Creating AR using Aurasma - step by step guide

Creating AR using Aurasma - step by step guide

Creating Auras in Aurasma.pdf

Creating AR (Auras) in Aurasma

There are two approaches for creating AR in Aurasma

1         Creating simple Auras inside the Aura App

by using pre-existing AR overlays and a mobile device

It is a straightforward task to use Aurasma to create a triggered AR experience using a supported device (ie most iOS and Android mobile devices)

Using this approach, overlays are limited to Aurasma’s library (2D, 3D, Animated) and your mobile device’s

  • Device’s camera
  • Device’s photo album
  • Blinkx (online video sharing site)

The limitation is explained by Aurasma as necessary to exercise control over parameters required by the app.  Opening up to all possible video formats at present is unmanageable.

It is not possible to add Actions using this approach or to use your own content or to reorient an overlay.

Auras created by this method can be added to existing channels or made private.

The Aura app has a trigger for turning on the light on your device.

Test the app at

2         Creating your own Auras using Aurasma Studio

How to use Aurasma Studio (Vimeo)

by first becoming a Partner

The sequence

  1. A.     Become a Partner
  2. B.     Create  Trigger
  3. C.     Create Overlay
  4. D.    Create Channel
  5. E.     Create Aura then users follow your Channel

A         Become a partner

To get started you will need an account. Once you have completed and submitted your application, allow 24 hours for Aurasma to review and process your account. They will email login details. Becoming a partner and accessing Aurasma’s non-commercial account is free.

Users sign up for an account on this website:

The non-commercial account also allows creation of unlimited Auras with delivery through the Aurasma app.

Partners make content using the online Aura creation tool,  Aurasma Studio. 

This approach involves uploading content to this website.

An Aura, which links an image to a video, with an optional URL click through, can be set up and published.

Note that content on the Aurasma app is accessed by first searching for and following a channel. Channels are like folders containing collections of Auras. Users can browse or search their Aurasma app for Channels with the option to ‘follow’ one to unlock and view the Auras inside. It is advisable to add as many keywords as possible to a Channel to ensure that users can find it easily. Name your Channels clearly, describe the content and upload relevant thumbnails.

B         Create a trigger image

Click Trigger icon on the Studio desktop and follow the instructions.

  • Trigger must be a jpeg or png file less than 5000,000 total pixels.
  • Avoid sparse, dark, repeated, blurred or reflective images.
  • Geographical location (GPS) triggers are possible.
  • Masking is available.

C          Create an overlay

Click Overlay icon and follow instructions.

  • Multiple overlays are possible.
  • Actions can be added.
  • Videos (mp4, flv recommended but .mov, .wmv, mpg1 and mpg2 are supported)), Images
  • 3D scenes (collada .dae only – see below)
  • Web pages
  • Audio

 Method for creating 3D images:

Create the 3D scene.

3D model support is based on the Collada format (v1.4 or v1.5), as exported by Maya 2012 and 3DS Max 2012. Aurasma supports the OpenCOLLADA Exporter and the Autodesk Collada Exporter but recommends the OpenCOLLADA Exporter.

But I have enquired of the possibility of using SketchUp and received this email:


Aurasma Support US (Aurasma Community Network) creative team has provided the following guidance:


They state that Google SketchUp is not recommended, as their exports looks like materials are exported with totally different phrasing. Aurasma Studio cannot read them as valid files.


If you are limited by budget and cannot purchase other 3D software, we suggest Blender, as it is a bit more versed as a 3D program, as opposed to Google SketchUp. We feel there might be a better change for success when you are exporting.


Failing that - you might find exporting an fbx file from Sketchup (provided it makes an FBX file) then using the Autodesk FBX Converter (free to download) to convert the file to a dae.

Upload the following files to Aurasma Studio as a .TAR file (Windows use 7zip and on Mac use GUItar).

  • DAE file created in 3D using Collada exporter
  • PNG’s for textures
  • PNG thumbnail named ‘thumbnail’ with .PNG extension
  • MP3 (if audio is required)

Suitable Applications for creating 3D

Aurasma supports 3D models based on the Collada format (v1.4 or v1.5). For best results, the most compatible package is 3DS Max 2012, using the OpenCollada Exporter. Other packages will also provide usable Collada exports.

SketchUp is problematic. 

Blender 2.62 does a good job of exporting a 3D scene in the Collada (DAE) format for use as an overlay in Aurasma Studio. You just need to make sure you interpret the newest version of the Aurasma 3D Guidelines in a Blender 2.62 context. For a Blender 2.62 user the most important guidelines to follow are:

  • Models need triangulated faces (Edit mode > Ctrl+T)
  • No more than four lamps (lights) although three are recommended
  • Models are to have no more than one map/texture
  • Create a .tar archive to upload to Ausrasma Studio made up of .dae (Exported from Blender 2.62), .png (Texture) and a .png thumbnail (256 x 256).

2.5D is supported

2.5D gives you the ability to position 2D Overlays in 3D space rather than just appear flat on a Trigger image. Click on the ‘3D view’ button at the bottom of the Aura preview window. A new window will open which you can look around in 3D space, notice your Trigger image will appear in the centre of this 3D world.      

D         Create a Channel

Select the Channels icon and follow the instructions.  Make it private or public (allows Following)

E          Create an Aura

Select Aurus icon and follow the instructions (Select trigger, channel and overlay).

  • Position the Overlay
  • Hold Shift, click drag to size the Overlay
  • Save

A user goes to the search function in the Aurasma app, searches for a public channel and hits 'follow.'

Here is a quick way to share a Channel, especially for :

  1. Click on the Channel you want to follow, and then the ‘Link to Subscribe’ button
  2. Select and copy (ctrl + c) the link generated into an email which you can send to yourself and receive on your device
  3. Tap on the link from the email

  4. Aurasma (if downloaded) will automatically open and follow the Channel

Wait for the pop-up message to say that you are now following the Channel.

You can freely edit, add or delete any aura in your channel in your Aurasma Studio account and the Aurasma app will take the update without a user having to re-subscribe.

What features are free?

Free to download Aurasma and Aurasma Powered apps.

Free to view content.

Free to create own content in the Aurasma app. 

Free to share your content.

Free to start your very own Aurasma Studio account.

Free upgrade to more advanced features within the Studio (limited time offer).

Free to publish as much content as you'd like to the Aurasma app via channels

Existing apps powered by Aurasma 1.0 will continue to be free of charge.


What features are charged?

Creation of  an Aurasma 2.0 app.


Access to support team by email and phone.

Style guides, buttons, transitions.

API access to Aurasma servers.


At the time of writing (August 2013) Aurasma is making what it says is a limited time offer as follows:

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