Happy Virtual Valentine

Happy Valentine’s day!

Trying out Apple’s USDZ file format to create a virtual valentine augmented reality experience.

*requires ios 12 or later

Behind the Scenes

This project was initially going to be an interactive AR experience developed in a-frame. However, after much searching it became apparent that it would have to be a marker-based experience which added more overhead to the experience than I wanted. Instead, I chose to create a simpler experience using Apple and Pixar’s Universal Scene Descriptor (USDZ) file format which, on the proper device, automatically uses Apple’s Quick Look feature in Safari or Messages to render an AR experience complete with plane detection and object placement.

Original Storyboard

The original storyboard included some interactions like tapping the box of chocolates to open it and tapping on chocolates to “eat” them. However, since I ultimately chose the USDZ format I reworked the scene to just include some looping animations.


My workflow for this project:

  • Modeling, texturing and animation with Blender with a little help from Photoshop.
  • Export from Blender to GLB (GLtf 2.0) file format (being sure to check the box to include animations)
  • Import the GLB file into Apple’s Reality Converter.
  • Export USDZ file and preview with a local web server.
  • Deploy to the final website.
  • Send a link to my wife – and friends so they could share with their significant others as well! In retrospect I probably could have sent the file directly using messages.