Augmented reality on your desktop, thanks to Sketchup

Augmented Reality is a new technology that is starting to spread. Basically, it consists on mixing 3D model with live footage in real time. This concept has been applied to futuristic interfaces, and it can be very helpful for architects as it allows you to take 3D Models a step further, placed on the real world and show it to your clients.

Thanks to the AR-media Plugin for Sketchup, you can start playing with Augmented Reality. This plugin allows you to place the 3D Model over live video from your webcam, and move it around as you can see on the above video. The plugin calculates the planes on the live footage thanks to a sheet you need to print out, which allows the software to calculate the distance and inclination.

So, all you need is Google Sketchup (free), a webcam, then download the trial version of the AR-Media Sketchup plugin (limited to 30 seconds), print the sheet and you can start playing with your models.

We just did it at the office with Aravena´s ORDOS 100 model, and it´s very impressive. Try to use a small model to start, since the 30 sec countdown starts running when the software launches and it can take a while to start completly, depending on the model.

Another video after the break.

About this author
Cite: David Basulto. "Augmented reality on your desktop, thanks to Sketchup" 23 Dec 2008. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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