AR Filters & Lenses

Embed AR filters, overlays, and more into your app and websites to supercharge your brand.

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AR Filters & Lenses FAQ

What are AR filters?

AR, or augmented reality, filters are computer-generated effects used over live images or video. AR filters are typically used with a smartphone camera, showing an image as a layer in the background or foreground of your primary image, such as your video subject.

AR filters have become very popular and are often used with smartphone apps such as Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat. While Facebook and Instagram may call their computer-generated effects filters, Snapchat refers to them as lenses.

How do you get AR filters for Instagram and Snapchat?

In addition to using existing AR filters on Instagram and Snapchat, you can create your own AR filters. Face filters are perhaps the most popular AR filters being used today, but there are others, such as hand and body filters as well as object filters.

Accessing AR filters requires different steps depending on the social media platform you’re using. When using filters on Instagram, you have to download and install Spark AR Studio, log into the program using Facebook and launch it, then select the Create New button.

To access AR lenses on Snapchat, use the camera screen on your smartphone and select either Face (to access face lenses) or Background (to access world lenses) to access the carousel. Once you’ve accessed the carousel, you can tap or hold the selection and capture the lens.

What are the various types of AR filters?

Users have a variety of AR filters at their disposal. Face filters enable users to showcase their personalities by applying face tracking technology to provide a range of three-dimensional images that move with their head and facial expressions. This can also be applied to the faces of dogs, cats, and other pets.

Hand and body filters allow users to apply imagery and effects to the movement of their hands and body. Body movements can then create effects such as rainbows and flowing stars.

Object filters use a technique referred to as SLAM, or simultaneous localization and mapping. With this filter, objects, animals, and other elements can be added to your real world digitally so that they appear to exist. An example would be adding a tiger to the field in a football game. Taking a video or photo shows the tiger as if it’s truly in the environment being captured.

How can you make your own AR filter?

Anyone can make their own AR filter on Instagram by using Spark AR Studio. By simply downloading the application to a Mac or Windows computer, users can then decide the effect they want to create. A tutorial is available to guide the user through the interface. Once you make your selection and choose an object to conduct a 3D test, you can test and publish your filter to begin using it.

You can also create your own lens for Snapchat, either directly on the smartphone app or on a computer by visiting its website at www.snapchat.com/create. Simply select Learn More under the Filters or Lenses Creative Tools area in the Snapchat application. Next, choose Create Now, choose the setting, and then create your own lens.