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Augmented Reality: Video Overlays

Aurasma is a free AR application for smartphones.

Video Overlays

Just like images, video overlays are simple to upload and connect to a trigger through the Aurasma app. However, there are certain specifications to keep in mind when working with video in Aurasma. 

Specifications

Following Aurasma's specifications is essential for designing successful video overlays. While 4G and internet connected users will have easy access to higher quality content, keep in mind that Aurasma offers lower-quality video for users on 3G or slow internet connections. Video length and size are important considerations. While Aurasma's video size limit is 100MB, successful video content will be much smaller. 

Aurasma recommends using .MP4 with a H2.64 codec. .MOV files will upload, but you should optimize them first. For transparency, use .FLV with an alpha chanel. 

For more information on playback and uploading, see Aurasma's FAQ on using video in your Aura.

Wireless Connections and Video Playback

Videos are converted to 15fps upon upload to Aurasma Studio, and two versions are made. The first version is 480px and has a 500kbits/s bitrate. The second version is 240px and has a bitrate of 240bits/s. Depending on the user's connection, they will see one of these versions when they scan the trigger image.

Because a user's connection determines the speed and quality of the video download, you should keep wireless connectivity in mind when designing auras. Users who follow you will have already have a saved, cached copy of the video on their the device. 

File Types

While there are several file type options for video content, Aruasma has some specific recommendations for the best possible video output. Following Aurasma's specifications will help ensure your content is as high-quality as possible, but there are other factors you should also consider. Aurasma recommends using mp4 files instead of flv, especially in areas with low bandwith (such as 3G) because .mp4 will load in the background as it plays and .flv must be completely downloaded before it will play.

Video Size

File size, not length, is what matters for uploading to Aurasma Studio. Since most devices support HD, using 1080x720 resolution is recommended. Video files will be compressed somewhat upon upoload.

Visual objects or graphics appearing as video files should be optimized and carefully fitted to the exact size they should appear on screen. Otherwise, these images may appear tiny on the device's screen. 

For more on video overlay errors, visit this FAQ page.

Video Quality

Aurasma makes two copies of any video uploaded to Studio. Depending on the strength of the user's internet connection, it delivers either the high-quality or reduced quality video content. This is an important consideration when deciding to include a large quantity of video content in areas where reliable internet is not reliably available.

Transparency

Transparency in video playback must be in .FLV format with an alpha channel. Aurasma recommends using a .GIF instead of video for transparency, because they will look cleaner (.GIFs don't gradate transparency, rendering only as solid or transparent).

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