ARCore Flutter Further Tests

The main issue I’m experiencing currently is the inability to set the scale of an object. I’ve now forked the main repository and I’m going to look deeper into it and make any changes I may need.

The problem I have is that when a 3d object is rendered it has a colossal scale; I assumed this was constrained by some kind of Vector3 limit on the camera. For example I am rendering a vintage telephone that I’d like to place on a table in the camera view. However, it’s appearing the size of an gigantic spaceship.

There is a scale parameter for the Node (which represents the 3d model of a telephone in ar-speak) but this doesn’t not appear to have any effect. The parameter takes a Vector3 object (x,y,z) which is a relative measurement to the parent object. However, given that the Node’s parent object is not something I have access to, I can’t set this. Eitherway, I’ve trying setting the scale to tiny values but it makes no difference. I’ve also tried wrapping the Node in other nodes but this hasn’t helped either.

I have checked out the underlying ARCore Java library and understand that the scale ought to be relative to the estimated size of the detected Plane (the horizontal plane of my desktop for example). This size is taken from the realworld  estimated coordinates and should be at least accurate to a metre. The attributes are ExtendX and ExtentY. From these values it should be possible to scale the Node relatively. I’m going to check out the Java source code and see if I can spot anything.

Reformatting the Object File
I couldn’t find anything wrong in the code at first glance. The object scale should be relative to the plane upon which it’s placed. So, I turned to my object files again. I noticed that while the earlier tests using the KhronosGroup images were big (oversized yellow duck!) they were spaceship size. So, my attention turned to the GLTF coding of my images. I went through the specification again and cross checked the Duck file with my telephone come spaceship one. It’s not easy to see anything amiss like this as it’s all about transformations and rotations – numbers; which are all relative to one another. But, I did have thought about the origins of these 3d objects. I got them from Sketchfab, where you can download them directly in GLTF format. Great! Maybe not. I noticed that even Windows 3D viewer couldn’t open my the telephone. I went back to Sketchfab and downloaded the telephone again, but this time in USDZ format. A format created by Pixar that’s becoming more and more associated with AR design. It’s a single file with the textures etc incorporated; I imported this into Adobe Dimensions and the first thing I noticed was a spaceship sized telephone.  I panned out of the ‘scene’ to see the telephone at it’s more earthly scale. My hypothesis is that Sketchfab auto-convert the source objects into GLTF as scenes rather than just objects. This could explain why the scale issues. I hope this is the case, anyway. I’ll export the telephone from Dimensions in GLTF format and test it in AR again.

Telephone in Dimensions, waiting to be exported.

Once exported, I moved the files into my web project from which I’m serving these objects from the web.

GLTF files

And deploy to firebase hosting:

deploy to firebase hosting

The result was certainly in the right direction. It’s no longer the size of USS Enterprise but seems to be fixed to the size of the detected plane, which I suspect is estimated at one square metre; and its just floating about in the air like a drone.  I shall work on the scaling further and try to understand why it’s not anchoring to the plane correctly.

Giant vintage ARCore Phone in Flutter

Reference Points

This is a good place to copy a few reference points from the Java API docs at Google for ARCore, as they are written succintly and help to keep in mind the different concepts of AR development.


“Describes the current best knowledge of a real-world planar surface.”


“Represents an immutable rigid transformation from one coordinate space to another. As provided from all ARCore APIs, Poses always describe the transformation from object’s local coordinate space to the world coordinate space


“As ARCore’s understanding of the environment changes, it adjusts its model of the world to keep things consistent. When this happens, the numerical location (coordinates) of the camera and Anchors can change significantly to maintain appropriate relative positions of the physical locations they represent.These changes mean that every frame should be considered to be in a completely unique world coordinate space.”


I was eventually able to scale my 3D object correctly using a combination of GLTF settings and ARCore config.

With some Shader work within Flutter I’ve created a Noiresque look in which the vintage 1940’s 3D telephone I got from Sketchfab (see link in video description) is positioned consistently in the AR or ‘Mixed Reality’ world based on the detected horizontal Plane, the Pose of the object and of course the World Coordinate Space.

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