Augmented Reality (AR) has become a suitable solution for visualization purposes in several applications such as gaming, entertainment or simple visualization. In contrast, only very few applications considers the use of AR for professional and scientific purposes as their use must be adapted to different applications and specific goals.
The necessity to use planar targets in order to load models resulted unsatisfactory in the visualization of complex 3D objects. Because each target allows visualizing object only when it is tilted less than 50° respect to the webcam, higher tilt angles prevent the software to correctly set the target in the space and, as a consequence, the model is not properly visualized on the screen.
This problem is particularly relevant in archaeology where the use of planar targets is only useful to visualize plates and other flat objects; however, more complex objects (such as pots, stones, jewels, etc.) cannot be adequately displayed using a single planar target, because not all of the object sides can be easily visualized.
An ad-hoc cube (ARCube) device and a 3D Studio Max plug-in have been realized for automatically process 3D complex objects models and visualize them with AR open source software.
The cube is composed of six different targets that are visible on each of its faces. Each target loads a different part of the model: each face of the model has to be associated to a defined face of the model in a unequivocal way to correctly reconstruct the object’s geometry. Then, the AR software must correctly recognize each target.
Jiménez Fernández-Palacios, B., Nex, F., Rizzi, A., Remondino, F., 2014: ARCube – The Augmented Reality Cube for Archaeology Archaeometry, DOI: 10.1111/arcm.12120.
Jiménez Fernández-Palacios, B., Rizzi, A. Nex, F., 2012: Augmented reality for archaeological finds. Euromed. International Conference on Cultural Heritage. Lemesos, Cyprus. 29 oct. – 3 Nov.