Free AR creation tool allows users of all skill levels to create, publish and share custom Lenses that overlay and transform Snapchat iOS or Android viewing experiences.
Snap and its Lens Studio Team have just released Lens Studio 2.1, an update to their desktop AR creation tool, that includes new templates, Landmarkers and an interactive tour providing step-by-step Lens creation help. Launched in December 2017, Lens Studio is a development tool for creating an AR “lens” that users can overlay onto their Snapchat on iOS or Android as well as Snap Camera desktop app, providing a unique, digitally augmented viewing experience. Through Lens Studio, anyone can create, publish and share a Snapchat Lens; the program provides creation tools as well as a numerous themed “templates,” and “Landmarkers,” pre-developed assets centered on augmenting and transforming camera views of anything from pets and people’s faces to world landmarks. The program is designed to make AR more approachable for creators at any skill level. Since launch, more than 500,000 Lenses have been created through Lens Studio and played more than 15 billion times.
In addition to new features and templates, the Lens Studio Team continues to expand community and end-user support. This includes increased collaboration and promotional resources for the Official Lens Creator program, launched in May 2018, a growing community of Lens creators that any user can join through the form at the bottom of the Creators page. Snapchat now includes subscription functionality so users can be alerted to the newest creations from favorite Lens creators, and creators can in turn grow a following for their work. Members of the official program also can now access Lens Creator Profiles, which provide insights about their audiences, including metrics such as subscriber counts, demographic data, Story stats, as well as Lens reach, views and shares.
New to Release 2.1:
Six new templates add to the existing library of 40:
- Skeletal Template - Skeletal tracking allows you to track 2D images to heads, necks, shoulders, elbows, and hands. Ideal for registering content to people at a distance from the camera.
- Face In Video Template - Track a user's face onto a video.
- Hair Color Template - Modify your hair color with fresh styles and tones from root to tip.
- Countdown Template - Create Lenses that count down to specific dates and add celebratory 3D hats and glasses.
- Portrait Particles Template - Customize particles that appear behind the user’s head. Make it personal by adding your own custom message, headers, footers, and post-effects.
- Makeup Template - Apply lip gloss, blush, eyeshadow and more. Optionally, export your makeup to use in other Lens projects.
14 new Landmarkers showcase some of the world’s most iconic locations:
- Arc de Triomphe - Paris, France
- Astronomical Clock - Prague, Czech Republic
- Brandenburg Gate - Berlin, Germany
- El Castillo - Chichen Itza, Mexico
- Galata Tower - Istanbul, Turkey
- Gateway of India - Mumbai, India
- Leaning Tower of Pisa - Pisa, Italy
- Natural History Museum - London, UK
- Neues Rathaus - Munich, Germany
- Qasr Al-Farid - Mada'in Saleh, Saudi Arabia
- Great Sphinx of Giza - Giza, Egypt
- Statue of Liberty, United States
- Taj Mahal - Agra, India
- Tower Bridge - London, UK
Additional New Features and Functionality:
- Redesigned Home Screen - The new dynamic home screen shows the most recent updates and news related to Lens Studio.
- Interactive new user tutorial - New step-by-step tour breaks down Lens creation so even first-time users can jump right in, making getting up to speed creating Lenses faster and easier than ever. For creators already familiar with Lens Studio, there’s now helpful start screen content that highlights new templates and features, and showcases favorite Lenses from the community.
- Improved Template page - Added categorization, template complexity level and detailed description for all templates
- Added text backgrounds and text auto-resizing
- Improved object tracking quality
- UI tweaks and improvements
- Lens Studio Templates are now housed on GitHub.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.