Snap released lens studio at the end of last year, showcasing just how far augmented reality (AR) technology has come in terms of accessibility and functionality. Although they aren’t the only platform to embrace AR, with Facebook, Google and Apple introducing their AR platforms recently as well, they started early and are possibly ahead of the curve.
With the successful roll-out of “world lenses” where users create AR effects on real-world surroundings and approximately 95% of their geofilters being user created in their app, it’s clear to understand the excitement around Snap’s latest launch. These new AR lenses are excellent news for smartphone filmmakers who can take things one step further and use the app to add AR effects easily to their clips.
How Does It Work?
Using a desktop app, users can create an AR effect (or ‘lens’) which creates a unique code supplied as a link. This link can be clicked on and integrated in the Snapchat phone app for a 24 hour period and is shareable for up to one year from creation. It can be used multiple times so filmmakers can share it with one another.
Note: There are company guidelines that need to be adhered to for lens creation although there is no formalised approval process yet.
How to Use Snapchat Augmented Reality For Filmmakers
So how is this relevant to filmmakers? Augmented reality is growing in popularity, creating a deeper connection with the audience and allowing overlays that span between real life and fantasy. We all witnessed the phenomenon of Pokemon Go and this is a similar application, just more in depth, straying away from the gaming industry. Here are some of the ways you could use the new AR effects in Lens Studio as a budding filmmaker.
- Change the shape or size of an object in frame – Whether that is distorting it or making it interactive so that when a user walks closer or further away the object changes. This can help with effects in a video, particularly when you are trying to include the audience in the perspective.
- Use templates – Get inspiration from supplied templates that allow you to adapt current content and help give ideas when starting.
- Long-term – While the lenses are only active for the traditional Snapchat 24 hours, they can be saved in the app and developed over a longer period of time. This helps if you are aiming to create an in-depth film with your phone so you can develop everything you need before implementing it.
- Video Snapcodes – 3D images can be created and placed into still or video content by generating QR Snapcodes that can be used by anyone and are easily accessible.
- 2D – For those who prefer the 2D medium, Snap’s Lens studio works in this capacity too.
Ultimately, the introduction of these AR lenses allows you to explore your creativity in an up to date medium that also sets you up for real-world advances in the future. With the growing popularity of 3D films, the advent of VR headsets and increasingly AR applications, gams and marketing it is becoming commonplace to use this technology and it is a filmmaker’s responsibility to get their hands on it and be creative.