How to make Instagram masks (filters)

How to make Instagram masks (filters)

Finally creating filters for Instagram is no longer a privilege for a few! Since August Facebook has decided to open its Spark AR Studio software to the whole community interested in this new adventure. But let’s see what it is.

What will we talk about?

What is SPARK AR Studio

Spark AR Studio is a software for Windows and Mac made available totally free of charge by Facebook Inc.

Born for the development of augmented reality filters to be used in Instagram stories, used every day by half a million people, it was initially intended only for a programmed number of users. Only from 13 August 2019 the Zuckerberg-based company has decided to launch the beta of the software to the public.

The company also tends to emphasize in its official release on the Spark AR Studio website that anyone can engage in the development of filters without the need for special technical knowledge. Precisely for this reason it has made available on the official website a series of guides, tutorials and sample effects to learn how to use the software and a support group on Facebook

To give notoriety to users who decide to undertake this activities, in conjunction with the launch of the beta, has introduced the Effect Gallery, which can be viewed by clicking on “Browse Effects” at the end of the effects bar in the Instagram stories and within which the filters developed by emerging artists will appear.

As well as a growing community of creatives who have decided to take advantage of the Facebook home software, important businesses have also decided to ride the wave; companies like Adidas, Disney Mickey Mouse, Kylie Cosmetics, Off-White have published their filter that can be used by followers.

If you too want to start developing filters, all you have to do is go to the download page.

First steps in the software

Once downloaded and installed, all you have to do is launch the program on your computer.

Spark AR Studio

Upon opening you will find yourself in front of a series of effects sample that will allow you to better discover the software and become familiar with it. Once you feel ready all you have to do is click on the “Create Project” button at the bottom right.

Spark AR Studio
Spark AR Studio development screen

In the center of it you will find the simulator real-time effects that allow you to see how the filter works as you progress with your project. On its left, the “Scenes” section containing the elements of the project, the “Layers” and the “Assets”, that is, the imported elements. On the right, however, you will find the panel from which to control the various properties of the elements that will make up the filter.

At the bottom left, of fundamental importance, are the three icons arranged vertically: the first, representing a phone allows through the Spark AR Player app, downloadable on Android and iOS, to test the filter developed on your smartphone simply by connecting it to the computer via cable; the second and third icons are used respectively to export the project for publication and import 3D elements from the online library.

Publish the filter on Instagram

Spark AR Studio

To publish the filter you created, all you have to do is go to the Spark AR Hub page and click on “Upload creative effect” at the top right and follow the wizard.

Once uploaded the filter, before it can be published it must be approved by Facebook. Usually this happens in a time ranging from 2 to 5 days.

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