Project 1 - Eat It

Due 9/24/18 at 8:59pm Chicago time

Project 1 is focused on Augmented Reality at the table-top scale. In the future when everyone is wearing their AR enabled eye-wear most of the time, what kind of future will it be? Will it be a glorious information-rich world or an advertising nightmare. We are going to explore this a bit by looking into what breakfast might become in this new world. Right now you may have a place mat, a box of cereal, a carton of milk, a can of juice, each with their own graphics, but what if those objects were to be more aggressive in trying to get your attention? Or, what if the place mat was trying to get you to eat healthy by giving you the nutritional information on what you are eating?

This project will give you some experience writing an Augmented Reality application using Unity3D and Vuforia, and let you experience what this kind of augmented world will be like. There are details on Unity3D and Vuforial in the week 2 notes.

In the future people would be wearing lightweight trendy glasses, or contact lenses, or ocular implants, but for now we are going to use a webcam attached to a computer to simulate these glasses, which also gives a common platform for evaluating your work. Make sure you have regular access to a modern webcam that you can plug into your development computer. There will be a webcam available on the classroom computer for testing. There are also several apps out there that let you use your smartphone as a webcam, so you may also want to try those (e.g. DroidCam)

Implementing the Project

This project can be done either as an individual project or in a group of 2. The requirements below are per person, so if you are in a two person team you need to double these requirements. As soon as you have formed your group (even if it is just a 1-person group) send an email to andy so he can approve it.

The application will take place on a table. The user will have several real props that will be augmented by computer graphics.

The graphics for the various targets can be found at This file was updated on 9/11/18 to fix an error with the 2nd cereal box. There are multiple targets for each type just in case there are some tracking issues; you should start with number 1. You will need to use some arts and crafts skills to create the small cereal box and can shapes.

To get a C on the project ...

To get a B you need to add ...

As a bit more of an explanation here, with the cereal box as an example ... the cereal box is the central element of its scene, but its disguised as something else. It could be a tombstone, or a building or anything else that's vaguely box shaped or something that has a box shape as its base. The breakfast eater still needs to be able to grab the cereal box to pour cereal out of it, so it should still have that general shape, but there are other parts of the scene. If the cereal box is a tombstone then maybe there is an area of grass below it, a gnarled tree next to it, a moon in the sky above it, a few creepy crawlies hanging on to different sides of the tombstone, etc. The sides of the box can be replaced by textures to turn it into something else (e.g. textures for the sides of a building, etc.), or the box could be replaced by a 3D model that is reasonably close in size and shape to that box. Then the can has its own scene, the placemat has its own scene.

To get an A you need to add ...

Graduate students in the class also need to create a new augmented Cereal box using your own new graphics, which satisfies all of the C, B, and A requirements, where the augmented graphics augment rather than replace the graphics on the box - i.e. this is more like the 'Lion Flakes' Vuforia example, than my 'Repo Man' inspired cereal box.

Note that you are encouraged to be creative here in coming up with your breakfast creations (as long as they remain in a G-rated realm) so come up with your own cereal like Cthulios, or Planetesimals, or Lembas Flakes, or Grass 'n Bugs, or UFOlios based on the imagery and models that you find and your personal interests.

Note that there is a big difference between getting something working and getting it working well. The first is not that hard. takes much more time. You are being graded on the quality of the experience so you are expected to have things working well, so be sure to test on the actual hardware regularly. The application should maintain a high frame rate, the graphics should be well lit, any text should be readable, any audio should be appropriately balanced.


I'm not kidding about this

You NEED to test on the actual hardware

The classroom should be free for testing on T/Th after class until 1:30, and from 4:00 to 5:00.  If there is no one in the classroom then try knocking on 2028 ERF or 2032 ERF. The PC in the classroom should automatically reboot into the account for the class.

Turning in the Project

When you are ready to turn in your project, or just to test it on the classroom PC, build an executable for target platform windows x86_64. The classroom VIVE PC will have a folder on the desktop named 491VRAR_Project 1. You should create a folder on there with a filename matching your name or the name of someone in your group. Inside your groups folder you should put a copy of the executable and the data folder for your project. Be sure to test and make sure your project runs well through the webcam on that PC as that is where they will be shown in class and officially graded.

If you are a graduate student you should turn in the new physical props that you create at the beginning on class on the Tuesday after the assignment is due.

You should create a set of public web pages (available to anyone for at least the duration of the course) that describe your work on the project. You can host your web pages at UIC ( or the provider of your choice, as long as they remain publicly available to all. You can use any publicly available templates as long as you cite them, or create your own.

These Webpages should include:

all of which should have plenty of screenshots with meaningful captions. Web pages like this can be very helpful later on in helping you build up a portfolio of your work when you start looking for a job so please put some effort into it.

YouTube Video

You should also create a 2-3 minute YouTube video showing the use of your application including narration with decent audio quality. That video should be in a very obvious place on your main project web page. You can use screen recording software, or your phone (if the camera quality is good enough and you shoot the video landscape and not portrait). You can try to narrate while interacting but you will most likely find its useful to do some editing afterwards to tighten the video up.

Turning things in

The web page including screen snapshots and video need to be done by the deadline so be sure to leave enough time to get that work done. Once you have your webpage done, send the URL to Andy before the deadline. I will respond to this email as your 'receipt'. I will be linking your web page to the course notes so please send me a nice representative jpg or png image of your application running for the web (i.e. a photo of your augmented reality breakfast world). This should be named p1.<your_last_name>.jpg or p1.<your_last_name>.png and be roughly 1024 x 768 in size.


If you are in a group, when the project is done, each person in the group should also send Andy a private email with no one else CC'd ranking your coworkers and yourself on the project on a scale from 1 (low) to 5 (high) in terms of how good a coworker they were on the project. If you never want to work with them again, give them a 1. If this person would be a first choice for a partner on a future project then give them a 5. If they did what was expected but nothing particularly good or bad then give them a 3. By default your score should be 3 unless you have a particular reason to increase or decrease the number. Please confine your responses to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and no 1/3ds or .5s please.

Presenting the Project

An important part of creating VR applications is getting feedback and using it to improve your design.

We will be spending time in class for each person/group to show off their work. Given the number of groups, each group will have 5 minutes to present their project.


Hruby, Huynh
Rastogi link

Jaiswal, Takkar

Vannia Samy


Mantovani link

Vega, Flebbe

Almoujahed, Dolat

Sandrelli, Tricarico
Jhanwar, Bhurani


Condrella, Alam
Thiruvarpu Neelakantan, Krishnamoorthy
Jamal, Kidwai
Santambrogio, Bellini






Kuhn, Lubek link


Stranczek link

last update: 9/13 added some more explanations for what is needed in terms of augmentation

9/11/18 The 2nd Cereal Box set of image targets had a rogue alpha channel which made the vuforia target manager unhappy. I removed the alpha channel, made sure none of the other targets had one, and re-uploaded the zip file, so you should probably download the new one.