Coding at Home: June 10th, Anchoring Images in Reality

Come hang out with us today on Twitch at 1pm!


We finished up our Lunar Lander game yesterday with a little demo of how you’d hook this game up in Xcode. We won’t be going any further (yet) with Xcode, but if you want to check it out, I put the source code for yesterday’s demo up at

If you don’t feel like you’re ready for it just yet, don’t worry, we’ll get to Xcode soon enough!

Today’s session

We’re going to try out something new today…

We’ll learn how to use an image anchor.

If you’ve watched the Harry Potter movies, or maybe you’ve read the books and imagined what the Daily Prophet must have looked like with its moving pictures, well, this is the sort of thing we can do with image anchors.

With an image anchor we can attach our augmented reality content to a particular pattern found in the real world.

For starters, we’ll talk about some strategies for making good anchor images.

I love this part of augmented reality and can’t wait to show you how to stick content to your own images!

See you at 1pm!

Coding at Home: June 9th, Lunar Lander, Where to Go from Here

Come on our Reality Composer adventure today at 1pm on Twitch!


Yesterday we had kind of a rocky feed, but we added a landing pad for our rocket and detected when our ship collided with the pad. Not too shabby.

You can re-watch yesterday’s session here:

Today’s session

For today’s work we’re going to finish off our lunar lander game (for now) with a little bit of groundwork for what might come next.

In the image above I’ve added a Boost button, because maybe I’m a little frustrated, as a player, with the boost buttons being in augmented reality. I don’t want to have to hunt for them when I just want to keep my rocket from crashing.

Xcode icon

We’ll hook up some actions and triggers that will allow us to write code to recognize things that happen in our AR scene. Like a fuel gauge, for example. Each time we boost the rocket we spend some fuel. In a real game we would want to keep track of how much fuel we have left.

We’ll spend the first part of the session working through some additions to the Reality Composer project on the iPad.

The second half (or so) will be a little demo of what’s possible. You can follow along, if you have a Mac and Xcode installed.

We’ll be running a session, soon, where we introduce you to Xcode and the next logical step in your development, as a coder. But this will be just the start of dipping our toes in.

See you at 1pm!

Coding at Home: June 8th, Reality Composer Goes Back to the Moon

Hang out with us today at 1pm to try and finish off our lunar lander-style game!


Last week we had a rocket ship on its way to land on the moon. We hooked up a button to apply force to the rocket to keep it from crashing straight down to the ground.

It wasn’t the most sophisticated lunar game-style game, but it’s a start!

Today’s session

Today we’re going to add a couple other wrinkles, maybe some obstacles on the ground to avoid. This will mean adding more controls.

We’re also going to hook up certain triggers and actions that get sent so that, in the future, we can take advantage of these events in our code.

This is how you would build an app to react to things that happen in your augmented reality scene.

If you want to learn more about notification triggers and actions, you can see some really nice examples of it in action, you should check out Building AR Experiences with Reality Composer.

This was a session at WWDC 2019 and it goes into a bit more detail (and a bit more code).

Let’s dive in and get this rocket landed!

See you today at 1pm!

Coding at Home: June 5th, Reality Composer Lands a Rocket

Tune in live with us today at 1pm, Irish time, for some more fun with Reality Composer!

Recap: We Landed a Rocket!

Reality Composer Icon

We landed a rocket!

It wasn’t the prettiest, but we managed to land our rocket on the giant pink planet floating above our scene yesterday.

We used a combination of behaviors: y-axis change, followed by a z-axis rotation and another y-axis change.

Stuck in the pink planet!

It got a little disturbing, perhaps, when our math was off and the rocket embedded itself in the planet, but not bad for our first effort.

Today’s session

The rocket launching (and landing) gave me an idea.

Let’s try and build a simple game with Reality Composer. One that takes advantage of behaviors and the physics world in our scene.

So we’re going to try and build a lunar lander-style game!

Picture of 1979 Lunar Lander game by Atari, image from

I imagine it will be pretty simplistic, but let’s start building and see what we can create.

See you at 1pm!

Coding at Home: June 4th, Reality Composer, More Behaviors

Catch us live today at 1pm, Irish time. We’ll be working on our Reality Composer scene some more!

The story so far

So far we’ve got two rocket ships, a back up and the launch one, a planet, and a moon orbiting that planet.

We added some behaviors to our rockets to take off and stop when they hit the planet. We experimented with physics bringing our launched rocket back to earth pretty dramatically.


Today we’ll explore tweaking our scene in various ways. We’ll also show you what some of the other icons on the Reality Composer toolbar do.

I know a few of you really want to get that rocket to land on the planet…

So we’re going to explore a few ways we might get that rocket to land on the planet. Maybe you’ll come up with another, better way?

So come join us and have a bit of fun with augmented reality and hash out how we’ll get our ship to land!

Coding at Home: June 3rd, Reality Composer Behaviors

Join us at 1pm today on Twitch for some fun with adding behaviors to the objects in our augmented reality scenes!

Today’s Session

Today we’ll be playing around with Reality Composer some more. Sticking with our horizontal plane anchor, we’ll work on adding behaviors. This will let us explore how objects we place interact with each other with different settings.

This will involve playing around with physics and materials a little bit, to see which material and combination of settings gets you the behavior you want to see.

Since we’ve built a rocket ship scene, maybe we’ll add some planets to our project.

If you want to dive into more AR and just can’t wait for our next session, you might want to check out They have amazing sessions like this: Building AR Experiences with Reality Composer, which are very relevant to the work we’ve been doing.

Even if you just watch those for aspirational purposes, we’ll try and re-create some of their examples with you during our sessions. If you have a favorite you’d like to see, why not drop us a line in the discussions?

Catching Up

Like we’ve done with other video series, we’ve gathered the augmented reality series into a playlist. You can now go sit and watch all the videos here, on this landing page.

And if you’d like to catch up on any of our past sessions, we have the whole coding at home box set here!

We’ll see you on the live stream today at 1pm!

Coding at Home: June 2nd: Reality Composer, Continued

Join us today on Twitch at 1pm, Irish time for some more fun with Reality Composer!

First off, I want to apologize for those trying to follow the live stream for the last few sessions. It’s been pretty poor quality, and as hard as programming can be, it’s even harder when you can’t follow along the taps and touches we’re making on screen!

You can find all of our videos on our YouTube channel, and the recordings are what gets uploaded, so they should be much better quality than the stream.

Today: Reality Composer

Reality Composer icon

We’re back with Reality Composer again today. We’ll be going through the session we ran on Friday with a few improvements.

Like I plugged on Friday, this session, from Apple, is an excellent introduction to Reality Composer:

We’re going to add a few objects to our scene, give them some behaviors, and watch them run.

We’ll take it nice and slow and walk through some common problems you might see. Especially when you add more than one object to your scene!

So join us today for a little bit of fun, augmenting our reality!

Coding at Home: May 29th, Augmented Reality with Reality Composer

Join us today on Twitch at 1pm, Irish time, for some more augmented reality!

AR Makr

I hope you’ve enjoyed the AR Makr sessions; they’ve really built an amazing tool for telling stories. It’s a great way to try out augmented reality for yourself, and the way they allow you to create your own is brilliant.

I’ve loved seeing the odd planets people have designed and being able to walk through their creations!

Reality Composer

For today’s session we’re going to go into Reality Composer a bit more. Reality Composer is Apple’s app for building out scenes.

Slide from session 609, WWDC2019:

A scene is comprised of an anchor in the real world: it could be a table top, a wall, an image, or a face. That thing, the table top, wall, image, or face, will be what we use to anchor the objects we want to add to our reality.

Reality Composer also lets us define behaviors for those objects and can have them interact with physics… but not just normal physics, like the regular gravity of your particular scene, you can define how strong or weak you want the pull of gravity to be!

There’s a great session from Apple called Get to know Reality Composer, which you can watch at

More video sessions

We’ll go looking for some more great video sessions from Apple on this technology during today’s session. This will really pay off for us later this month, when all the Worldwide Developer Conference 2020 sessions start getting posted online.

Blast off!

So we’ll see you today at 1pm, when we’ll build our own rocket ship taking off, right in your very own living room (or wherever you’re watching this session)!

Coding at Home: May 28th, Augmented Reality with AR Makr!

We started our brave new series yesterday, all on augmented reality, or AR, for short.

We’ll be live today at 1pm, Irish time, building out an augmented reality scene!

Yesterday we had a whirlwind tour of AR Makr, Reality Composer, and the Augmented Reality playground from Apple to show you what we can do with augmented reality on the iPad. It also highlights the number of ways we can play around with AR!

Today’s session

Today we’re going to go back to AR Makr and build out a scene and play with some of the built-in animations.

One of the most difficult things I’ve found about augmented reality and building augmented reality apps or playgrounds is building decent 3D models to use in my real life scene.

AR Makr (and, as we’ll see with Reality Composer and the AR Create playground) has some amazing built-in models for us to use. And it lets us create our own in pretty fun, easy ways.

Our old Max the fox is back! (Borrowed from the Apple SceneKit sample code.)

So come catch up with us at 1pm today for some augmenting of your reality!