If you can’t do without a filter in your photos or enjoy looking for the most extravagant ones to share in your stories, then let yourself be carried away by creativity. In this article, we will explain that creating a filter for Instagram is more accessible than many believe: here is a quick guide on creating a personalized one in a few simple steps.
The Advent Of Filters On Instagram
The use of filters on Instagram is widespread, so much so that to go against the trend on some “natural” photos, the hashtags are often used #nofilter (used over 280 million times) #nofilterneeded (used almost 30 million times) # nofiltersneeded (used nearly 1 million times) #nofilter and #nofilters. We wanted to tell you how simple and intuitive the process for creating your Instagram filter is, so you can have fun customizing your stories as you like and share something unique made by you with your followers. But what are the steps to follow?
The Starting Tools
To start creating your first Instagram filter, you need to download the Spark AR Studio App, a free software developed by Facebook developers that can be used on Windows and macOS for augmented reality content. It is possible to find the section dedicated to training beneficial for those who have to take their first steps or want to test themselves with something more complex. Still, for the more experienced, it is also possible to interact at the HTML code level. The program is currently only available in English. In addition to the Spark Ar Studio application, you need to use a photo editing program such as Photoshop, GIMP, or Pixlr, which you will need to export a photo in .png format on a transparent background. The use of the photo editing program is minimal, so don’t be scared.
The Initial Layout
Once Spark AR Studio is installed on your PC, open the program and log in with your Facebook credentials. Once logged in, you can access a tutorial version or start creating your filter. By clicking on “new project,” you can view a moving half-length person on the right. The person depicted alternates between different facial expressions so that you can appreciate the final result of your project once completed. It is possible to use a different person as reference, with a different complexion, by clicking on the “Cameras” button at the top left in the second position. This way, you have seven different gender faces, hairstyles, and complexions; the possibility of using one’s face as a tester was also foreseen, using the PC video camera or a webcam connected to our instrument. So you can see how the filter interacts with your face by selecting the “EasyCamera” button.
Create A Mask
After selecting the face that best suits you, select the “+” button in the console (present in the middle of the screen on the left) and then “Face Mesh” present in 3D Objects. The filter that will be created will be facial; therefore, we need to work on a three-dimensional plane that adapts to a person’s face. By clicking “Insert,” the selected face will have a checkered mask that moves based on the chosen face’s movement. Moving to the right panel, clicking “+” in the “Material” panel, and then selecting “Material0,” the subject’s face will have an actual white mask, the starting point for our filter.
Using The Photo Editing Tool
To work at your leisure with the photo editing tool by inserting the content you like best. It would help if you modified the mask of your choice. Open the file of interest in the photo editing application. Once done, use your creativity to cut out logos, text, or other effects to create the desired mask. Note: You must refrain from merging layers as you work. Once the composition on the mask is complete, you need to remove the view of the background (representing the female or male face) before exporting the image as a .png. At this point, the saved document contains the correct positioning of what you have created on the front, which, having been deselected, does not appear. If you create a file for boys and girls, manage them separately. The shape of the face may look very similar, but the final result changes depending on the positioning of the logos, writings, or what you have decided to superimpose on the selected face.
Next Step On Spark AR Studio
Once the mask is saved, go back to Spark AR Studio by selecting “Material0” (Material>Asset) on the left panel. The right panel changes accordingly. To load your filter, click the “Choose File…” button next to the “Texture” item at the top right. The filter will already be visible on the test face, and in the right panel, it will be possible to interact with the various functions proposed by the program. Consider what to change so your filter feels manageable. Advice: for filters that are used on people’s faces (as in this case), a degree of opacity of 80% is suggested, but you can evaluate the correct value of the resolution of the tool you use.
Share Your Filter
The Facebook team is constantly approving user-created filters. It is expected that it will take some time before it is available and shareable by all social network users. If you want to show everyone what you’ve created right away, click the “Test on device” smartphone logo at the bottom left. You need to attribute an experience to share your filter on social networks, so select “Experience” and “Sharing Experience.” Once this is done, click “Test on device” again, and the resulting screen will differ. The Instagram and Facebook logos appear under the Sharing Experience section.
Select the app on which to send the filter (e.g., Instagram), and by accessing the reference Social Network you can unlock it by giving it a try. The created filter can be used for photos, videos, and stories. The filter still needs to be approved by the Facebook team and can be used for up to 200 people. To share it, click on the “Test link” on the screen you have opened to test the filter on Instagram. A link will appear that you can send to your friends.