Anchors

The 3D content you make will have to be anchored to the Physical or Virtual World at some point.

  • In the case of an Augmented Reality museum exhibition, then you definitely want to anchor the content to the Physical World.

  • If you're creating an AR experience for an article in a newspaper, then you'll need to anchor it to the article's main picture.

  • It could be a maquette of a new airport, that you'll mostly place on desks and tables for meetings and such; the common trait between these is that they feature a simple 2D Surface. Therefore you're going to anchor the maquette to a 2D Surface.

Project creation

When you create a project, a Simple Anchor is automatically created for your scene elements to be anchored to.

You can select it anytime to change its type thanks to "Change Anchor type" button.

Anchor types

Simple Anchor

Provides a basic elements positionning system.

This is an experience with a Simple Anchor. Since a Simple Anchor doesn't have dimensions, it does not fit the available space.

The resulting experience could potentially be opened from anywhere, whether in Physical or Virtual Worlds, but might be bigger than the ideal space needed to watch.

How to use it in Minsar Create?

If you move the Simple Anchor while it's not selected, all its anchored elements will move with it.

If you want to move only the Simple Anchor, select it and then move it.

When selected, you can rotate it to change its orientation among its anchored elements.

Surface Anchor

[Target release S2 2019] Like a Simple Anchor but with 2 Dimensions.

The same experience using a Surface Anchor will be responsive to its environment, using its dimensions to find the best 2D surface (a ground, a table, a desk...) and scale accordingly.

[Target release S2 2019] The Creator can disable automatic re-scale anytime in the project properties.

Image Anchor

[Available on iOS for now, soon on other platforms]

Like a Surface Anchor but with an Image provided by the Creator to track.

How to use it in Minsar Create?

When you create or change Anchor type for an Image Anchor, you need to:

  1. Choose an image in the Assets Picker.

  2. Manually enter its width (to help the detection to work properly)

  3. Place it on a matching Physical image (to anchor it as it will be in visitor mode), or freely like a Simple Anchor.

Note that once placed on the matching Physical image, the Image Anchor doesn't move accordingly in real time, for now in edit; it does when visiting the experience.

If you want to change its position you can either:

  • Drag and drop it from the Physical image to place it manually.

  • Select the "Gaze placement" option in the "Adjust" menu to detect a matching Physical image or place it freely in gaze placement.

Volume Anchor

[Target release S2 2019]

Like a Surface Anchor but with 3 Dimensions instead of 2.

Elements using a Volume Anchor will be responsive to its environment by considering the available volume (3D), and scale accordingly.

[Target release S2 2019] The Creator can disable automatic re-scale anytime in the project properties.

Spatial Anchor

[Target release S1 2019]

If a Spatial Anchor is added to a project, any element not attached to another anchor will, by default, anchor to the Physical or Virtual World. In other words, any newly created element will be by default physically tied to the current exact surrounding. To detach elements from the Space, move them to another anchor, such as a Surface Anchor.

Adding a Spatial Anchor has a major impact

Once you create a project that has (possibly among other anchors) a Spatial Anchor, the experience must be opened in these specific Physical or Virtual environments. It could be an augmented museum gallery, or in the future it could be a virtual location like a place in AltSpaceVR, or Fortnite.

Using Multiple Anchors

[Target release S2 2019]

Developers use responsive techniques to give insights as to where menus and other webpage elements should be placed on tiny, medium, and big screens. With Minsar Create, you can do the same, but with Physical and Virtual Worlds, without the typical developer tooling.

The Creator has a deep knowledge of the area and knows for sure the Ancient Egypt room probably won't move in the foreseeable future, whereas some artworks might be moved to new places in that room. Artworks include sculptures and papyrus documents.

To create an environment-aware AR experience, the Creator will anchor some navigation elements (such as texts and arrows) using the Spatial Anchor, anchor contextual elements (like explainer videos) to artworks using Object Anchors and Image Anchors.

Examples

In this experience made by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux for the Pierrefonds Castle (France), most of the content is anchored to the world, while some other elements are anchored to physical objects such as paintings.


A picture of our team creating a project. It features a simple anchoring to a 2D World Surface. Once published, the resulting experience could be opened on any physical or virtual table, or on a floor at human scale if the space allows for it.


A concept we made featuring content anchored to a painting, using the Image Surface Anchor.


Compatibility

Not all anchors are created equal, and some of them might not be supported on all platforms you want to target.

Anchoring support per platforms

Anchors are environment descriptors. They facilitate placement of your content, but not all of them are supported everywhere. See Anchoring for more details.

For instance, if you plan to create an experience on iOS while targetting HoloLens 1, don't anchor its content to a physical object like a painting. It'll work on iOS, but won't behave as intended on HoloLens 1.

iOS Android HoloLens 1 HoloLens 2 Magic Leap One
Simple Anchor
Horizontal Surface Anchor
Vertical Surface Anchor ⚠️
Imaged Surface Anchor ⚠️ ️️❌
3D Object Anchor

As you can see, the most cross-platform experiences you can build are made of simple anchors and horizontal surface anchors. They can be created on any platform and opened on any platforms.

Physical Spatial Anchors

[Target release S1 2019]

Physical Spatial Anchors use different computer vision technologies to understand the surrounding environment, therefore experiences cannot be opened on all platforms.

Created on ↓ Visible on → iOS Android HoloLens 1 HoloLens 2 Magic Leap One
iOS ⚠️
Android ⚠️
HoloLens 1 ⚠️
HoloLens 2 ⚠️
Magic Leap One ⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ ✅️

✅ Automatic placement

⚠️ Requires manual placement by the user

❌ Spatial Anchoring not supported