After managing to create my first 3D model of the Bustard in Maya, it’s now time to test it through Aurasma.

My trigger image is made and slightly updated using the full colour logo from the Great Bustard group. I think it works much better as a visual key as to what you are going to see when the Augmented Reality appears. It also means that there is more ‘uniqueness’ to the icon/trigger and therefore should be easier for Aurasma to identify the correct overlay, as I have had icons that are too similar confuse Aurasma, so the more complex it is the better.



First you have to get your 3D model ‘Aurasma’ ready, this means I need to export it from Maya as a collada (DAE) file, fortunately since finding the exporter online, I find that Maya 2013 has this function built in, so don’t even need to download it. So export your .dae.

Create your thumbnail which must be 256 x 256 pixels…



Make sure any textures you have used as a UV map are in the same folder…


then combine these 3 elements into a .tar folder (much like a zip file) I used the free 7zip software. Now it’s ready to go onto the Aurasma studio and load up your new trigger and overlay.

The trigger for Aurasma must be exactly the same image as your printed trigger, then you add an aura, which is the 3D .tar folder.



you have a few controls with which to place your 3D model, then it’s a matter of pointing your device at the printed trigger image to see if it works!

I had quite a few stops and starts with this, making sure the Aurasma thumbnail was in the .tar folder, making sure the Maya model had been converted to polygons and all history deleted before it would even process, and then the light got converted so the model is a bit dark, but it’s there…

I also UV mapped a couple of textures, namely the wings and the head as you can see from the Aurasma studio screenshot, but these don’t show up when it’s live. I think this is a problem with the lights, with the size of the mapped images, with the different mapped images and maybe with the file type they are, Aurasma asks for png’s but I put in jpg’s just to see if they appear, and they do, the neck is a jpg not a png, but you can see that it is not correctly mapped.

At this point I want to move on and try to animate the model’s legs, then I will revisit the UV mapping problems, I’m sure i can tweak it all to get it working through a bit of trial and error, but in principal, it all works, as a process it’s successful, I just need to be careful how I implement it.