The intention of the XReco project is to revolutionize XR content creation in the media industry, by providing creators with new and easier to use tools and possibilities. One example is the Unity Authoring Tool which we will take a closer look at in this article. What might also be interesting is what prompts a company such as Unity Technologies to participate in the XReco project?

Unity in XReco

As the XR (Extended Reality) industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace, it has become increasingly vital for commercial entities, like Unity Technologies to engage in collaborative research and development endeavors. Horizon 2020 EU projects, like XReco, offer a unique platform for such collaboration, fostering innovation and driving the XR industry forward. Unity Technologies’ participation in these projects holds immense importance, not only for the company but also for the broader ecosystem of XR technology.

Unity Technologies wants to play a pivotal role in shaping the XR landscape. Its software platform empowers developers worldwide to create immersive experiences across a spectrum of devices, from virtual reality (VR) headsets to augmented reality (AR) applications. By joining hands with XReco, Unity Technologies can leverage its expertise to advance the boundaries of immersive technology while simultaneously making sure this is done within the domain of the newest, most up to date research with some of the most knowledgeable domain experts in the World.

THE XReco Authoring Tool

What is The Authoring Tool?

The Authoring Tool (AT) is one of the components of the XReco platform which, together with XRCapsules (XRC), allows creators to create immersive/XR experiences. The main difference between the AT and XRC is that the AT can create much more complex experiences but also requires more familiarity with Unity on the side of the creator, whereas the XRC is intended to create more light-weight experiences for semi- and non-technical users. But both will allow you to create a full XR experience.

Figure 1: Basilica of Superga in-studio

How does the Authoring Tool work?

In order to create the immersive experiences, you first need to download the Authoring tool from the XReco website ( – AT not available yet). Then you need to download the required assets from the XReco marketplace. The Authoring tool has to be installed but there are plenty of tutorials, templates and prefabs available to ease the work process (fiture 2).

Figure 2: XReco Authoring Tool welcome screen & TV studio Template

One of the template scenes in the AT is a TV-studio (Figure 2) in which you can place a green screen prefab and import a video of a presenter. You can then import your 3D model(s) that you selected from the marketplace and place it in a convenient location inside the studio.

Subsequently you have several options available for interacting with the model, such as:

  • Switching camera positions, which will allow you to see the model from different angles inside of the studio.
  • Scale the model up and down, to make sure it appropriately sized for the occasion.
  • Rotate the model(s) left and right, to be able to view it from different angles without switcing cameras.
  • Annotate model with written text, if you want to highlight specific parts of the model or specific info.

Figure 3: Template studio and annotation options

What’s the take away for developers?

As the XROne of the Authoring tool’s pulling points is the Unity Engine itself. Unity Engine stands out as a good choice for developing XR applications due to its technical capabilities and versatility. With Unity’s cross-platform compatibility, developers can deploy immersive experiences across various devices, ensuring widespread accessibility. Unity’s advanced rendering features (URP, HDRP) allow for the creation of visually compelling environments, enhancing user engagement. Unity’s C# scripting allows developers to add custom elements to their project. Using our proposed Authoring Tool together with advanced Unity features – its possible to create not only games but also interactive experiences like the ones show-cased in XReco. In essence the Authoring Tool is a layer on top of the editor which allows for faster implementation of the project’s exact use cases.