When checking out what people are publishing in their stories, it is common to find effects that add a cat or dog ear, change hair, overlap the wearing of glasses on a face and even add some makeup touches.
These feats are Instagram filters. An augmented reality feature that can be used creatively to alter photos and videos of people on the social network.
Not everyone knows, but these filters can be created by anyone using a completely free tool: Spark AR Studio. This is a program made available by Facebook so that the social network community can also express their creativity through the filters used in the stories.
Effects creation can be used in an interesting way to generate engagement and strengthen the connection of a profile with your followers. That is, brands can also take advantage of this feature in their content marketing strategies.
If you don’t know where to start, but have the desire to create an Instagram filter to positively impact your results, check out our content.
What are Instagram augmented reality filters?
Instagram filters are features that use augmented reality to apply computer-created effects to real-world images, which are displayed through cell phone cameras.
Some examples of popular effects are dog ears and nose applied to a person’s face, different types of virtual glasses and even texts with famous phrases or memes, all overlapping and following the movement of the wearer’s face.
However, don’t confuse the term with Instagram’s standard filters, a feature that uses predefined settings for adjustments that seek to improve the quality of a photo.
How to create a filter on Instagram
The process of creating an Instagram filter using Spark AR Studio is not very complex. However, the software has an interface that is not very user friendly.
Therefore, the first creations usually give more work and take more time. However, it will be easier to understand how the tool works as your tool usage time increases. Come on?
Download and install Spark AR Studio
The first step is very simple. Download Spark AR Studio for free on its official website and install it on your computer.
After installation, open the application and log in with your Facebook account.
Start a new project and create your filter
After accessing your account through the tool, it’s time for you to learn how to create an Instagram filter.
- Every creation must start from a new project. Click on the “New Project” option to create your filter from scratch or choose one of the pre-defined templates to customize them.
- If you have chosen the “New Project” option, you can start a project without any elements or choose from 3 different filter styles: face tracking, plane tracking and target tracking.
- The “face tracking” style filter category is one of the most popular and simple to create, so let’s use it as an example and recommend it for your first creation.
- If you started your filter from scratch, click on the “Add Object” option. After a window is opened, select the “Face Tracker” option and click “Insert”.
- In the “Scene” tab, right-click on the “faceTracker0” item, hover over the “Add” option and select the “Plane” item.
- An element will be created and is linked to the face tracking. It will be applied to a video played by Spar AR to show your preview.
- With the item “Plane” selected, click on the option in the lower left corner “Add Asset” and then select “Material”.
- From this moment it will be possible to customize the filter by adding images or phrases from your computer. To do this, click on “Add Asset” again and select the item “Import From Computer…”. It is important for Spark AR to support file, GIFs and video extensions are examples of formats that cannot be used.
- After creating a custom element with an image editor and importing it into Spark AR, click on “material”. Then, on the right tab, click on the icon in front of the “Texture” item and select the file that was imported.
- Select the item “Plane” again, under “Face Tracker”. In the options on the right, click on the “+” icon in front of the “Materials” item and select the item you just adjusted.
- There, the preview item will be exchanged for the image you created.
- From this point it is possible in the size, positioning and rotation of the image added through the items in the “Transformation” tab or by clicking on the element and configuring it with your mouse.
- Before finalizing your filter, you can check how it will behave on a cell phone to see if any adjustments will be needed using the Spark AR Player app.
Publish and publish your filter on Instagram
After making the necessary adjustments and ensuring that your filter is ready, you can now export it to send your file to await Instagram approval.
- In the bottom left corner of the screen, click on the item represented by an up arrow called “Upload and Export”.
- A window with details and compatibility with mobile devices will appear. Then, click on the blue “Upload” button.
- The Spark AR Center will open on a page in your default browser.
- In this page, to proceed, you need to name the filter, choose your publishing platform, define the owner, select your category, upload an icon and send a video sample testing the filter in a maximum of 15 seconds.
- After fulfilling these requirements, your filter will be sent for approval.
Once approved, the filter will be released for use by everyone on the platform. Take advantage of this moment to make stories and publicize your creation, so your followers will be aware of your content and will also be able to start using your filter on Instagram.
Why Instagram filters are worth creating
By creating filters on Instagram and making them available to the public, your brand finds new and effective ways to connect with your followers while generating engagement.
Through the interactions generated in the stories, your brand will gain space and opportunities to get more followers. After all, when people use the filters created by your brand they are doing indirect marketing for your company, by promoting your content.
These benefits are so important that multinationals such as Disney, Netflix, Adidas, among several other companies use the resource to reach their fans.
Tips to ensure creativity and quality filters
Do you want to use this platform to achieve relevant results with your social media marketing strategy? Check out some tips that can help you succeed when creating filters on Instagram.
Create and customize your filter elements
By using ready-made elements without even customizing them, your creations can become very generic and not attract the attention of your audience.
Ensure the authenticity and originality of your content. Try to create options with themes related to your brand and create elements that represent it through colors and icons. Thus, several people may recognize that the content is yours.
Try and test
Now that you’ve learned how to create your first Instagram filter, test the available Spar AR Studio tools, test them and don’t limit yourself to just one type of filter.
Search for references
The best way to stay up to date on Instagram trends is to constantly search for references.
I take advantage of the resource offered in Stories itself and explore different themes and search the internet and look for the work of the platform’s content creators to check out creative ideas.
Check out tutorials to learn new techniques
To learn how to reproduce the filters that are high or apply an interesting idea after checking some references, search for tutorials on the internet.
There are several options for those who want to learn how to create their own effects. Official guides, photo guides and various YouTube channels teach you how to use the tools available in Spark AR Studio to create filters that can guarantee a lot of visibility to your profile.
Join a community focused on Instagram filters
Instagram and Spark AR Studio are part of the company Facebook. Therefore, the social network has an official group dedicated to the creators of the tool’s content.
When entering the group and interacting with its members, it is possible to check various references, see tutorials made by these creators and even answer your questions directly with the members of the community.
But don’t limit yourself to just the official group, if you are interested in creating professional quality filters, join other discussion groups and keep learning.
Ready to increase your engagement after learning how to create an Instagram filter?
We hope that our content has brought relevant information and helped you learn how to create your filters on Instagram.
If creating story effects is part of a content strategy to generate traffic to your site, consider starting to use an online chat. Through Websites Are Us, your team will be able to approach visitors coming from Instagram with proactive chat invitations and real-time messages.