Instagram face filters: how to create them
One of the most interesting features of Instagram is the ability to customize every detail of the photos and videos that are published. This can happen both from a chromatic point of view, and by inserting real “external elements” inside the post (or story). The manipulation of the image (or frames) becomes particularly noticeable when using the Instagram face filters .
What you may not know though, is that, in addition to the AR lenses predefined, you can create new ones according to your needs. So I decided to develop a dedicated guide to show you how to do it in detail.
Where are the Instagram facial filters
Mostly, Instagram face filters are found in Stories . The social network has in fact pushed a lot since it introduced the functionality to post temporary images and videos, adding new and more accurate and fun effects on a regular basis. This has led to an increasing use of Instagram Stories, with about eight hundred million users uploading them daily.
Using AR filters is also very simple. All you need is to have an Android smartphone or an iPhone, nothing more. To access the masks , you will then have to press the + that appears next to your photo, precisely in the story feed. Here, you will need to tap on the smiley face icon next to the shutter button.
In the bar at the bottom, you can find all the augmented reality effects main / trending that have been published within the social network. To activate and try them, just tap on the icon that identifies them. After that, you can decide whether to record a video or take a photo.
Most-used Instagram facial filters
Not you must be surprised if in this paragraph I propose a ranking of the most used Instagram face filters . Users are in fact always constantly looking for what can make them gain more views or more followers.
Precisely for this reason, below I have included the 5 AR filters that have been trending on the social network, which could still be useful to you today. You can also see their icons in the example image.
- Light Leak II
- Mouth Face
- Neon Valentine
- Heart Eyes
What you may not know, however, is that another menu has been available for some time now, which contains lots of personalized facial filters . This is located in a relatively inaccessible position.
In this case, to find the AR masks on Instagram, you will have to scroll to the last filter and tap on the option Search for Effects .
This will open a new screen, called Effects Gallery , with dozens of new facial filters that don’t you had yet seen and from which you will be able to draw freely. Just tap on each of them to view the description and the features included in that particular package, as well as a short visual presentation (which is practically a demo of a Story).
Once you have chosen yours favorite AR effects, just press the down arrow (“Download” button) to add them to your Instagram camera.
Creating AR filters for Instagram with Spark AR Studio
Now that I’ve shown you how to use face masks on Instagram and told you which ones are the most popular by users, the time has come to show you how to create them in total autonomy thanks to a really interesting software, called Spark AR Studio .
I tell you but immediately that, to use the 3D rendering program, you will need a PC. That said, let’s get started.
What is Spark AR Studio
Spark AR Studio is a free rendering software developed by Facebook that allows you to create augmented reality content for your camera using textures and 3D objects. For AR content, we mean simple face masks, but also interactive games.
There is no need to have who knows what knowledge of the sector. One of the advantages of Spark AR Studio is in fact its ease of use, which makes the software suitable for all users, even for newbies.
If you are interested in “riding the wave” of augmented reality, therefore, it is a program that cannot be missing from your personal collection. Spark AR Studio will allow you to create custom face filters and publish them on Instagram or Facebook, so that other users can also use them.
Main Spark options AR Studio
The main features of Spark AR Studio, as you will see, will allow you to build Instagram filters with or without codes . This is made possible by Patch Editor , a sort of simplified interface that gives the user the ability to animate and manipulate three-dimensional objects and textures.
In addition to the graphics, with Spark AR Studio it is also very easy to add audio effects , which can be loaded into the project or chosen from the dedicated library.
All this allows you to create Instagram face filters even if you do not have significant computer skills. In fact, the real novelty, as I told you a little while ago, is the introduction of simplified tools, no longer only for professionals in the sector, but also suitable for use by anyone.
Before you try your hand at the first use of Spark AR Studio, my advice is to understand well what use you want to make of it , because this will radically change the approach you will need to use. If you want to create Instagram face filters only for your use , in fact, you just need to respect the guidelines for publication, without having to carry out an in-depth study of the market. Instead, if you want to take advantage of this sector on a professional level , thus trying to reach as many users as possible, the approach will have to change radically.
If yours goal is virality , you will first have to try to understand what users’ needs are and what types of AR masks could be successful. Furthermore, it would be advisable to have an Instagram account with a fair number of followers, so that you can advertise your works and make them known to an important slice of people.
Once you have established your action plan, you will need to put your creativity to work. This does not mean exaggerating, however: most of the most used Instagram face filters are in fact relatively simple. Overdoing the effects may only serve you to get the opposite result to what you hoped for. So try to keep a good balance between the amount of effects used and their simplicity, without overloading the Instagram mask you designed.
Spark AR minimum requirements Studio
Before proceeding with creating Instagram filters, make sure you have a computer that is powerful enough so that you don’t lagging every two by three.
As of this writing, the minimum hardware specifications to use Spark AR Studio , recommended by Facebook, are the following:
- Operating system : Windows 10 or macOS (version 10.14 or higher) with 64-bit architecture;
- Processor (CPU) : Intel Core i3 or AMD Bulldozer / Jaguar / Puma / Zen or higher, but both with Advanced support Vector Extension (AVX);
- RAM memory : at least 4GB;
- Monitor resolution : 1280 × 768 pixels or higher ;
- Video card (GPU ) : Intel HD Graphics 4000, NVIDIA GeForce 710, AMD Radeon HD 6450 or better.
I suggest you use a resolution that is fully supported by your video card. In case you encounter rendering problems , however, please try to see if your GPU model has been included in the list of hardware not supported by Spark AR Studio.
In the if you are looking for a PC or notebook for Spark AR Studio, I suggest you find one in my guide to the best PC to play. You will find excellent computers (even assembled) that will be perfect to use as a 3D rendering workstation.
Installation and use of Spark AR Studio
After this brief but necessary introduction, it’s time to understand how to use Spark AR Studio and how to install it on your Windows or macOS PC. First, go to the official website of the software and click on the Download button. This will start the free download of the installation package.
Before following the configuration wizard, especially if you have a PC with Microsoft Windows 10 operating system, I suggest you download iTunes . This media player is in fact essential to make your face filters available to iOS users as well. Find iTunes in this dedicated section of Apple’s website (you will then be redirected to the Microsoft Store).
Once iTunes is installed, it’s time to move on to Spark AR Studio installation . Then retrieve the executable file you downloaded and double-click on it to start its wizard. Follow it carefully and carry it out. There are no particular settings to adjust, or at least, not in this step. When done, restart your computer.
Now, launch Spark AR Studio and login with your Facebook account . You will now be ready to start.
In the main screen (after the first start), you will have a series of examples, which will help you get into the dynamics of this software. My advice, at least initially, is to practice in order to increase your skills (follow the insights you find below).
Insights for Spark AR Studio
Once you are familiar with some basic concepts and how the commands work , you can try to make your first Instagram facial filter . Since I can’t know what project you have in mind to carry out, to help you in any case, instead of giving you a single example, I thought I’d refer you to various specific insights.
I checked the section some insights for Spark AR Studio , created by the Facebook developers (on the Facebook for Developers portal), to then analyze and decide which were the most suitable tutorials to recommend. I state that they are in English, but I can assure you that these are widely illustrated and detailed procedures. Here’s a list:
Thanks to these impeccably crafted tutorials, you can lay the groundwork for an understanding of the dynamics that move Spark AR Studio. Although the software is not complex, in fact, the amount of options you can use still requires at least a short study.
Uploading the facial filter to Instagram
Once you’ve created your first Instagram face filter, you’ll first need to export it in the correct format . If you have correctly performed all the steps indicated by Spark AR Studio, to do so, just click on File (in the top bar) and then press on Export .
Now, choose the directory to save the file, which will be in .arexport format. Remember which folder you have chosen, because you will need it very soon. However, immediately after exporting the mask, open the Spark AR Studio Hub and log in with your Facebook credentials.
On the page that appears on your screen, click the Load Effect button. Immediately afterwards, click on the Start button, which appears at the bottom of the screen.
At this point, select the platform where you want to upload your facial filter. Keep in mind that, at least for the moment, you will necessarily have to choose between Facebook and Instagram , as it is not possible to upload to both social networks. For this step, you just have to choose the name for your effect and press again on Next.
On the next page, you will need to upload a logo representing your Instagram mask. Keep in mind that the image must be in PNG or JPG format and must have a square resolution of 200 × 200 pixels . Additionally, the logo should represent your effect and should not include your account names. If you are looking for an idea for a logo “with controfiocchi”, I suggest you read my guide on how to create a logo.
Once the uploads are finished, accept the legal agreement and press on Load and continue . Then you just have to continue to the last step, scrolling through the pages of suggestions that will be proposed to you by Facebook. Here, however, be careful to choose the category for your Instagram face filter, so that other users can find it more easily. You will also have to upload a short video , of maximum 15 seconds , in which you will have to show the effect of your Instagram mask.
Once the summary of your information, you will reach the Submit section for analysis, which will allow you to submit your face filter for approval. Remember that, for processing and acceptance, it takes up to 5 working days .
Post a video or photo of the AR filter
Once your Instagram facial filter has been approved, it’s time to download it to your smartphone and share it , so that all your followers can see it. To proceed in this sense, just open Instagram on your device and go to the menu dedicated to stories.
Here, using the button Look for other effects , scroll through the masks and find your work. You can help by using the categories at the top of the page.
Once you have found the filter , tap it to test it on camera, but don’t take the picture right away. Instead, take a screenshot of the screen, so as to capture the photo / video editing tools and your mask. After that, upload the capture to your profile, perhaps accompanying it with a rich caption, so that you can inform all your followers that your Instagram facial filter is available.
Lastly, if you wish, you could also tap the chain symbol at the top, which allows you to insert a direct link to your filter, accessible by followers via swipe up . However, you will be allowed to do so only if you have already exceeded the threshold of 10,000 followers .
Who to follow for AR Instagram filters
Now that you understand how to create your Instagram face filter, you may be interested in monitoring the market to find out what are the new masks for Instagram which are published and when. Fortunately for you, this is a fairly simple procedure to follow, as the top editors are still relatively few and they are basically the ones who release the new trends.
To do this, just use the window for searching for new filters , exactly the one I showed you a little while ago. In it, after selecting an Instagram mask to preview it, just click on the developer’s name to directly access his profile . All you have to do is tap the blue button called Follow , so you can receive the author’s posts with the new filters directly on your feed. How do you say? Do you want an example name? Try to keep an eye on
Alternatively, you can choose to follow the Instagram hashtags dedicated to AR masks . In this way, in fact, you will be able to view posts by different authors that contain a certain hashtag inside them.
To find the new Instagram face filters, the best hashtags to monitor are the following:
If these hashtags weren’t enough, because you might want to follow the new trends too, try using one of the best Instagram hashtag apps that I have already recommended.
Problem Instagram AR filters don’t work
Sometimes, it can happen that the Instagram AR filters don’t work properly or that they are not really usable. This problem is due, in 99% of cases, to the party software of the application or of your smartphone, which lacks the adequate indications to manage the masks correctly.
In this case, however, do not be afraid, because the solutions are well tested and simple to follow. First, try to update the Instagram app , in order to install the latest version available. If you could, also try downloading a beta version of the application.
If the problem is not related to the Instagram app, you will almost certainly need to update the operating system of your smartphone . In case the smartphone is recent enough, you shouldn’t have any difficulties in this regard. Problems can instead arise if your smartphone starts to be quite obsolete, if you pass me the term. In this case, in fact, your phone may not be compatible with Instagram face filters, effectively preventing you from using them.
The only option you would have to do in this case would be to buy a new device . And since Instagram is mainly used for photography, I suggest you take a look at the focus on the best camera smartphones I’ve already published.