Snapchat’s Lens Studio 3 makes digital design easy

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Aspiring digital designers sit up, Snapchat is making the creation of real-time AR elements easier and more widely accessible than ever before. Who told you Snapchat was on its way out?

Social tech sites have been mulling over the potential death of Snapchat for the best part of 2020, but the platform’s knack of simplifying complex creative processes shows why it continues to bang with young creatives.

If you’re into digital design, or are considering going into a creative marketing role in the future, you’ll want to know all about the Snap Lens Studio, and how to create digital AR assets for your own portfolio. Let’s get into it:


What exactly is Lens Studio?

Lens Studio is Snapchat’s attempt at taking pro level AR design tools, opening them up to be used by anyone with a Mac or PC for no cost, and generally making the whole thing real easy to play around with. 2020 has provided enough of a challenge, after all.

Like Spark AR - which you’ve no doubt seen all over Instagram Stories - Lens Studio allows users to create colourful masks and digital assets to be superimposed over the camera’s actual view, and in real-time. It has a big advantage with the iPhone 12’s LiDAR tech in particular, in that its full body and environmental tracking is easily the best on the market.

Give it a month or so, and dance videos will start to pop like never before. 



How to get to grips with it

First thing’s first, you’ll want to wrap your head around the software’s terminology, before eventually adding digital objects, and altering their behaviour with the many panels on offer. We weren’t lying when we said it is real simple and accessible compared to professional (and expensive) alternatives, so relax.

Good ol’ Snapchat has provided us with a tutorial to bring us up to speed on the workspace, and how to customise different previews to fit our specific needs. Check it out here and we’ll reconvene below.

Now the dreaded tutorial is out the way (it wasn’t so bad, eh?), you can throw yourself into the creative process by creating an object from scratch, or snagging one of Snapchat’s templates as a starting point - if you’re not in a yolo type mood.

These templates are divvied up between two main categories, Face; which will activate the selfie cam and offer up assets like masks and hats, and World; which will render digital objects to rest on your real-world surfaces. There are more advanced templates to create outlandish effects and animations under ‘Machine Learning’ and ‘Interactive’ – which Snapchat has kindly covered within a selection of easy-to-follow guides here.

We highly recommend that you give these scripting guides a thorough peruse, as they’ll open up a world of possibilities for each aspect of the creative process. Invest an hour or two, and you’ll be whipping up digital creations that look like straight wizardry to design graduates.

75% of Snapchat’s user base has stuck around for its applications in AR, which shows that it’s definitely doing something right. Tech and art are officially one in the same these days, and user-friendly applications like this will continue to shake up both industries in the years ahead. 

Have you tried your luck at digital design with Lens Studio yet?

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