I’m so pleased to reveal what we’ve been working on for quite some time—the new Playground augmented reality mode on Google Pixel devices!
Playground brings you more powerful AR experiences and uses AI to recommend content for expressing yourself in the moment. You can make your photos and videos come to life with Playmoji—characters that react to each other and to you—and tell a richer story by adding fun captions or animated stickers.
Playground makes real-time suggestions to recommend content based on the scene you’re in. Are you walking your dog? Cooking in the kitchen? Gardening in the backyard? Playground uses advanced computer vision and machine learning to recommend relevant Playmoji, stickers and captions to populate the scene.
My team contributed tech that enables selfie stickers (using realtime segmentation to let characters stand behind you), reactive stickers (those that respond to humans in the frame), object tracking (so that you can attach stickers to moving elements like pets & hands), and glue that helps the pieces communicate. Happily, too, we’re just getting warmed up.
Today we’re announcing that VR Creator Lab is coming to London. Participants will receive between $30,000 and $40,000 USD in funding towards their VR project, attend a three day “boot camp” September 18-20, 2018, and receive three months of training from leading VR instructors and filmmakers.
Applications are open through 5pm British Summer Time on August 6, 2018. YouTube creators with a minimum of 10,000 subscribers and independent filmmakers are eligible.
Wow: You can fly through some amazing goals thanks to the Times graphics staff using 3D illustration package Mental Canvas to convert single images into 3D videos. Check it out (click here if the vid below doesn’t load):
Somehow I’d never heard of Mental Canvas previously. Looks rather amazing:
The “Soccer On Your Tabletop” system takes as its input a video of a match and watches it carefully, tracking each player and their movements individually. The images of the players are then mapped onto 3D models “extracted from soccer video games,” and placed on a 3D representation of the field. Basically they cross FIFA 18 with real life and produce a sort of miniature hybrid.
Sounds handy for storytellers embracing new perspectives:
VR180 Creator currently offers two features for VR videos. “Convert for Publishing” takes raw fisheye footage from VR180 cameras like the Lenovo Mirage Camera and converts it into a standardized equirect projection. This can be edited with the video editing software creators already use, like Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro. “Prepare for Publishing” re-injects the VR180 metadata after editing so that the footage is viewable on YouTube or Google Photos in 2D or VR.
You can learn more about how to use VR180 Creator here and you can download it here.
If you’re interested in making augmented reality characters feel natural in the real world, it’s well worth spending a few minutes with this tour of some key insights. I’ve heard once-skeptical Google AR artists praising it, saying, “This video is a treasure trove and every artist, designer or anyone working on front-end AR should watch it.” Enjoy, and remember to bump that lamp. 🙂
Up to four friends can play in the same set on four different iOS devices, and notably all of the virtual aspects of the LEGO AR app will be connected to physical LEGO sets. “We can save our entire world back into our physical set, and pick up where we left off later,” Sanders said.