Configuring your project for video calling

In Spark AR Studio you can publish an effect that multiple people can use on a video call on Messenger or Instagram. Not all Spark AR capabilities can be used for video calling, so you'll need to configure your project for this experience.

This article also introduces a few adjustments you can make when designing your effect, to make sure it works better on a video call.

Setting up your project

There are 3 ways to configure a project for video calling. You can:

  • Configure a new project
  • Use a pre-configured Welcome Screen template
  • Convert an existing project

Configuring a new project

If you’re starting a new project, in the Spark AR studio welcome screen, select Video Calling Experience. When you select this option your project is automatically set up with the capabilities to work for a video calling experience.

Spark AR welcome screen with video calling experience selected

Using a pre-configured template

Some templates in the welcome screen are already pre-configured to support a video calling experience. Hover over the template to learn if it’s suitable for video calling.

3 templates in the welcome screen showing they're suitable for video calling

Converting an existing project

To convert an existing effect for a video calling experience, first open the effect and then:

  • In the toolbar, click the gear icon.
  • Select Change Project Properties.

This opens the Properties - Experiences window. In this window:

  1. Click Add Experience.
  2. Select Video Calling Experience.
  3. Click Insert.

Properies Experience window with video calling and sharing experience options enabled

If you want your effect to be available on Facebook and Instagram, as well as a supported video calling platform, don’t remove the Sharing Experience option. Your effect is then enabled for both experiences:

Project properties tab with video calling and sharing experience enabled

Checking supported capabilities

Keep in mind that you have to disable any existing effect’s capabilities if they can’t be used in a video calling experience. For example, if your effect uses Face Tracking and Segmentation, you’ll have to disable one of these capabilities or it can’t be published for video calling.

If you see the following warnings, make sure to update your project properties and remove the capability or change the experience type.

Capability warning stating that face tracking and segmentation can't be used in a video call

Capabilities for Instagram video calling

Similarly, some of the Spark AR capabilities usually supported by Instagram can’t be used in Instagram video calling. For example, you can create and publish an effect with the native UI slider for an Instagram sharing experience, but this capability isn’t compatible with Instagram video calling.

Designing for video calling

There are a few adjustments you can make when building your effect to control how it appears. These include:

  • Showing different objects to different participants. Learn more.
  • Correcting a mirrored video feed to making sure your textures appear the correct way around to participants. Learn more.

To create a more-advanced, coordinated experience, you’ll need to build a group effect, specifcially designed for a video-calling experience. Group effects use the multipeer capability.

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