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Version: 3.9.0

AR Basics

Working in Effect House requires an understanding of some basic concepts and terminology. This guide describes several key terms to help you understand the concepts behind effect creation.

The Anatomy of an Effect

Effects are made up of individual elements called objects. You can add an object by going to the Hierarchy panel and clicking on the Add button [+] to access the Object menu.

An object is a discrete element that you can add to make an effect: for example, Cube, Camera, Eye Effect, and Head Tracker are all objects.

Objects are essentially just containers for components. When you click on an object in the Hierarchy panel, you can see its components in the Inspector panel. Components are the elements that actually control an effect's functionality. For example, the Head Tracker object is made up of two components: Transform and Face Binding. The Transform component allows the object to be moved, rotated and resized, while the Face Binding component detects a face and anchors the object to it. You can also add additional components to an object by clicking the + Add component button in the Inspector panel.

Each component contains individual settings, called properties, that allow you to achieve a certain look or behavior. For example, the Face Mask component in the Eye Effect object has an Opacity property that allows you to control how dark the eyeshadow looks.

Textures and Materials

Components often have a Texture property that allows you to choose a built-in or imported texture. A texture is essentially just a 2D image: background photos, portraits, and screenshots are all textures.

You may also see the term render texture frequently. A render texture is just a texture that shows what the camera is looking at, or a texture that is rendered by the camera. For example, the default Camera object in the scene uses a built-in render texture called Final Render Output. This render texture uses the webcam video frame by default, so it shows what the webcam or the phone camera is viewing. What you see in the Preview panel matches the Final Render Output render texture.

3D objects often have a Mesh Renderer component with a Material property. A material is an asset that defines how the object looks and reacts to lighting. You can use Material Editor to create custom materials, or you can use built-in materials available in the Assets panel. Standard PBR is an example of a material that uses physically-based rendering to make 3D objects appear as they would under real-world lighting.