Overlay Actions Explained

Advanced Actions

Advanced Actions give you the ability to build more interactive Auras. All Studio accounts are set up with Advanced Actions available by default. 

Advanced Actions come with two major advantages:

1. They can be used to build Sequenced Auras, allowing parts of an Aura to launch, close, or lead to other actions as chosen by the viewer. Sequenced Auras allow users to actively decide what Overlay they will view, as opposed to passively watching a pre-determined Overlay. Sequenced Auras are therefore more interactive.

2. They can enhance basic Auras with simple functions. For example, they can allow a user to pause or play a video Overlay, automatically load a web page, or make the video play in full-screen mode.


Finding and Using Advanced Actions

In step 2 of the 'Create an Aura' process, you choose an Overlay to add to a Trigger Image. Once you have chosen your Overlay, you have the ability to add actions to that Overlay.

On selecting your Overlay, you will notice that Overlay in a box to the right hand side of the Aura 'set-up' view. In that Overlay box, click the 'Add Action' option.


On clicking this, you will see a new window pop up offering you a drop down with a menu of viewer or automatic prompt actions which will launch different Overlay actions or behaviours.


One you have selected the appropriate prompt, you can decide what this prompt will do to the Overlay: click the Add Action button and then select an Overlay action. 


The last step is to assign the target of that action - so in this case the Overlay we're going to pause is the only only in our Aura, the Overlay named "Gallery". Select it from the drop down. You can also select multiple targets of a single action, helpful when you have an Aura with lots of Overlays!


Once you are happy with the actions you have attached to your Overlay, simply click Save.

In total, then, there are six activation or prompt options and eight actions that can be added to an Overlay via the Advanced Actions window. 


Prompt Event:

When Overlay is tapped:

This is a single tap event, calculated based on the surface area of the overlay. Taps are layer dependent & can be obstructed by overlays higher up in the overlay list if they overlap – even if transparent.


When Overlay is double-tapped:

This is a double-tap event, calculated based on both the surface area of the overlay & when two taps are within 1 second of each other. Taps are layer dependent & can be obstructed by overlays higher up in the overlay list if they overlap – even if transparent.


After Overlay has faded in:

The fade in event initializes once an overlay has finished fading in. Requires “fade in” check-box to be checked – otherwise will initialize as soon as the overlay has started.


After Overlay has started:

Initialization based on when the host Overlay is the target of a start action. It can be from either another Overlay, or from Aura launch if the overlay is NOT initially hidden – as it will start immediately when the Aura launches. This event will not initialize when host Overlay is already active, even if it has been paused – only from its initial start. The host Overlay can be stopped & then when another Overlay starts it again, this action will reoccur.


When Overlay has finished:

The finished event occurs when a host Overlay has finished its animation, this could be the end of a 2D or 3D overlay – so long as they have some length. Images Overlays will never initiate this event. If an Overlay is set to loop in its Overlay settings, then this event will never initialize, likewise if an Overlay is stopped by action – it will stop but won’t have finished its animation & thus the event won’t initialize.


After time delay:

The after time delay action is initiated after a defined number of seconds have passed. Once selected, an additional box will appear blow for you to define the length of the delay (see below).

Time delay is measured from the moment the host Overlay start, and if stopped and started again, will re occur. Pausing the host overlay will NOT pause the countdown of this event.



Resulting Actions:

Load a URL:

Loading a URL is at its most simple level used to direct users to external web pages. The address should be prefixed with “http://”. The Load a URL action can also be used to access some of the devices system functions. A full list is below:







Opens the the Reveal browser

Calendar event




The .ics file will have to be hosted

by the producer of the Aura and

referenced in the URL link

Phone call


tel: 0011223344

Opens up ‘0011223344’ in your


Text message



sms: 0011223344

Opens up an SMS message to


Populated Text


sms: 0011223344?body=Hello%20there

Adds ‘Hello there’ to the message

Send an Email


Opens an email to ‘name@example.


Email with Subject





Opens an email to ‘name@example.

com’ with Subject ‘This is the


Email with subject & body






Opens an email to ‘name@example.

com’ with Subject ‘This is the

subject’, plus Body ‘This is the body


Text inputted for subject & body are not required to be URL encoded, this will happen automatically when the action is saved.

The URL action can also be used to open other Apps installed on the device, use the specific Apps tag for this, Reveal cannot detect IF an App is installed. Can be used within SDK Apps powered by Reveal to link internally to other specific parts of the App.

Start an Overlay:

Starts Overlay(s) defined in the final target section of the action. Will also resume active overlays that have been paused.


Stop an Overlay:

Stops Overlay(s) defined in the final target section of the action.


Pause an Overlay:

Pauses Overlay(s) defined in the final target section of the action. Target Overlays need to have animation data otherwise action will appear to have no affect – for example if targeted at image Overlays.


Make an Overlay full screen:

Make an Overlay full screen will attach the entire Aura to your devices screen based on the target Overlay’s surface area, any type of Overlay can be targeted for full screening.

Only one overlay can be made full screen at a time – all overlays will remain active & the Aura will continue to run as normal. This only refers to the area being attached to the device. Multiple full screen actions can be used in succession, to move between specific sections of the Aura.

Depending on device power, initiating full screen will be animated – as will each subsequent full screen action.

Once an overlay has been made full screen, it cannot be made to return to image tracking.

When full screen occurs the camera view will fade to black.


Full screen with camera active:

This action behaves the same as “Make an Overlay full screen”, only without stopping the camera feed in the background. It is best used in conjunction with Overlays that have transparency or with Hotspot Overlays.


Take an Overlay off full screen:

The off full screen action terminates a full screen experience & exits the Aura, returning to the viewfinder in scanning mode. This action need to be targeted at which ever overlay is currently full screen. Will have no effect if the target of the action is not the target of the last full screen action.


Perform a random Action:

The random action contains a new sub menu where you can define the different actions which could be executed. Actions are chosen at random – the same action can be added multiple times to create different chance ratios.

Below is a breakdown of the process:

  • Click the purple button below the action to add random action outcomes.
  • This open a new window, click add to create an action.
  • All actions are available for use.
  • In the second box, define the target of the action.
  • Once saved the number of possible actions contained within the random action will be displayed on the button.
  • You can set ratios of likelyhood by adding the same action multiple times.


Remember that you can add multiple actions for a single prompt event. So, for example, when an Overlay is tapped you could pause some overlays, start another one and stop one all in one go.


Targeting Overlays:


After each action has been added, the target Overlays section will appear below.


Click “Add Overlay” to open the dropdown selector. Drop the arrow down and select an Overlay – you can select as many Overlays as you want & click done.


Selecting Overlays already added as targets will highlight them for removal, click again to deselect & click on multiple Overlays to remove more than one at a time.



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