Torch How-To: Optimizing 2D Images for 3D

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Images made in Sketch, Adobe Creative Suite, or other apps can vastly improve the overall aesthetic quality and user experience of your 3D design. Just like in screen-based 2D mobile app design, however, you should consider some basic guidelines and constraints as you prepare your images for use in Torch AR. Those considerations are similar to those you would make for a mobile app, with a few caveats.

Considering Text Scaling and Legibility

If your image uses text, you need to make sure it will be legible when it’s imported into Torch. From middle-distance screens to close-up UI buttons, most use cases for Torch projects can be satisfied by 2x or 3x scaling. The main consideration when designing your elements is the relative size of any text elements included in each element. In internal testing, we’ve come up with a general formula for text legibility within a Torch AR project:

Fourteen-point text is legible from 0.5 meters when the asset is set to have a scale of 1.
From there, text size and viewing distance double in lockstep—14-point text is legible from 1 meter with a scale of 2, and legible from 2 meters with a scale of 4.

Example of a pair of objects with 2D assets that have text on them, one object at a distance of 0.5 meters with text that says “14pt text at 0.5 meters. 1x scale.”), and the other at a distance of 2 meters with text that says

So, if the relative size of your asset calls for larger text, just remember that in a Torch project, 14-point text a half-meter away reads the same as 28-point text at a meter. You will need to adjust the text size (in your 2D design tool) or the asset size (in the Torch AR scene) accordingly.

If you need a very large element, like a billboard, in your scene and you want it viewable from very close, you will need to go beyond 3x for it to read cleanly. Be cautious of this, however, because too many extra-large elements in a scene or project can cause performance issues, including crashing.

Using the Face Camera Setting

After you’ve placed an asset, we suggest that you turn on the Face Camera property. Remember, this is 3D, and 2D assets can disappear or appear reversed as you walk around. The Face Camera property ensures your 2D object always faces the user.

If three users are in the scene at the same time standing in different positions, all three will see the image facing them. To turn on Face Camera:

  1. Tap the desired object(s). Each selected object will be outlined in blue.
  2. Tap the Object Properties button on the context menu. The Object Properties drawer opens.
  3. Scroll right and tap the Face Camera button. The Face Camera menu appears.
  4. Tap Enable so the button is to the right end of slider.
  5. Tap the desired Face Around and Adjust Orientation options and use the slider to set the initial orientation of the object(s).
  6. Tap the checkmark to save your settings to return to the Object Properties drawer.
  7. Tap the X to close the drawer.

Tip: For more information about using Face Camera, read Setting Object Properties.

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