Best Practices

Preparing reference images for Augmented Reality in CraftAR

icon Date Best Practices

icon Date Dec 18, 2020

icon author Catchoom Team

icon folder

The view of an AR item in the CraftAR Service (see screenshot below) shows an Image Quality field with an orientative 5-stars rating indicating how well that specific image is going to work in normal conditions when used as a reference image for AR.

Our Augmented Reality technology relies on the texture (visual elements) in the images to track them despite having different viewpoints, changes in illumination, occlusion, etc. This is why the best quality scores are for those images that have rich texture all over the surface of the image. This ensures that the tracking can become precise and stable.

Testing your reference images

Note that the Image Quality rating does not take the repetitiveness of the pattern into account, which may also negatively affect the tracking performance. Hence, the rating feature mainly serves to rule out reference images that will surely not work well.

Therefore it is advised to eventually test the experience on the actual physical object, too, making sure that it will deliver the experience the way it is expected.

In order to test your reference images for Augmented Reality, we recommend printing the images.

Some people try to point their device at a screen showing that image. This is a very bad practice because most screens have a refresh rate that produces interferences with the camera of the device being used. Those interferences negatively affect the tracking process.

Good and bad examples of reference images

The image below is a good example of an optimal reference image for AR. This particular picture has a lot of contrasted elements well spread across all the image, and they’re not repetitive.

Bad category examples of reference images for AR would be:

  • Company logos (when they have very few details).(1)
  • Long paragraphs of text.
  • Images with too repetitive patterns.
  • Non-flat textureless objects. (2)
  • Scanned or photographed versions of the reference image we want to track that include perspective, parts of the background that are not relevant or are blurred or distorted (3). In case a scanned or photographed version is necessary (for example, a museum would like to use paintings as reference objects), it is important to take the shot from a straight angle and crop the frame and background.

(1) (2)  (3)

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