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A-Frame and AR.js workshop
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I highly recommend using the version of this workshop as there's zero setup required!


This workshop will teach you how to create A-Frame scenes to run on your phone and display Augmented Reality content using AR.js an emscripten port of ARToolkit

What you need to get started

You'll need to install the following:

  1. git
  2. vscode (or any text editor)
  3. github account
  4. netlify account (you can use your github account to sign up)
  5. printed AR markers

We will be using to serve web pages from a github repository. Netlify supports SSL (https) by default, which is necessary for accessing your phone's camera.


In the following exercises you will follow along with the workshop instructor to create a series of web pages that allow you to view 3D content displayed over printed AR markers using your smartphone.

Create a github repository called aframe-workshop and clone it to your laptop. Make sure you select add readme so your repo isn't empty.

Log in to (you can use your github account to login) and select New site from Git.

Choose GitHub.

Give netlify access to your github account (Configure Netlify App button).

Search for aframe-workshop and select it.

Click Deploy site using the default presets.

You will be directed to an overview page. Your site will have been given an auto-generated name e.g.

Click this link to view your site. You will see a Page not found message. This is because we haven't pushed anything to our connected GitHub repo yet.

In your cloned repo, create a new file called index.html and type Hello world as the content.

Add index.html to git, commit, and push it.

git add index.html
git commit -m "initial commit"
git push origin master

If this is your first time using git, you can store your login details like this:

git config --global credential.helper store

Wait a few moments then refresh your netlify page. You should see Hello world. You now have everything you need to develop your web pages!


All exercises have examples here:

A-Frame documentation

AR.js documentation

1. Cube

Create a new file called 1-cube.html. Copy and paste this "boilerplate" code into it:

    <title>A-Frame Workshop</title>
    <script src=""></script>
    <script src=""></script>

  <body style="margin: 0px; overflow: hidden;">
    <a-scene embedded arjs="sourceType: webcam;">

Push it to your github repo's master branch. Now browse to your netlify site /1-cube.html.

You browser may prompt you to have access to your camera, click allow.


  • Display a 3D cube above the printed Hiro marker preset (check the documentation for a-box, search google for "a-marker-camera")
  • Change the default size, position, rotation, and color of the cube

Save your 1-cube.html as a new 2-gltf.html page, removing your cube from the scene.


  • Load a gltf model above the Hiro marker, e.g.
  • Animate the rotation of the model about the Y (up) axis
  • Use <a-assets> to preload your gltf
  • Use debugUIEnabled: false; to remove debug message overlays
  • Use vr-mode-ui="enabled: false" to remove VR goggles toggle (not needed)
  • Use renderer="logarithmicDepthBuffer: true; colorManagement: true;"to fix z-fighting and enable colour management (otherwise gltfs don't display correctly)
  • Use loading-screen="dotsColor: white; backgroundColor: black" to create a customised loading screen
3. Sound

Save your 2-gltf.html as a new 3-sound.html page.


  • Add a sound asset to assets using a URL to an MP3 file.
  • Add an a-sound tag to your a-scene that plays when the object is shown.


  • Put your gltf and sound inside a <a-marker type="pattern" preset="hiro"></a-marker> and replace your <a-marker-camera preset="hiro"></a-marker-camera> with a <a-entity camera></a-entity>. This is a helpful way to group objects by marker.
  • Use the play-on-marker-visible component to only play the sound when the parent marker is visible.
4. Custom Marker

Save your 3-sound.html page as a new 4-custom-marker.html page, removing everything from your a-scene.



  • Set AR.js patternRatio: 0.66;: Aesthetically, it's preferable for the black border to match the Aruco grid pattern. patternRatio: 0.66; is needed as the marker ratio isn't 50%. A "Pattern Ratio 0.6" in the marker generator means that the pattern within the marker makes up 60% of the overall marker width (including border). For a 4x4 aruco the pattern ratio is 4/6 (4 grid items plus 2 sides of border). For a 5x5 it's 5/7 (5 grid items plus two sides of border), etc.
  • Use <a-entity camera></a-entity>
  • Models must be placed inside the a-marker tags
  • Better to use simple shapes for markers
  • Markers must not have rotational symmetry
  • Black borders seem to work best
  • Thicker borders are better for stability
  • Markers can be as small as 1.5/2cm but it means that the phone has to be held close
5. Multiple Markers

Save your 4-custom-marker.html page as a new 5-multiple-markers.html page.


6. Google Poly


7. Google Poly Search


  • Query objects in a particular category and display them over dynamically generated markers.
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