How to create an Augmented Reality NFT
In this tutorial, I will show you how to create an AR-enabled NFT and list it in the OpenSea.
What is AR NFT and Why?
First of all, what is an AR NFT? An ordinary NFT is usually a digital piece of art merely for display. AR NFT is likely the next generation of NFT that brings the digital asset into our physical world through augmented reality experiences.
Let's say we have a digital 3D spectacle and we want to mint it as an NFT.
Nowadays, we can easily mint 3D models directly in OpenSea and have them embedded in interactive 3D viewers on the webpages. The experience is not bad at all, but what's even better is to allow users to try that on virtually and share photos and videos on social media!
How to do it?
Step 1 - Prepare the 3D asset
In theory, a 3D asset is not a requirement. You can substitute it with a 2D image, but the effect just isn't as great. 3D models allow users to view in different perspectives and they are more suitable for AR experiences.
The easiest way to obtain 3D assets is to search them in marketplace like SketchFab. Sometimes they can be used right away, but sometimes it requires modifications. If you can't find anything useful, the last resort is to get a 3D artist to make one for you.
Step 2 - Develop the AR effect
Now this part might seems intimidating at first, especially if you have not been working in this industry. Today, I'm going to introduce a tool we developed in mindar.org that allow you to do that in 5 minutes, and it's free!
This tool is called MindAR Studio. It's an online 3D drag-n-drop editor for building WebAR effects. There is no coding required. All you need to do is to import the 3D asset, position it relative to the virtual human head, and then export the project into a static HTML webpage for hosting. Watch this video to see how it works:
Step3 - Mint an NFT
Now you have a 3D asset and an AR webpage ready, the final step is to mint the NFT. Nowadays, there are many ways to do that, and there are also many different blockchains network that you can choose from, but choosing the right network is beyond the scope of this article. Here, we will just use OpenSea as an example.
The good thing about using OpenSea is that you can basically mint an NFT for free (OpenSea will delay charging the gas fee until there is a transaction on the NFT).
All you need to do is a fill out a simple form in 5 minutes.
There are many ways to fill this form depending on your preference. For example, you can choose to upload a 3D model directly as the NFT or create a 2D image. If you upload a 3D model, OpenSea will embed it into a draggable 3D viewer.
As for the AR web link created in Step 2, you can put it in External link, or in the Description. You can also choose to embed the URL as a QR code and stick it in the image (if you choose to use a 2D image as the NFT)
That's it! Once you complete the form, your NFT will be ready for sell!
Other types of AR NFTs
There are many forms of augmented reality experiences and the one presented in this article is mostly referred to as Face Tracking AR, and Virtual TryOn application falls into this category.
Another common type of AR is called Image Tracking, in which 3D contents appeared anchored to the target images. Check out this article - 10 Inspiring examples of Augmented Images - to get some inspiration of what can be done. Particularly, you should check out the Augmented Arts section and see how people apply 3D effects on top of 2D art, which is also a perfect use case of NFT.
MindAR.org is devoted to promote web-based augmented reality. We develop opensource SDK and free tools for building and publishing WebAR applications. I can't wait to see what you can build! Please let us know if you have published anything public so we can include them in our gallery! :)