How to make your very own AR filter for Instagram!

Note: This article or the filter discussed has not been sponsored or endorsed by the harry potter brand. It was made as an enthusiastic childhood fan!

What’s an AR filter?

AR filters on Snapchat

For example, the puppy face filter superimposes the 3d model of a dog’s ear and nose on top of your face. Interestingly these filters are interactive and you can trigger animations with facial changes that the app can record. Like the same dog face filter would drop a dog’s tongue from your mouth when you open it — Magical right?!

Spark AR Studio

Spark AR studio empty project layout

It might seem a bit intimidating to someone who has not used a 3D software before but it’s actually very simple once you get a hang of it. If you are a complete beginner I’d recommend watching this video to get familiar with the interface.

Motivation

https://www.ea.com/en-ca/games/harry-potter/harry-potter-sorcerers-stone

The Build

The illustration and the 3D model of Harry’s cursed mark!

To make the glasses I followed the tutorial given in this documentation provided by Spark AR studio itself. You can use their template and customize it the way you want to — imagination is your limit!

The illustration and the 3D model of Harry’s famous glasses!

Testing

The second phase of testing is a kind of beta testing round where you are given a limit of 50 shares to get feedback and make changes to your effect before you publish it permanently. This is done so that you can test your effect on different screens with different people in real life. I found it useful as a couple of my friends asked me to change the shape of the glass to make it look more like Harry’s famous glasses!

Different faces to try your AR filter

Publishing

Cover Image for Harry Potter’s Filter

Marketing and Analytics

  1. Impressions — Number of times the effect has been opened on a screen.
  2. Captures — Numer of times someone took a photo or a video using your filter.
  3. Shares — Number of times a capture was shared in stories or direct messages on Instagram.
Screenshot of my filter’s stats when it crossed 300k impressions

Everyone has their own way of promoting their effect. My personal strategy was to share the effect on social media, groups, and ask people to do it further. Generally, people will share the effect on their Instagram stories but it’s rare that they forward your effect’s link with their friend on groups. I was lucky to have a group of friends who were kind enough to share my effect with their other social circles. However, my filter got over 330k impressions in less than 4 months which was pretty cool given it was my first attempt at making an AR-based filter!

Some screen grabs of the story shares that I was tagged in!

Overall it was a great learning experience and I enjoyed every bit of it. Since then I have got a lot of requests to make different ones and I hope to make more exciting AR filters in the future!

If you want to order a personal filter for a special occasion contact me at paurush14151@iiitd.ac.in

Thanks for your time. I hope you enjoyed reading it!

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