We added 3d scenes to the Dinosaur Augmented Reality project. Flip flash cards and see real scenes with dinosaurs. This technology is great for:
- Conventions and product Demos
- General "wow" factor for promotions
Contact us here to talk about your AR Project.
Click below to see the full video:
We've expanded the capabilities of our architectural Virtual Reality. In this new version, we've added the ability to choose wall colors.
Imagine designing your new home from VR, or even from a mobile phone without goggles in "magic window" mode. Our software now allows for that. Click to see the full video:
We did an educational app that teaches about Dinosaurs using augmented reality. The novel technology in this application is that it uses 3d object scanning. So, whatever angle the toy may be facing, the app detects it, spawns a forest, and shows educational and fossil data. Click below to see a short video!
We went in a plane and filmed it in 360 Spherical Video. Check it out, and let us know here if we can help you create new experiences for your business.
Click the video to play in Youtube. As always: 360 VR videos do not play in Safari. We recommend Chrome on the desktop, or the native Youtube app on most phones (you can turn your phone around or even use your google cardboard for VR).
If you want to see the beauty of the Austin, TX area, a plane is the way to go!
This is an architectural tour designed by Part Time Evil. Our UX designers made a way to navigate in VR for "zero instruction" demos, and is designed for ease of use.
The user is automatically moved on a path. At each point of interest, they can look at objects for descriptions for as long as they want, and then move on command.
This type of VR experience is ideal for busy conventions, trade shows, and business parties. Additionally, it works well as a takeaway from meetings. We plan to use this design for "progress experiences" for our developer partners. With our platform, people can take visitors to projects in-progess and show them how areas will look when they are completed.
Do you have an architectural VR startup or a construction project? Let's talk here.
We drove a car across the route 360 bridge in Austin with a 360 (spherical) camera mounted on the top. The result is a POV view that looks just like a driving video game. Check it out, and let us know here if we can help you create new experiences for your business.
Click the video to play in Youtube. As always: 360 VR videos do not play in Safari. We recommend Chrome on the desktop, or the native Youtube app on most phones (you can turn your phone around or even use your google cardboard for VR). We recommend sound for this one...Vrrooom!
If you are unfamiliar with 360 video, it is a spherical video that makes you feel like you are actually there! You can look around in any angle. It is sometimes called VR Video, but we usually call it that when it's stereoscopic. Most 360 spherical videos (like this one) are monoscopic.
A lot of our work lately involves apps that are based around 360 video. And sometimes we interchangeably use the terms 360 video, spherical video, and VR Video. So here's our helpful guide to the different types!
360 Video is any video in which you can look around using a VR rig like google cardboard, Samsung GearVR, or Oculus Rift. It can be a real-world video, like this one by GoPro.
Or, it can be made with a virtual 360 camera rig, like our recent demo. In that case, we created a 3d scene, then placed a virtual camera inside the world, that basically works the same way as a real camera.
To get an idea of how these videos are made, imagine a series of cameras that overlap in such a way that they seam together.
Think of VR Video as a sub-type of 360 video. The difference here is that VR Video is stereoscopic. So just like a 3d movie has an offset between your left and right eyes, this video contains such an offset. So not only do you get the immersive effect of 360 video, you also experience a 3d effect.
This is really easy to understand if you look at this mount; each pair of cameras is offset a bit, just like your eyes!
Creating Apps with VR Video
Here at Part Time Evil, we create all these types of videos: VR Video, 360 Video, and virtual VR Videos. All of these types of videos play in platforms like Youtube. However, most of our customers want custom apps. For example, sometimes a startup has its own video platform for a specific industry, or a brand wants a 360 video app to show off their content.
For all types of 360 video, we actually build a 3d sphere inside of Unity. Imagine, being inside a sphere while seeing video all around you. Yes, it's just like Jody Foster in the movie Contact.
Then we allow you to control the camera that represents your eyes by turning your VR rig or phone around. In our demo we mentioned earlier, you can see an example of this with any common phone. CLICK HERE to try it, we'll wait here.
Our 360 video software at PTE allows us to leverage the Unity engine to use all the types of 360 video by positioning your "eye cameras" in the right offsets.
That means we sometimes have Mono 360 videos:
And sometimes, in a VR Video, the offset for left and right eyes is Top/Bottom.
And sometimes it's Right/Left.
For each type, once we know the input, we adjust our software to show the proper cameras.
After that, we're able to publish the content to a standalone mobile app. Hope that helps unpack the basic ways that we display different types of 360 and VR videos in mobile apps. Contact us HERE to get started on your company's app.
The following video is a demo of our ability to create a 3d scene (in this case we just made a pleasant island scene). Then we rendered this from a virtual camera to a 360 video.
If you have needs for VR development or 360 video production, contact us here.
If you're on iPhone or Android, just click the video below and choose to "Open with Youtube app." If you have the app, you can just turn your phone to look around in VR.
If you're on a desktop, just make sure you are using Chrome, Opera, Firefox, or Internet Explorer.
NOTE: Youtube has a habit of showing video in low quality. Click the gear on the right side in both mobile apps and desktop and choose Quality. Then you can ramp it up to HD.
Background: This was created in Unity3d as a VR scene. Once we created the scene in Unity, we filmed it with a virtual 360 degree camera. Then we processed our interactive video for the new YouTube 360 video viewer, which allows you to view 360 degree videos with or without goggles.
Like a lot of Unity development studios that use Parse, we’ve been researching ways to migrate away from it, since Facebook unceremoniously closed it. Plus, it’s fun to play with these new solutions and see how they do things differently.
This post is for some pitfalls that we found weren’t really documented online. So this isnt a full walkthrough, but it dives into all the dependencies.
Cool thing about SNS: It’s not platform-specific at all. It is clearly built for you to push to an array of devices. Which is going to eventually save you a lot of time if you build cross-platform like us.
The Unity developer guide is HERE, and it’s not super detailed on push.
The interested thing (and different from Parse) is that SNS uses endpoints. So whatever device you’re on, if you allow notifications (like on iOS when it says “let X app do push notifications?”), then behind the scenes, you allow it to create an endpoint. Essentially, it’s a platform agnostic permission, and it’s pretty clear that they thought this through from a modern, multi platform standpoint. If you're used to Parse, you're probably used to using installation device tokens to do push notification. AWS is basically abstracting it out a step from that, so it works the same on their console regardless of device.
Dependencies and Identities
The thing we found out that the Unity guide doesnt really delve into is how to send a non-sandbox (dev key) push.
The unity guide tells you how to set up the development/sandbox mode, but not the production mode. If you do that, xcode will error out and tell you that you need a Identity Pool ID. These are managed on AWS by Cognito (their mobile identity management tool). And here is where it becomes one of those multiple dependency situations.
In cognito, you create the identity pool and allow it to use Unauthenticated identities (checkbox). If you do that, you can use this Identity Pool with Unity push.
However, you aren't there yet, and this was the hard part to find online. That pool uses Roles.
Even though you were initially manipulating the Identity Pools in Cognito with Roles, the IAM Roles aren’t editable there (even though it seems like that would make sense).
So you need to find the IAM console in AWS. That looks like this.
Inside that console, you need to find the role and the Edit Policy field, below.
Once you find that Edit button, you’ll see a small file you can edit.
You need to add sns:CreatePlatformEndpoint. Once you add that, you can push to this role. Double check to make sure this one is the same Role that’s plugged in to your Identity pool.
So in summary, here’s the basic chain of dependencies:
- Apple Push Certificate plugged into AWS.
- AWS ARN code.
- Identity Pool on AWS Incognito.
- Role that’s in your Pool must have permission to push.
- Device allows notification and thus creates an Endpoint at runtime.
If you look at the AWS example project, here is where you plug things in:
If all that is linked together, you can Publish a push to any legit endpoint that you have in your SNS console.
Here at Part Time Evil, we just created a video for our new title Puzzle Football (view the vid on youtube here for an example). We generally cringe at making preview videos, usually because of the normal annoyances: getting the aspect ratio right, outputting it in a way that doesn't make it look blurry, and getting the right format. There are enough weird pitfalls in this process that we may be able to save you some time. As you know, the Apple App Store now lets you put a preview video up for your video game or app. Here is a quick walkthrough to save you some pain.
Capture the Video
- As of the release of OSX Yosemite, you can capture straight to Quicktime.
- Hook your phone up via USB to the computer, launch the included Quicktime, and find "new movie". Make sure the video and audio are set to your phone!
- Choose the right device. You could use an ipad as well, but we are not a giant studio with a video artist. Our strategy was to capture with the highest resolution phone, and then de-res it for iPhones, but also letterbox and crop for iPads. At this date, that's the iPhone 6/6s. Resolution needs to be 1080 x 1920 (or vice versa for landscape apps).
- Get all the clips you need.
- When you're done, save it.
- PITFALL: Don't do "export". We are used to doing this, and it won't let you do 1080x1920 video. Do "save" instead.
Make your App Preview
This part's full of potential pitfalls. But we're here to help! We recommend using iMovie, even if you use After Effects or something to do your clips. It just plays nicely with this whole process.
- Choose New App Preview. This lets you do (especially for our app Puzzle Football which is portrait), the right orientation.
- PITFALL: This is the weirdest and most important setting in iMovie. Make sure the FIRST THING you drag into the timeline is any 1080x1920 clip. This basically sets the resolution for the movie and in our case, let's it be Portrait. For our first version, we made the mistake of using our lower resolution clips (because we didn't do the above recommended SAVE in Quicktime). This made the whole movie lower resolution. If you look at the game on the phone before say, two weeks from now, you'll see that the iPhone 6 one is BLURRY. Oops. There is a FIX for this, though. If your movie is the wrong resolution, make a NEW project, make sure you drag in your high res clip to auto-set the resolution. Then go to your old project and just do CMD-A to select the entire timeline, and CMD-C to copy it. Then go back to your new shiny project and paste the whole chunk it. It will fit the higher resolution project.
- Make App Preview in imovie using all your favorite tricks.
- Export: Be sure to export as app preview (this is the only way the 1080 x 1920 one will get accepted easily). If you export as a File, it will not be accepted by iTunes Connect out of the box. File-Share-App Preview.
Convert for all other resolutions
- At this point you have your 1080 x 1920 version. For the App Store, you will need all these resolutions. The following is a screenshot of the current chart Apple supplies.
- To make our lives easier, we chose to pony up the 30 dollars and get Quicktime 7 Pro. Note that this is not the included quicktime.
- For iPhone, export all of your versions listed by Apple. Make sure you get the settings right or you will get an error on upload.
- Use these Video and Audio settings, or iTunes Connect will complain.
- Once you get this set up, you can just choose the SIZE option for each resolution.
- For your iPad version, if you don't want to be editing a totally different video, just choose the Letterbox option. That will give you a nice video that doesn't look all stretched out.
At this point, you should be ready to drag them into the iTunes Connect portal. Good luck, and we hope this helps you save some experimentation time and get back to your game and app magic!
The upcoming iPad and iPhone game Puzzle Football was accepted into the Facebook FbStart bootstrap. Thanks for the help in making this the best game possible, Facebook!
As we wrote in our previous post as mobile phone app developers, we usually work in a cross-platform environment so we can move to different devices without totally porting the product, usually Unity. But given that some of our projects are best developed for a single platform, we like to keep up and play with the latest Apple stuff. This blog has an interesting write-up on one approach to using Singletons in Apple's new language (scripting language), Swift. Check it out here.
Here at PTE, we love new tech news. So any new news if interesting for us any time new technologies are released. At the WWDC today, Apple announced a few interesting technologies for games. Let's talk briefly about two of them that are very obviously aimed at games and apps.
Swift is their new language, which aims to make programming apps for Apple products easier, faster, and safer. The key phrase in that sentence being "programming apps for Apple." A couple of years ago, here at PTE, we switched to the Unity engine so that we can inherently build all our products for cross-platform usage. In these days, that is especially important; not only do people expect our apps to work for Android and Apple, but it's always a smart idea to keep the door open for Steam Machines, the various Android console boxes and their controllers, car apps, and the hugely popular VR devices. This is true at PTE for our internal games like the upcoming Puzzle Football (which is built to run cross-platform) and our client work as well. For clients, we always try our best to keep the door open for other platforms, in case their plans expand as the app finds success.
But the really exciting future (and present) of cross-platform development is, like I mentioned above, is that it's no longer a world of this phone OS vs. that phone OS, or that console vs this console. Apps run on just about everything, so we do our best to be ready to port to new platforms all the time. With the popularity and great 3rd party support of Unity, we can build an iPhone and iPad app for a client, and find a way to put it on an Ouya console if they see an opportunity. We've even had clients in the past who were committed to iPhone, but they received unexpected offers from other hardware makers to port their apps.
So over here, we see our future with Swift being that, it will be something we will use for any specific client jobs that are laser-focused on being Apple-only. It will surely be a stupendous offering for Apple-only products.
As for Metal, we see a lot of promise in this with tools like Unity. If those engines can utilize Metal, that will improve performance for everyone. Again, as with Swift, most developers like PTE want to bring the most efficient apps possible to our clients in a Cross-Platofrm manner. So obviously, even if third-party engines can use Metal, they can only utilize those advantages for Apple products.
One of the things we like most about Apple is that they have the strategy to lock in their products: they have a closed app store, they keep OSX for only their hardware, they make specific tech like Swift and Metal that are taylor-made to make their hardware run even better, etc. But App Developers like PTE have to use these in a way that also benefits the cross-platform needs of our clients and our internal creative teams. We expect to pick and choose technologies like Swift and Metal based on the specific needs of our projects. But that won't stop our developers from having some fun experimenting with these new toys...
Puzzle Football! That's all we are able to say right now, but stay tuned (follow us on twitter and like us on Facebook), because many more updates are coming soon! Click the image to see what we've revealed so far.
Time to give out a little preview from the developers of Zig Zag Zombie...the new character is coming soon, along with a huge pack of levels. We have some more exciting news...part of the reason the update is taking a while is because we are porting ZZZ to the Unity engine. With this, you will notice much faster loading times and very smooth gameplay control.
So here we introduce our new character, Phant! His powers are still a secret, but trust us, it's very different than the other monsters!