OK so everyone’s doing it and here’s my version. The first time I saw augmented reality in Flash was back at FOTB last year, which gave me a good idea of how it works. When I first got briefed on this job I wasn’t aware of any class libraries I could use and I thought it was going to be a very challenging and long job. However, after a quick search on Google I came across Saqoosha’s FLARToolKit. The class library is really easy to use and it actually only took a few days to put the augmented reality bit of this project together.
Since the augmented reality bit didn’t take as long as expected there was a bit of time to experiment and put some extras into the project. The first was adding sound that plays when the jet is in view (something you can’t hear in the video above) and the second is that you can use the arrow keys to rotate the air craft like it is flying. These were both fairly quick wins so I started to get a bit more experimental and decided to use FLINT particle system to create smoke coming out the jet. I got fairly far with this, but it appears that when using FLINT with Papervision the particles are rendered onto planes and I got some strange effects when rotating the jet. Flash also started to struggle a bit on average spec computers, I’m guessing a particle system with some 3D and augmented reality is a bit too much for Flash to handle at the moment.
The live project can be viewed on the RAF’s altitude site, although you will have to register to view it – I will put a version up here in the future, but not until the RAF have finished with the live site. The 3D model was created by Federico Selmi, you can view his site here.