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Introducing Amazon Sumerian by Tutorials!

Create unique 3D, AR and VR experiences with our new book, Amazon Sumerian by Tutorials!

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Creating interactive 3D, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences used to mean that you needed a team of programmers, special expertise and a lot of time.

But now, thanks to Amazon’s new Sumerian engine, all you need is a great idea to get you started!

From developing an online check-in system complete with a digital concierge to creating a virtual museum tour guide, Sumerian provides you the tools to make it yourself in a way that is both accessible and user-friendly.

And that’s why we wrote Amazon Sumerian by Tutorials — as a free resource to help anybody who wants to bring these types of unique experiences to life.

Keep reading to learn more about Amazon Sumerian and how to get your free copy of Amazon Sumerian by Tutorials.

What is Sumerian?

Amazon Sumerian is a browser-based platform that makes it easy to create engaging 3D, augmented reality and virtual reality experiences for your business. No programming experience required!

Sumerian is easy-to-use, even if you are non-technical, and has everything you need to create compelling experiences for your customers or clients.

Here are the top 5 reasons why Sumerian is so great:

  • For all skill levels: Whether you are non-technical, a web or mobile developer, or have years of 3D development experience, getting started with creating 3D, AR and VR experiences is easy with Sumerian.
  • Ready-to-use templates and assets: The Sumerian editor provides ready-to-use scene templates and intuitive drag-and-drop tools to easily build interactive scenes.
  • Integrates with other AWS services: Get easy access to machine learning, chatbots, code execution and more to customize and personalize user interactions.
  • Nothing to download or install: All you need is a modern web browser to access Sumerian. You don’t need any special setup to get started.
  • Platform-agnostic: Build once with Sumerian’s browser-based platform, and your experiences will run on Android & iOS mobile devices, as well as on all popular AR/VR headsets including Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, and the HTC Vive.
Amazon Sumerian vs. Unreal, Unity, and Amazon Lumberyard: Wondering whether you should use Sumerian over a more traditional game engine?

Here’s our recommendation:

  • If you want to create a new tool to help your business, you may want to consider using Amazon Sumerian, as its flexible engine lets you to easily create 3D, AR and VR experiences for a variety of applications. It’s easy to learn and doesn’t have the steep learning curves and required programming experience that other 3D engines do.
  • If you want to make a complex game or experience and know a modern programming language, you may want to consider using Amazon Lumberyard, Unity or Unreal. These are designed for professional game developers, so they offer a lot more customization and advanced options.

What Is Amazon Sumerian by Tutorials?

Amazon Sumerian by Tutorials will teach you everything you need to know from the ground up to create compelling 3D experiences. All you need is some free time and a modern web browser to start creating engaging experiences!

In Amazon Sumerian by Tutorials, you’ll learn how to build four experiences:

  1. Creating an Escape Room
  2. Building an Education Experience
  3. Creating an Augmented Reality Experience
  4. Creating a Virtual Travel Agent

Here’s what’s waiting for you in the book:

Section I: Creating an Escape Room

Learn the different systems of Amazon Sumerian through creating an escape room! By the end of this section, you’ll be creating dynamic scenes and converting them to virtual reality with ease using Sumerian’s visual scripting language.

Here’s what you’ll cover while creating your escape room:

  • Chapter 1: Getting Started with Amazon Sumerian: Every journey starts with a first step. In this case, that means creating an AWS account and setting up a IAM user account.
  • Chapter 2: Building an Escape Room: This chapter introduces you to the 3D objects that you’ll use to construct your escape room.
  • Chapter 3: Entities & Materials: This chapter introduces you to entities and how to use materials to give them some color.
  • Chapter 4: Adding Interactivity With Behaviors: Scenes are best when they are interactive. The chapter shows you how to use behaviors to make your scene dynamic.
  • Chapter 5: Creating Branching Logic with Attributes: This chapter shows you how to create logical behaviors that change based on user input.
  • Chapter 6: Physics: Here, you’ll get an overview of the Sumerian physics engine, from adding gravity to a scene to throwing objects on command.
  • Chapter 7: Virtual Reality: Sumerian comes with built-in virtual reality tools. This chapter walks you through the process of turning your escape room into a virtual reality experience.
  • Chapter 8: Post Effects & Publishing a Scene: Once you’ve completed your scene, you’ll add effects to make it pop. You’ll also learn how to optimize your scene and publish it.

Section II: Building an Educational Experience

Now that you are comfortable with using Sumerian’s visual scripting language, you can move onto Sumerian’s API, and learn how to leverage the API to add features not included with the engine.

In this section, you’ll create a quick-start, product walkthrough of a bread-making machine that combines video and audio in an interactive tour.

In Section II, you’ll explore the following topics:

  • Chapter 9: Custom Models & Sounds: In this chapter, you’ll provide your own models to create a scene, and you’ll incorporate sound into your experience to narrate the demo.
  • Chapter 10: Lights, Camera, Action: This chapter provides an overview of the camera and lighting system. You’ll learn how to use cameras and lighting to direct a user’s focus.
  • Chapter 11: Introduction to JavaScript: Being successful with Sumerian means knowing JavaScript. You’ll learn JavaScript basics in this chapter while working in the context of Sumerian.
  • Chapter 12: The Sumerian API: The Sumerian API lets you take your experiences to the next level. This chapter will help you get started with the API by introducing you to its core concepts.
  • Chapter 13: Animation & Particle Systems: You’ll learn how to create smooth transitions, animate models and use the timeline editor. You’ll also use the particle system to add some steam to your bread.
  • Chapter 14: Incorporating Web Content: This chapter shows you how to embed YouTube videos into your scene. You’ll also learn how to provide dynamic information in a scene by using HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Section III: Creating an Augmented Reality Experience

One of the coolest things Sumerian offers is the ability to create augmented reality apps for mobile devices.

In this section, you’ll create a virtual shoe store where you’ll be able to try on new pairs of shoes — without leaving your home! You’ll learn the basics of augmented reality and also how to store data for a Sumerian scene outside of Sumerian using Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Here’s a brief outline of what this section has in store:

  • Chapter 15: Preparing Your Mobile Development Environment: Creating an AR experience means running your Sumerian scene on a device. This chapter walks you through the process of creating a mobile app on iOS and Android.
  • Chapter 16: Augmented Reality in Sumerian: This chapter introduces you to the basics of building AR scenes in Sumerian. You’ll add a virtual shoe and have it appear on demand.
  • Chapter 17: Fetching Data from Dynamo DB: Here, you’ll start to leverage the power of AWS. You’ll store information about your shoes outside of Sumerian in a database and then display that data in your scene. In doing so, you’ll create a custom user interface to display that information.
  • Chapter 18: Completing the Augmented Reality App: In this final chapter, you’ll complete your shoe store by adding additional shoes and allowing users to change a shoe’s size to match their feet.

Section IV: Creating a Virtual Travel Agent

Sumerian offers a feature out of the box that would take months of development time with another engine: The ability to create a host — a virtual person that provides a human touch to your scene.

This final section walks you through the process of creating a virtual travel agent. You’ll learn to leverage AWS to create the speech, respond to the user and return a list of recommended destinations.


These chapters cover the basics of creating a host:

  • Chapter 19: Basics of a Sumerian Host: This chapter introduces you to the host and shows how easy it is to add one to your scene.
  • Chapter 20: Speech in Amazon Sumerian: You’ll learn how to leverage Amazon Lex to provide the “brains” behind your host.
  • Chapter 21: Audio Input & Lex: Once you get your host talking, you’ll naturally want users to respond. This chapter covers the basics of recording voice input. Your host will use this input to respond to the user.
  • Chapter 22: Integrating Amazon Lambda with Lex: In this final chapter, you’ll leverage AWS Lambda to query a database and return a list of “must visit” places for a particular city.

Who Is this Book For?

This book is for anyone who would like to create unique 3D experiences with Amazon Sumerian. No previous programming experience required. This book will teach you everything from the ground up. You simply need the willingness to learn how the Sumerian platform works, and a desire to bring your dreams to life.

How to Get Amazon Sumerian by Tutorials

The best part? Amazon has made this excellent resource available to the community for free!

To get your digital copy of Amazon Sumerian by Tutorials so you can start creating great 3D experiences today, simply head over to Amazon’s site for the book and download the book — completely free of charge.

Meet the Team

This book would be nothing without the dedicated, skilled team behind it:

Brian Moakley is an author of this book. He is a writer and video instructor at Razeware. Brian was also an author and final pass editor of Unity Games by Tutorials and he has produced many videos and articles on a wide variety of subjects at raywenderlich.com. Off work, Brian enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids.

Gur Raunaq Singh is an author of this book. Raunaq is a Software Engineer from New Delhi, India. Having worked as a Unity developer in the past, he has worked on a number of award-winning Augmented Reality applications. He is currently exploring the world of Computer Vision and Machine Learning.

Tammy Coron is the technical editor of this book. She is an independent creative professional and the host of Roundabout: Creative Chaos. She’s also a Development Editor at The Pragmatic Bookshelf, a Sr. Editor at Razeware, and a content contributor at Creative Bloq, Lynda.com, iMore, and raywenderlich.com.

Jake Nolt is the internal designer of this book. He is a 3D designer working for a decade in video game and application development. He is also an assistant professor of animation and the proprietor of a small indie game studio. When not developing or teaching, Jake enjoys spending time with family, gaming, and being outdoors.

Where to Go From Here?

Amazon Sumerian is a fantastic tool that anybody can use to start creating unique 3D, AR and VR experiences in no time at all. Amazon Sumerian by Tutorials will teach you everything you need to know in our trusted step-by-step high-quality tutorial format.

The Amazon Sumerian team, the book team, and the entire raywenderlich.com tutorial team hope you enjoy the book. We can’t wait to see what experiences you build with Sumerian!

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