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Fundamentals
The Simulator

The Simulator

Use the Simulator in Meta Spark Studio to quickly see how your effect would look on different devices and from different user’s perspectives, as you’re building your effect.

You can find the Simulator in the top right of the Meta Spark Studio interface.

Interface with Simulator highlighted

Seeing how your effect looks from different perspectives

In the Simulator, you’ll see different menu options so you can test what your effect looks like from different users' perspectives. The number of options available varies depending on the experience you selected.

To reveal the options, click the dropdown menu at the top left of the Simulator.

Sharing experience

If you’re creating an effect for a sharing experience, you can select one of the following 2 options:

  • User (Sharing) — select this option to see what the person who started the effect sees in a sharing experience (i.e. when sharing the effect in their story, Reel, post or message).
  • Capture — this option shows what the person using the effect sees when they press record or capture.

Video calling experiences

If you’re creating an effect for a video calling experience, it’s useful to preview what your effect will look like to different participants during a call. This is especially important because when you make a video call, participant's see your video feed in reverse, which means objects and text may appear backwards unless amended.

If you’ve select a video calling experience, you’ll see the following two additional menu options:

  • User (Video Calling) — select this option to see what the person who started the effect sees on a video call on Messenger or Instagram.
  • Participant 1 (Video Calling) — this option shows what the person using the effect sees when they press record or capture.

Learn more about creating effects for video calling.

Changing which device the Simulator represents

The Simulator is set to preview an effect on an iPhone 8 by default. To change this:

  1. Click the hamburger menu to reveal the dropdown.
  2. Choose a device from the list.

Simulator dropdown showing list of devices

Adding a custom device

To add a device that's not included in this list:

  1. On macOS, click Spark AR Studio in the menu bar. Then select Preferences > Simulator.
  2. On Windows, select Preferences > Simulator from the file menu.

Here's where you can add custom devices:

Preferences window showing no custom devices

To add a device:

  1. Click +.
  2. Add the name, platform and dimensions for the device.
  3. Click Add.

Changing the video in the Simulator

To change the real-time video in the Simulator:

  1. In the toolbar click the video icon.
  2. Select a Real-Time Simulation video or click + to add your own. To view the effect on yourself select your computer's built-in camera.

Real-time simulation and built-in camera options

Changing the Simulator position and size

Click and drag the sides of the Simulator to make it bigger or smaller. To undock the Simulator and move it to a new position, either:

  1. Click the Simulator caption area between the dropdown menu for device type selection and the hamburger icon. Then drag the Simulator.
  2. Click the Undock icon in the top-right of the Simulator menu. Click the icon again to return the Simulator to its default position.

Simulator being dragged and resized

You can also rotate the Simulator. To do this:

  1. Click in the Simulator to show the menu bar.
  2. Click the hamburger icon in the menu bar.
  3. Select Rotate Device, either to 90, 180 or 270 degrees.

Select Reset Rotation to return to the default orientation.

Simulating camera movement

Click and drag your mouse in the Simulator to simulate the movement of the camera.

Simulating touch gestures

To test an effect that responds to someone's touch — for example, taps and swipes on the device screen:

  1. In the Simulator, click the hamburger icon in the menu bar.
  2. Select Simulate Touch.

Simulator menu with Simulate Touch selected

Clicking in the Simulator will now simulate a user's touch on a device screen, like this:

Touch simulation changing color of users hair in the Simulator

To simulate two fingers rotating or pinching the screen:

  • On MacOS, hold Option, click and drag.
  • On Windows, hold Alt, click and drag.

Simulating with existing media

When effects are enabled for existing media, you’ll be able preview with the existing media on someone’s device through the Simulator.