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Create your first Instagram Filter in 10 steps!

Instagram released SparkAR for Windows last year. Finally!

I started experimenting on the platform starting last August. After mastering Lens Studio by Snapchat, Instagram’s Spark AR was not all that different.

For those of you who are just starting out, here’s how Spark AR works and this is how you can create a filter in 10 steps!

Spark AR is a software created by Facebook to allow creators to create AR experiences and host it on Instagram

It’s a free software and you download it from this link.

Done? Awesome!

So once you’re done installing it, log into spark AR using your Facebook ID and this is what you’ll see

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You’ll see a few templates that are already ready-made and you can use it for your project. All you’d have to is tweak the settings and probably change a few images.

However, if you’re interested to start a new project, you’d just have to click on “Create New” and start fresh.

The Spark AR dashboard is divided into 5 sections.

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Let me break down the segments for you.

Section 1 : “Assets” panel

Here’s where you add in your assets that you’re going to use for the experience. Your 2D pictures, 3D models, audio clips, gifs and all goes there. Think of it as your gallery. You can add in your assets by “dragging and dropping” or by clicking on “Add Asset” and import from computer.

Section 2 : “Scene and Layers” panel. 

The “Scene” panel is where you create the AR experience. So you can add in the face tracking, planes, particles, etc..

The layers panel allows you to segment your background and foreground.

Section 3 : “3D scene” panel. 

You can see the position of your assets in the real world.

Section 4 : “Properties” panel. 

Here’s where you change all the settings for your experience manually to ensure the best experience.

Section 5 : “Preview” panel. 

The preview panel allows you to see how your design would look like in your phone. So whatever you add as an experience in your Scene panel will be visible in your preview panel.

That’s the basic you have to know for now.

Next question would be, 

How do I Create an Augmented Reality Experience?

The first step would be to decide what would you like to create?

Say an image of a flower on your head.

So come up with a simple hand-drawing of your idea. Something like this

Once you can visualise your idea, go ahead and create your asset or download one from Google. This is my picture from Google.

It’s time to import this into Spark AR and create an experience!

10 Steps To Create Your First Instagram Filter

Step 1 : Open Spark AR and click on “Blank Project”

Step 2 : Click on “Add asset” / “Import from Computer” in your assets panel and look for your image

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Step 3: Ensure your image is in the “Asset” panel.

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Step 4: Click on “Add object” in your scene panel and add “Face Tracker”

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A face tracker would mean that whatever you add as a child to the face tracker will move along with your face.

Step 5: Right click on face tracker → Add → Plane

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This is what you’ll see.

Okay so far?

Now, let’s add the flower to the top of the head.

Step 6: Right click on plane → rename and rename it to “flower”

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It’s always good to rename your objects so that you don’t get confused.

Step 7: Click the (+) button next to “Material” in your Properties panel and see it appear in your Asset panel

Step 8: Right click on “Material0” and rename it to flower_mat

For the last step…

Step 10: Adjust the image to the top of the head according to your liking. Click on “Plane” in your Scene panel and move it around.

You can change the shader option to “flat” (look under shader type in your properties panel).

Just experiment with the properties available for you to find what you like.

Once you’re happy with your design, you can test it out on your Instagram or Facebook camera. 

All you have to do is click on the rectangle, phone like icon on the bottom, left side.

This is how I look

More Articles.

Team Exar

How to Create Instagram & Snapchat Filters for Brands

One of the most frequently asked questions among creators is how to work with brands for augmented reality filters on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. Being a creator myself and working with multiple brands for the past 2 years, I have somewhat a deeper knowledge on this.You can start creating Instagram or Snapchat filters for brands by leveraging on their pre-existing marketing campaigns that focuses on giveaways, influencers and brand awareness. Let’s look at each one of these and how you can start working on it now!

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