Augmented Reality: Stetson University

A Lecture and Workshop with John Craig Freeman


When: Friday, October 25, 2012, 7:00 pm.

Where: L-25.


When: Friday, October 26, 2012, 11:00 am.

Where: Flagler 112.

Public Art in the Virtual Sphere

Whereas the public square was once the quintessential place to air grievances, display solidarity, express difference, celebrate similarity, remember, mourn, and reinforce shared values of right and wrong, it is no longer the only anchor for interactions in the public realm. That geography has been relocated to a novel terrain, one that encourages exploration of mobile location based public art. Moreover, public space is now truly open, as artworks can be placed anywhere in the world, without prior permission from government or private authorities – with profound implications for art in the public sphere and the discourse that surrounds it. Artist John Craig Freeman will show example of his work and discuss the role of the artists in the emerging virtual public sphere.

“Orators, Rostrums, and Propaganda Stands,” by John Craig Freeman, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, July 2012.

Biography: John Craig Freeman is a public artist with over twenty years of experience using emergent technologies to produce large-scale public work at sites where the forces of globalization are impacting the lives of individuals in local communities. His work seeks to expand the notion of public by exploring how digital networked technology is transforming our sense of place. Freeman is a founding member of the international artists collective ManifestAR and he has produced work and exhibited around the world including in Liverpool, Venice, Istanbul, Xi’an, Belfast, Los Angeles, Beijing, Zurich, New York City, Taipei, São Paulo, Warsaw, Kaliningrad, Miami, Bilbao, Havana, Atlanta, Calgary, Buffalo, Boston, Mexico City, London and San Francisco. In 1992 he was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has had work commissioned by the ZERO1 Biennial, and His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, El Pais, Liberation, Wired News, Artforum, Ten-8, Z Magazine, Afterimage, Photo Metro, New Art Examiner, Time, Harper’s and Der Spiegel. Christiane Paul cites Freeman’s work in her book Digital Art, Second Addition, as does Lucy Lippard in the Lure of the Local, and Margot Lovejoy in Digital Currents: Art in the Electronic Age. His writing has been published in Rhizomes, Leonardo, the Journal of Visual Culture, and Exposure. Freeman received a Bachelor of Art degree from the University of California, San Diego in 1986 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1990. He is currently an Associate Professor of New Media at Emerson College in Boston. Freeman writes, “If Andy Warhol set out to create a distinctly American art form in the twentieth century, I identify with those who seek to create a distinctly global art form in the twenty-first.”


This 4-hour workshop provides a hands-on introduction to location-based Augmented Reality (AR) – a technique where virtual 3D objects can be overlaid into physical space and viewed through the camera and screen of mobile devices. AR is an emerging tool in game design and offers many exciting possibilities for visual artists and activists to realize their ideas in any scale or location in the world.

By the end of the workshop you will be able to:

Participation Requirements: Each student must bring a late model smartphone (iPhone or Android mobile device) equipped with a camera, GPS, compass, accelerometer, and mobile Internet or Wi-Fi connection.

Create and Publish a Basic AR Asset

Please keep you phone charged at all times.

Download the Stetson Assets:

Steps to create a layer:

Sign up to become a developer:

Login to Layar Developer Section:

Register your layer on the Publishing Site: Layer name = yourprojectname (unique, lowercase only, no spaces or symbols), Title = Your Project Title, Short description (60 characters max) API endpoint URL (hold)

The next step would be set up web service. We will use Hoppala Augmentation as a web service and to host content for now. Open a new browser tab.

Create a Hoppala account:

Create an Overlay in Hoppala: Hoppala Augmentation Dashboard > Add Overlay, Title = Your Project Title (same as Title above), Name yourprojectname (same as Layer name above), copy Overlay URL

Edit the Layar: API endpoint URL = paste Overlay URL, 3D and 2D objects in space (pulldown), Create Layar

  • Listing & indexing: Layer Icon = Stetson_Icon_128.png, Stetson_Icon_96.png, Layer Screenshot = Stetson_Screenshot.png, Title, Category = Art, Short description, Detail description, Tags, Minimum API version = Version 3.0
  • Look & feel: Upload a Banner Icon = Baner_Icon_120.png, Baner_Icon_90.png
  • Coverage: Countries = United States
  • Save

Create an Overlay POI (Point of Intrest) in Hoppala:

  • General: Title = object name, Description 1 = your name, Thumbnail = pulldown menu > Stetson_Icon_128.png
  • Assets: Asset > Choose File = Simple_Facing_Plane_01.l3d > Add > pulldown menu, Scale = 200%, Angle √ Facing
  • Action = Audio
  • • Label = Listen
  • • Choose file = Audio.wav
  • • Add
  • • Pulldown Menu = Audio.wav
  • Location: Longitude = 29.034917, Latitude = -81.302642, Altitude √ Relative, The way to think about altitude is that the models center point will load at the users camera level. So, if a model is human scale, 6 feet or 2 meters, you would have to use a -1 meter elevation value or so for the feet to be on the ground.

Test your layer thoroughly:

Layar Developer Section > My layars > Test

  • Enter geolocation: 29.034917, -81.302642
  • Save location = Stetson
  • Load POIs

Install and login to Layar on your phone

  • Layar > Settings > Account

Enter in your phones URL field

Publish your layer once it is approved:

Production Concept

Write down short narrative descriptions of important formative memories from your family experience, from your community experience, from your entertainment experience and from your professional experience. Do not attempt to explain the meaning of the event nor why you remember it. Instead paint a mental image of the memory with your words.

Based on objects which appear in your writing, particularly those which repeat across memories, create a set of digital images. You can photograph, paint, draw, scan, download, or create simple 3D models if you have the skills. Save the images as 1024 x 1024 pixel files with transparency in the .png file format. The objects in the images should be completely contained within the frame with no cropping. Animated sequences of up to 12 frames are acceptable as well.

We will place these objects in significant locations around the city and beyond. Finally, you will be asked to connect the these experience and memories to some current public policy issue that they feel strongly about.

Recommended Viewing: Ulmer Tapes

Project Production

Prepare your your own PNG file with transparency:

  • Save it at 1024×1024 pixel your_2D_object_1024.png

  • Save it at 128×128 pixel your_2D_object_Icon_128.png


  • Save it at 96×96 pixel your_2D_object_Icon_96.png


Develop a Proxy Layar

Login to your Stetson Group Layar Account

My layars > Open and configure your proxy layar

  • user01:
  • user02:
  • user03:
  • user04:
  • user05:
  • user06:
  • user07:
  • user08:
  • user09:
  • user10:
  • user11:
  • user12:
  • user13:
  • user14:
  • user15:

Login and copy your Overlay URL from your Hoppala Account

Paste your Overlay URL in API endpoint URL field of the API endpoint tab of your proxy Layar

Convert an .obj file to the Layar proprietary .l3d file format using the Layar3D Model Converter:

  • Layar3D Model Converter – Menu Bar > File > Import Wavefront (.obj/.mtl) = Simple_Facing_Plane.obj
  • Overview: Inspect stats, File size (bytes) not to exceed 1000000
  • Materials: Diffuse = White, Ambient = White
  • Preview:
  • Menu Bar > File > Save As your_asset_01.l3d

Modify your Overlay POI in Hoppala:

  • General: Title = object name, Description 1 = your name, Thumbnail > Choose File = your_image_Icon_128.png > Add > pulldown menu
  • Assets: Asset > Choose File = your_asset_01.l3d > Add > pulldown menu, Scale = 200%, Angle √ Facing
  • Action: Website, Audio etc.

Test Your Work on the Group Project List



  • Book mark the project list for easy access
  • Choose a project from the list
  • Aim the device’s cameras towards the object
  • Choose Options > Layar actions > Screenshot

Animated Assets

Modify .l3d file using the Layar3D Model Converter:

  • Layar3D Model Converter – Menu Bar > Open = Simple_Facing_Plane_01.l3d
  • Materials: Diffuse = White, Ambient = White, static – animation > Replace image Animation/Animation_512_01.png > Add, Delay (ms) = 200
  • Preview: Menu Bar Enable > Animation
  • Overview: Inspect stats, File size (bytes) not to exceed 1000000
  • Menu Bar > File > Save As Animated_Asset.l3d

3D Assets

Adjust Normals:

Maya Menu Bar > File > Set Project = Simple_Cylinder

Menu Bar > File > Open = Simple_Cylinder.mb

Select geometry

Menu Bar > Display > Polygons > Face Normals

Menu Bar > Display > Polygons > Backface Culling

Menu Bar > File > Export > Simple_Cylinder.obj

Convert an .obj file to .l3d file format using the Layar3D Model Converter:

  • Layar3D Model Converter – Menu Bar > File > Import Wavefront (.obj/.mtl) = Simple_Cylinder.obj
  • Overview: Inspect stats, File size (bytes) not to exceed 1000000
  • Materials: Diffuse = White, Ambient = White
  • Preview:
  • Placement: √ Save placement details = Longitude = 29.034917, Latitude = -81.302642
  • Menu Bar > File > Save As .l3d

Open and inspect Simple_Cylinder.psd in Photoshop

Building Your Own Web Service

Download the ‘Sample Code: Add objects to a layer’ from the Browser & Platform – Layar Developer Documentation, Tutorials & Tools, Layer with 1d icons, 2d images and 3d objects.

Manage a MySQL Database Using phpMyAdmin

Use SQL statements to build database tables.

Configure a .PHP Endpoint URL.


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