of the awe branding then you can contact our support team (support [at] awe.media) to purchase the ability to hide the doodat.

awe

The awe.js API is made available through the awe object in the DOM. awe.js was first released in 2012 and was the first Immersive Web Javascript framework released. Since then we have moved the version of awe.js that was in this github repository to the deprecated branch and the latest version is now available inline as part of your awe.media awe app. This latest version includes a wide range of enhancements and new features that are not included in the deprecated branch on github. This repos is now focused on providing guides and examples of how to create immersive web-based experiences using awe.media based awe apps.

Most of the objects within the awe object are based on a type of datastore using the awe v8 api. This simple and consistent API is along the lines of the database style CRUD model - but instead it focuses on 8 key verbs.

  • search
  • list
  • add
  • view
  • edit
  • update
  • delete
  • report

These verbs let you access and manage the objects stored in a datastore (e.g. awe.projections.list()). Once you have accessed a specific object you can get at the detailed information it contains by calling the .get_data() method. And in specific cases key data or functions are made available at the top level of the object too.

If you want to update a specific object you can then use the .update() method in one of 2 ways. You can use the full and verbose method e.g.

awe.projections.update({
  data: {
    position:{ x:0, y:0, z:-100 }
  },
  where: {
    id: 1234,
  }
});

Or if you already have a reference to the specific object (e.g. projection id 1234) then you can use the simpler method e.g.

var projection = awe.projections.view(1234);
projection.update({
  position:{ x:0, y:0, z:-100 }
});

The awe.js API sits on top of THREE.js and makes it easy for you to manage scenes, media objects, interactivity, sensors, device types and more. The guides listed below provide detailed examples of how to use this API where relevant.

application

Much of the awe.media specific functionality is made available through the application object in the DOM. This provides some key utilities and also lets you access information about the current app, current view, configuration and more. The guides listed below provide detailed examples of how to use this API where relevant.

apps

Your awe app is represented by an awe_app object that is a type of awe_object. You can access all the awe apps loaded using the awe.js API e.g.

awe.apps.list();

Alternatively, you can access the current app using the application API e.g.

application.current_app

Generally it is best to manage the configuration of your app through the awe.media creator UI. Then you can access this app configuration at runtime to make decisions that can dynamically update your experience.

capabilities

Each device has a specific set of capabilities that allow it to deliver content and interactivity. By detecting the capabilities you device provides awe is able to classify the unique interaction and content it can present to you. You can access the capabilities of the current device through the awe API e.g.

awe.capabilities.list()

The list of key capabilities that awe tests for are:

  • ajax (ability to make service requests via xhr or fetch)
  • audio (ability to use the WebAudio API to load and play sounds)
  • geo (ability to access the Geolocation API - on mobile this is driven by GPS)
  • gum (ability to access the devices Camera and Microphone)
  • gyro (ability to access the DeviceOrientation or similar API to detect the devices pose)
  • javascript_w3c (ability to use some specific javascript features required)
  • motion (ability to access the DeviceMotion API to detect acceleration & gravity)
  • sockets (ability to access the WebSockets API to send bi-directional real-time messages)
  • storage (ability to access localStorage to persist key data)
  • touch (ability to access user input through touch)
  • webgl (ability to access the WebGL API to present 3D scenes)

settings

Important values that define how your awe app is configured are stored in the global awe settings datastore. You can access this through the awe API e.g.

awe.settings.list()

You can also turn on and off key features within the standard interaction model by updating specific settings e.g.

awe.settings.update({ 
  data: { value: true }, 
  where: {id: 'prevent_pan_and_zoom' } // set value to true to turn off pan/pinch/zoom in standard views
});

Generally it is best to manage the configuration of your settings through your awe app creator UI.

scenes

The 3D part of your experience is represented by an awe scene. This lets you load, display and interact with media in a spatial way. Your scenes can be view in the magic window model, or what awe calls view_mode:mono. Or you can render it for 2 eyes so you can view it in a Head Mounted Display or similar, which awe calls view_mode:stereo. Your users can easily switch between mono and stereo mode in standard and location based views by selecting the doodat and clicking on the live or stereo icons in the view control panel.

You can easily jump between these 2 modes using the application API e.g.

application.show_stereo();
application.show_mono();

You can access your scenes through the awe API e.g.

awe.scenes.list()

Or you can access the default, or primary scene through the awe API e.g.

awe.scene()

You will also find a wide range of useful functions attached to this scene object.

views

Each interactive experience you create has it's own page (e.g. https://1234abce.awe.io/my-first-webar-experience). However, this is more than a normal web page - it's an awe view. This is a combination of the HTML overlay content, a WebGL based 3D scene that contains interactive objects, actions and animations that bind them all together and custom Javascript and CSS that can extend them to enhance the way the look and behave. These are all then linked together with unique AR and VR functionality to let you create truly immersive web-based experiences.

You can access access your views through the awe.js API e.g.

awe.views.list()

Or you can access the current view through the application API e.g.

application.current_view

Also, using the editor UI you can easily add actions that link from one view to another. Just go to the object editor and select the object you want. Then select the ... button in the bottom right corner, then select Actions and add an On select action. Then select Load view and select the view you want to link to. Now you can open the doodat and go to the live preview mode. When you select that object (e.g. click or tap on it) then it will load the view you specified.

Of course you can do the same sort of thing directly from Javascript using the application API e.g.

application.load_view('my-first-webar-experience'); // use any valid view name that exists

assets

Assets represent a collection of media and configuration that can be added into a 3D scene. If you are signed in as a creator and are in the object editor mode, then in the bottom right hand corner you'll see an orange tab hanging out from the side of the viewport. This is your media library, and when you upload files here they will be transcoded into various sizes and formats required for all the different browsers and stored as assets.

Generally it is best to manage the configuration of your assets through the media library in your awe app. Then you can access their configuration at runtime to make decisions that can dynamically update your experience e.g.

application.current_app.assets

files

As mentioned above, each file that is uploaded to your media library is transcoded into various sizes and formats and converted into an asset.

These files can be images (png, jpg, static gif, tif, bmp, etc.), video (.mp4, .avi and .mov including alpha/greenscreen videos), static objects (.obj/.mtl/textures files all in a single .zip), animated objects (.fbx files with any external textures in a single .zip) & audio (.mp3, .aiff, etc.).

You can access the list of files related to each asset within that specific asset object e.g.

var my_asset = application.current_app.assets[1234];
var my_files = my_asset.files;

You can access the individual asset id's through the media library UI. Just click on the (i) button in the bottom right hand corner of the thumbnail of each asset.

pois

In order to place any object within a 3D scene you need to identify a point in that 3D space. pois are objects that represent a Point Of Interest and they allow you to attach other objects to them. You can them move these pois around by updating their position. All objects attached to these pois will then move in a relative way. You can also adjust a poi's rotation, scale and visible values to transform or show & hide them and all their children.

You can access pois through the awe API e.g.

awe.pois.list()

Or if you have a specific poi object already then you can transform it using the awe API e.g.

var poi = awe.pois.view(123);
poi.update({
  position:{ x:0, y:0, z:-100 })
});

projections

The objects that are projected into your scene that are actually seen by the end users are called projections. These use assets and their files to construct 3D objects. Each projection is generally attached to a poi as it's parent, however pois and projections can be dynamically nested arbitrarily.

Through the creator UI we allow you to easily layout and create these structures with an easy to use drag'n'drop interface. However, at runtime you can create and modify these pois and projections through the awe API e.g.

awe.projections.list()

Or if you have a specific projection object already then you can transform it using the awe API e.g.

var projection = awe.projection.view(456);
projection.update({
  position:{ x:0, y:0, z:-100 }),
  visible:true,
  material:{
    opacity: 0.5
  }
});

You can also move a projection from one parent to another using the awe API e.g.

var projection = awe.projection.view(456);
projection.update({
  parent: {
    object_type:'poi', // this is the type of the new parent (e.g. poi, projection or pov)
    object_id:789}, // this is the id of the new parent object
    retain_world_position: true // stay in the same world position or move relative to new parent
  }
});

events

When you configure interactivity using the creator UI your awe app will setup a specific event object. Depending on the type of object you are adding them to they can be On load (e.g. when the object loads), On select (e.g. when the object it clicked or tapped), On play (e.g. when the media starts playing), etc.

You can access these events through the application API e.g.

application.current_app.events

actions

When you configure interactivity using the creator UI your awe app will setup a specific action object. Depending on the type of object you are adding them to they can be On load (e.g. when the object loads), On select (e.g. when the object it clicked or tapped), etc.

You can access these actions through the application API e.g.

application.current_app.actions

animations

When you configure animations using the creator UI your awe app will setup a specific animation object. These animations can be awe based animations or pre-defined 3D clip animations.

You can access these animations through the application API e.g.

application.current_app.animations

You can also easily create animations through Javascript using the awe API. Just add an animation block to your .update() call e.g.

var projection = awe.projection.view(456);
projection.update({
  position:{ x:0, y:0, z:-100 }),
  animation:{
    duration:5, // take 5 seconds to complete the animation
    persist:1, // stay at the end state when the animation is complete
    end_callback:function() {
      // do something else when the animation is complete
    }
  }
});

These type of animations in awe are created using the TWEEN.js library. The TWEEN object is automatically loaded and available in the DOM within your awe app so you can also use that to create any other custom HTML animations etc.

You can also access the animations objects for running animations through the awe API e.g.

awe.animations.list()

povs

Your view into your 3D scene is created by a virtual camera. In awe we call these a Point Of View or pov for short. These povs have a very similar API to pois and projections and can be moved around and rotated in a very similar way. But be aware that specific view types on specific device types may override or manage the position and configuration of your pov automatically. For example, in AR it is important for the position and orientation of the pov to be closely matched to the position and orientation, etc. of the real world camera that's providing the video stream seen in the background of the scene. If you alter this then the illusion created by AR may be broken or diminished.

You can access povs through the awe API e.g.

awe.povs.list()

Or you can access the default or primary pov directly through the awe API e.g.

awe.pov()

video streams

In order to create the illusion of see-thru AR, we will often present a video stream from the devices camera in the background of the scene. And many devices have more than one camera so it is possible to setup more than one stream. You can access these streams through the awe API e.g.

awe.video_streams.list()

Or you can access the default or primary video stream (if it is setup) through the awe API e.g.

awe.video_stream()

We have also made it as simple as possible to turn on and off these video streams and automatically place them into the background of the scene. This is effectively flipping between AR and VR modes. You can turn on AR mode using the application API e.g.

application.show_ar()

NOTE: This simply turns on the camera and does not necessarily start any specific type of AR plugin (see below).

Or alternatively, you can switch back to VR/360° mode using the application API e.g.

application.show_vr()

plugins

There is a standard format for extending the awe API which is based on a plugin model. Your awe app comes with several standard plugins already loaded including one for detecting object interactions, one for handling mobile based gyro driven scene, one for QR code detection and one for image based natural feature tracking. You can access the plugins through the awe API e.g.

awe.plugins.list()

Detailed 'how-to' guides on specific topics

Below is a collection of detailed 'how-to' guides that will help you complete a specific goal or objective. They assume you have read the content above and include all the relevant Javascript, CSS and HTML snippets you may require.

If you have an idea for another 'how-to' guide please contact our support team (support [at] awe.media). We'd love to hear from you.

Adding HTML content to my awe app

Learn about the key types of HTML content you can add to your awe app, the standard way you should do this and the common CSS styles you should be aware of. COMING SOON

Adding a 'start' page to my awe app

Learn about how to add an 'start' page that your users will see when they first load your awe app. This is a great place to set the context for what they are about to experience and what they need to do. COMING SOON

Referring to assets uploaded to my awe app

Learn about how you can link to, or reference the different types of assets you have uploaded to the media library within your awe app. COMING SOON

Custom branding my awe app

Learn about the different parts of your awe app that you can change as part of your custom branding using Javascript and CSS. COMING SOON

Adding simple object animations to my awe app

Learn about how to transform and animate one or more objects using Javascript. COMING SOON

Adding simple object interactivity to my awe app

Learn about how to add interactivity to your objects using Javascript. COMING SOON

Adding audio to my awe app

Learn about how to add and manage audio within your awe app using Javascript. COMING SOON

Creating menus with objects in my awe app

Learn about how you can use multiple objects and visibility changes/animations to create multi-object structures like menus. COMING SOON

Creating HTML overlay menus in my awe app

Learn about how you can setup an HTML overlay to create a persistent menu. COMING SOON

Adding a custom 'Scan again' button to my awe app

Learn about how you can add a scan again button within your views or as a persistent overlay image. Read more...

Showing a fullscreen video from a tap on an object in my awe app

Learn about how you can display a video that fills the browser window when a user taps on an object in your awe app. COMING SOON

Events provided by my awe app

Learn about the common events provided by your awe app for use within your custom Javascript. COMING SOON

Working with directions in my awe app

Learn about how to deal with compass headings and device orientation within custom Javascript for your awe app. COMING SOON

Placing content in front of me in my awe app

Learn about how to use Javascript to place object in front of what the user is looking. COMING SOON

Working with locations and active areas in my awe app

Learn about how to work with geolocation and active area features within your awe app. COMING SOON

Adding more sophisticated animations to my awe app

Learn about how to create more dynamic animations like throwing objects, etc. COMING SOON

Adding a score counter to my awe app

Learn about how to add the HTML, CSS and Javascript needed to add a score counter that tracks different interactions within your awe app. COMING SOON

Creating plugins for my awe app

Learn about how to create your own awe plugins. COMING SOON

You can’t perform that action at this time.