All posts by George Brown

Back to work

After a bit of a tour of Switzerland in the hot weather last week, I’m back working on the next release. This one will remove the stock photo and video picker and replace it with a custom version that won’t mess with connected displays, and maybe offer extra features in the future. It’s almost done already, so I might fit in a few other enhancements, should have a release for the end of the week.

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Plans for next release

So after fixing the layers view, I’m going to address another fundamental part of the GUI, video importing. At the moment I’m using the stock apple UIImagePickerController for importing video and images, it’s less than satisfactory for my needs, it arbitrarily takes over the connected display, a totally undocumented feature which doesn’t seem to be able to be turned off. I’ll be replacing it with a custom importer, the basics are already there with the slideshow creator, and while I’m at it, improve other features of video importing and usage to better conserve resources and make the the Reality Augmenter more responsive.

Hopefully that won’t be too tough and I can add some extra stuff and still keep within a 2-3 week release cycle. After that there are going to be some major new features and improvements in the coming months, you simply can’t get a better projection mapping app for your mobile device.

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New Version out today

New Features
This update gets rid of the layers table view, replaced with a new view that shows the layer geometries instead, so you can instantly see which layer is which. From this view you can tap any layer to edit it’s properties. Layer geometries are locked by default to stop accidentally interfering with the projection, to unlock, either long press on any area, or touch the edit button in the top left. You can then select and edit any layer like before, pinch to zoom, pan, and a long press to unlock snaps. The geometry view also looks a bit prettier and the checker pattern let’s you see if you’re texture edges line up or not, snapped nodes now appear in orange instead of blue.

The layer properties editor now has perspective correction, the default is off and the Reality Augmenter uses bi linear interpolation by default, this ensures the edges of your textures always line up. You can now turn on Perspective correction for a more correct 3d mapping, but the edges of textures are not guaranteed to line up, in many situations, this is not an issue.

Bug fixes
Fixed crash when trying to connect to a google cast device with an iPad.
Various internal code updates.

As usual, for any ideas, bug reports, suggestion, don’t hesitate to contact me.

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Version 1.8 submitted for review

Despite my earlier post on finding a bug on some devices, I managed to find a workaround, so 1.8 has now been submitted to review.

The problem only seemed to occur on older devices that only supported OpenGL ES2, and it made no sense. The OpenGL driver would crash when performing a certain operation in the fragment shader, reporting gpus_ReturnGuiltyForHardwareRestart. After googling the error, I couldn’t find any solutions, many suggested that it may have been incorrectly setup vertex buffer objects, but this was not the case for me. Others suggest a problem in the latest iOS release that was supposedly fixed in Beta.

For my layers, I combine multiple textures for the layer image, mask and overlay, with seperate texture coord buffers for each texture, all created in the same way that has proved 100% reliable for all previous releases. But this latest update adds another z coord to the texture coords in order to achieve the perspective correction feature, it worked fine for the layer image, but if a mask was introduced, it crashed. If I stopped dividing the xy values by the z, in mask only, it worked again. I hadn’t actually changed the size of the texture coords, I’d been using vec4s to respect apples guidelines on padding coordinates to increase memory access efficiency, just recalculated the z value as appropriate instead of using 0.

How was this problem solved? I did the texture coordinate recalculation in the vertex shader, all exactly the same data, same calculation, but it stopped the crash, for no reason I can fathom. Hopefully it’s a problem in iOS that will be resolved, but I don’t know if I want to go through the hassle of creating a custom project to try and reproduce the error for an apple bug report…

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Starting on the next release

On my project board for the next release is adding some options for perspective correction, this will probably be simple at first, just the current straight grid and a fast perspective correction, that can be set by individual layer. I’ve got the basics in place and should have that done in a day or so.

I also want to get rid of the current layer table view, it doesn’t really provide any benefit apart from changing the layer order, it would make more sense to show all the mapping layer geometries so users can instantly pick the layer they want to work with. I’ll add a different facility to change the ordering, just some move up/down buttons would do the trick.

I’ve still got a ton of ideas for new sources, usability and other features, I’ve probably got months and months of new updates to come! As usual, if you have any ideas, do let me know!

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Next release almost there

Just putting the final touches to my next release, the new crop feature is in and working beautifully, there’s some better support for retina screens and a major bug has been fixed. You can now also use the same source as the source for a layer and it’s mask. I don’t know why I prevented that…

I’ll be submitting the new version for review hopefully today or tomorrow, I have to update all my screenshots for the app store and website to reflect some new GUI changes and it will take a while to go through every screen size and edit them appropriately.

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Future features and changes

Making good progress on my next update for iOS, big new functionality update for that one will be the ability to crop sources, so they can be spanned across multiple surfaces, among other things.

Future improvements coming very soon (1-2 months)
I’ll be changing the layers view, the current table format isn’t the greatest way to see your layout. It will probably change to something like the geometry editor so the whole layout can be done in one screen.
Better perspective handling for layers.
Remove the standard Apple image and video picker, currently it can play havoc with connected displays by trying to be helpful, I’ve raised a bug report with Apple on it’s undocumented features but who knows if they’ll fix it?

Longer term plans and ideas
iPad users, I’ll be making improvements to better use the screen real estate over time.
Audio reactive sources/effects, lot of people like these.
Some sort of control center to better control the sources in one place.

And of course, with every update, bugs and annoyances will be fixed and addressed

If you have any thoughts or ideas, don’t hesitate to contact me!

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