Augmented Reality (AR) for images is a topic that has been popular these years. Wall art is one of the markets that can benefit from technology. Due to the current situation in the world, most people prefer online shopping; on the other hand, the return rates also go up because people may not find their purchases fitting. There are certain reasons for these rising return rates including:
Using Augmented Reality, websites that showcase wall arts and
AR has been growing fast and its pick has been in 2020, as it’s been a huge pick in usage of eCommerce websites all around the world. As the result of not being able to visit the art galleries and stores as frenquently as past, around the world, AR or Augmented Reality has become a very useful tool for those who are active in art industries such as wall arts to virtualize the experience of putting the wall art on the wall in your place, either home, office, hotel, etc. Instant Virtual Experience (IVE) can instantly bring all these AR features to your website, if you are one of those business owners who showcases and sells wall arts.
How to use AR for photos, art, and picture frames on wall?
Augmented Reality (AR) for Images
Wall art is one of the best products that can benefit from AR and it’s not a difficult task to create a 3D model of a picture frame, wall art, photograph or things like clocks. The reason is they all have 2 dimensions. A wall art is basically an image that turns into a 3D model and it has no depth (d) or Y. AR processors can detect the size of the wall, distance to the wall, size of the photo or picture frame, and give you the best experience of trying the art or picture frame before actually bringing the physical product into your place.
The setup of Augmented Reality (AR) for images, wall arts, and picture frames
Augmented Reality (AR) for images, wall arts, photos, and picture frames starts from conversion of the 2D photo to a 3D model, processing the size, and then placement of that on the detected wall in your place. You can either use a manual conversion or creation of 3D models, or use Instant Virtual Experience.
Alignment of wall arts or photos for AR
Wall arts are the sort of products that are very difficult to take a high-resolution photo of, from the right in front of them. In majority of the cases, the photos are taken in a perspective structure, and that makes it difficult to instantly bring the photo to Augmented Reality (AR) environment. Photos taken by the artists, gallery visitors, designers, or suppliers, may need some graphic designing work, retouching, background removal, or alignment, before they are ready for AR. Some AR technology providers design their platforms with lots of tools for you to use and minimize the editing steps as much as possible.
Wall arts, photographs, picture frames behind other objects in Augmented Reality
Another challenge in AR for wall arts and photos to place on the wall is the fact that the AR viewer you use must be able to detect other objects and place the art or picture behind the other object if required. That object can be a TV, a part of a furniture, etc. Unfortunately this is not always up to the AR viewer, as it also depends on the phone and os capabilities, or any other device that you or your website visitor is using. The phone should have depth sensors to be able to detect if there is anything in between your phone and the virtual picture frame, wall art, or photograph on the wall.
It’s recommended not to use 3D scanner for a wall art, photo, or picture frame
When you use a 3D scanner for some photo or picture on the wall, you will most likely need to perform some edits and make sure no part of the wall is scanned as a part of the art, and the alignment of corners are correct. Conversion of a 2D photograph sometimes works better than scanning a wall art, unless, you would like to scan some details of a picture frame that has volume to that.
Phone scanners can be a useful too but due to fact that wall arts have a large area, scanning them using a phone may be very time-consuming. On top of scanning they also need to be cropped, and exported to the files you can use in AR.
How to prepare a photo for augmented reality (AR) on the wall?
The process of preparing a photo for wall augmented reality (AR)
A summary of the process is:
- Taking photo of the art or using a photo you have
- Removing the background
- Aligning the corners of the photo to be all in one line.
- 2D to 3D Conversion which can be done using some mobile app, Blender software application, Udemy, 3DsMAX, Maya, etc.
- Exporting USDZ and GLB or converting .OBJ file for USDZ and GLB
- Linking the AR files (USDZ and GLB) to an AR viewer
- Using AR viewer on the website.
AR Generator for Photos
There are AR technology providers that use artificial intelligence (AI) can detect the issues that your wall art, picture frame, or photograph may have for entering into an AR environment. these issues can be
- Busy background (Very common)
- Art being on a wall with dark color
- Corners not being aligned (Very common)
- Incompatible aspect ratio with the actual photo / item (Very common)
- Very light and very dark colors that will make the texture of object difficult to realize
- Having light reflection on some parts of the wall parts
Automatic AR rug preparation systems can detect the majority of these problems and get them fixed. In the ones that give you a platform, you may need to do them one by one for each rug. But in some other ones such as instant virtual experience (IVE), it automatically detects which issue to fix, and fixes that before sending the rug for AR.
Manually preparing an image for AR
Here I have a step by step general instructions to create an AR environment for rugs.
- Take a high resolution photo of your wall art, preferably with a uni-color background.
- Remove the background and the area you don’t want in, and save it as PNG.
- Align the corners using the smart crop tool on photoshop, in order to have a perfect rectangle (/square /circle /oval) of the photo, that feels like the photo is taken from right in front.
- Adjust the colors to get the closest combination to the real rug. If you use photoshop, you can use Selective Color, Brightness, Contrast, and Toning.
- Remove the light reflections from your wall art, or photo.
- Fix the aspect ratio of the photo to match the actual aspect ratio of the product.
- Using a 3D modeling application like 3D Max, Blender, Autodesk, Maya, etc, give the image 1/4 inch of depth, so it has a little bit of volume to that.
- Now you need to export your 3D model as USDZ, and GLB, for iOS and Android AR Experience.
- Link your files to an AR viewer and use the AR viewer on your website.
AR Viewer for wall arts, photographs, and picture frames
There are 2 types of AR viewers to use for your wall arts’ 3D models
- Web Viewers
- Native Viewer (iOS / Android)
The use of WebAR or AR in web viewers is increasing as AR technology is always growing and the web viewers with latest technology gives you a very similar experience to native view. WebAR or AR in web viewers need no additional mobile app to process. They can be processed via the web browser.
Native viewers need an app to process the AR experience which is specifically created for the device’s OS you are using. Unfortunately when it comes to requiring your potential client to use an app for AR experience with your eCommerce website, the hassle of downloading the app may be too much for them, so they postpone this to a later time.
In my personal opinion, WebAR or AR in web viewers can be much more successful in eCommerce than AR in native viewers.