Introducing Torch AR

In this article:

Torch AR is a design and prototyping app for mobile augmented reality (AR). You can use Torch to build interactive 3D prototypes on your device and share them with others, add interactions that drive complex logic, or trigger delightful animations. You can even collaborate in real-time with other designers and developers.

Tip: The best thing about Torch is that the design environment is code-free, so you don’t need any 3D design experience to create powerful prototypes. If you are new to 3D in general, however, you might want to start by reading our blog post, "A 3D Primer for Screen Designers."

Getting Started with Torch AR

Getting up and running with Torch AR is simple; just follow these steps:

  1. Verify your iOS device will support Torch AR. You will need access to an ARKit-capable iOS device. These include the iPhone 6S or newer, any iPad Pro, and iPad (2017 & 2018). Torch is available in the iOS App Store.
  2. Note: We have not released Torch AR for Android. If you are interested in the Android version of Torch, sign up for Android Early Access and we’ll keep you posted on developments.

  3. Download and install Torch AR from the App Store.
  4. Open the Torch app. The Welcome screen appears.
  5. Screen shot of the Welcome screen

  6. Create a new account, either directly in Torch or using your Google account. After you log in to Torch for the first time, read and accept the Terms of Service. Torch then notifies you it needs access to your device’s camera.
  7. Note: Torch does its utmost to respect your rights. We do not store any images from your device nor do we access the camera except through the ARKit API.

  8. Tap Got It!, then tap OK at the camera access prompt. After a moment, Torch opens in Design Mode to the Torch Overview project template.
  9. Screen shot of the Torch Overview template

  10. Each time you open Torch, you must set a World Anchor to ground your design in the real world before you can access any features. For now, point to any horizontal surface, such as the floor, and wait for the dots to appear, and then tap anywhere on the screen to set the World Anchor. Read more about this step in Setting a World Anchor.
  11. You manipulate objects in the Torch environment using common touchscreen gestures. To understand which gestures do what, review Using Gestures in Torch AR, then continue the interface tour.

Touring the Torch AR Interface

To familiarize you with the tools and features available, this section highlights the Torch screen elements you see in Design Mode. Use the provided links to learn more about each feature.

Screen shot of the main screen with callouts pointing to the screen elements as described below

From top to bottom, the basic interface buttons include the following:

  • My Torch: Tap on your avatar to access a variety of account settings, such as managing your profile and avatar, opening a new or existing project, resetting the World Anchor, and contacting Torch AR Support: Using the My Torch Menu
  • Scene Manager: Tap here to add, copy, reorder, delete and otherwise manage scenes: Managing Scenes

The next seven buttons are collectively known as the context menu.

  • Undo and Redo arrows: These buttons work like Undo and Redo in most apps. (The Redo button only appears after you’ve taken an action.)
  • Quick Actions are tasks you often perform on one or more objects, such as deleting, duplicating, or locking an object: Using the Quick Actions Menu
  • Object Properties: Use this button to modify size, location, rotation, visibility, spin, etc. of one or more selected objects: Setting Object Properties
  • Interactions: Tap here to add or manage interactions that can dynamically change object and scene properties: Working with Interactions
  • Play Mode: Use this button to test interactions and scene flow without design environment UI and to record and share your finished project: Working in Play and Record Modes
  • Project Settings: The Project Settings button provides a shortcut to certain properties, such as resetting the World Anchor, changing the project name, or viewing attributions and credits: Using Project Quick Settings
  • Sharing: You can share your project with others so they may view or edit the project. Use this button to invite or remove individual collaborators: Working with Collaborators

At bottom center:

  • Asset Drawer: The Asset Drawer is where you import and/or store 3D and 2D assets into scenes from Poly, Sketchfab, your Camera Roll, or your own cloud storage: Working with Assets

Logging Out of Torch

After you’ve opened Torch AR, you remain logged in to the current account unless you specifically take action to log out. If you want to log out or switch to a different account, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the My Torch button. The My Torch menu appears.
  2. Scroll down past the menu to the Log Out button.
  3. Tap Log Out. Torch returns you to the Welcome screen.
  4. Double-tab the iOS Home button and swipe up to close the app (or log in with a different account).

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