How is 3D content created for Augmented Reality (AR)?

November 25, 2021

Content is the heart of the AR experience, and it motivates users to come back and engage again and again. To make AR add success to your business, you must see it as a crucial element of long-term, well-thought-through digital strategies. That means creating high-quality, engaging AR content that delivers a unique, contextual and personalised experience to the consumers with every engagement.

An engaging AR experience comprises three elements.

  • AR 3D models- 3D models are the most critical element of AR experience. A 3D asset can make or break the consumer experience. Thus, choosing an experienced 3D modelling partner is crucial for creating premium 3D models that can readily integrate into the AR environment.
  • AR scene – Well-structured AR scenes are crucial in creating a seamless consumer journey, and they link the various pieces of AR content and build a seamless flow in the entire experience for the consumers.
  • AR animation- Adding animation to 3D assets makes the content interactive for the users. Once can add animations like 360-degree rotation, fade-in, fade-out, bounce, change in scale or opacity, switching texture build higher engagement in the content.

A perfect combination of these three elements helps deliver a captivating AR experience. But one has to consider various aspects before creating 3D assets. 

Challenges of building 3D content for augmented reality

  • File Formats- There are various 3D file formats available in the market. It’s vital to assess which design format would compliment your AR journey now and in the future.
  • File Size- Today, most AR experiences are designed for websites, mobiles, and social media. It is crucial to optimise the file sizes to build a seamless experience without compromising on its quality.
  • Compatibility – Ease of integration is essential while designing 3D assets. An ideal design needs zero external configuration. 

An experienced 3D modelling partner such as Ikarus 3D can help you achieve your AR goals. We are experts in creating premium, lightweight, low-poly 3D models that can easily integrate into AR, VR, MR, WebAR and WebGL. 

How to create augmented reality 3D models

The beauty of any AR experience is in its detailing. Thus, creating a detailed 3D model requires a team of experts. Once the 3D models are ready, there are various AR content creation tools available on the market. Some are easy drag-and-drop that don’t require coding skills, and others are much more complex and needs experienced professionals.

Below are some of the AR assets creation methods

CAD (Computer-Aided Design): CAD models are most commonly used to create prototypes of physical objects in the virtual world. With the help of software applications that help convert CAD data into AR-compatible formats, we can repurpose these models to create AR experiences. CAD data provides accurate information about the object and aids in making the most authentic digital representations of the object or environment to be augmented.

3D point cloud- A point cloud represents the geometry of real-world objects using a collection of points gathered through 3D scans or photogrammetry. The points are captured based on the objects’ external surfaces, which helps designers create photorealistic 3D models of real-world objects. 

Gaming software – Blender, 3dsMax and Maya are popular 3D design tools used for creating 3D design applications by AR content creators. And Unity, Unreal Engine, and even Apple’s Reality are popular composing applications used to assemble the different content pieces into immersive AR.3D modelling formats: 3D model formats such as glTF 2.0, FBX, Obj, are some great examples of 3D file formats that can build efficient and effective AR solutions. These formats have opened new avenues for creators to use the pre-existing digital assets for AR.

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