Articles
World Effects
Plane Tracker

Plane Tracker

A 3D heart shown in the viewport and simulator of Meta Spark Studio.

Use the plane tracker to create a world effect in Meta Spark Studio, placing 3D objects in people's environments.

A plane tracker will find a horizontal surface in the real world, like a floor to table. Objects that are children of the plane tracker will then appear when the surface is detected.

You can only add one plane tracker to a scene, but you can make multiple objects respond to the plane tracker.

Plane tracking effects are only visible through the camera on the back of the device.

Plane tracker behavior will be changing from V133 onwards. Previously, the plane tracker would use a Z-up coordinate system on devices and a Y-up coordinate system in Meta Spark Studio. By changing the device coordinate system to Y-up, plane tracking effects now perform with more consistency across all surfaces.

This change will only affect projects created or updated in Meta Spark Studio v133 or later. If you have previously created effects that include a custom solution to address the rotation of the coordinate system on device, you may find that they work differently after updating to v133. Effects that were published before v133 will be unaffected until they are updated to v133 or later.

Adding a plane tracker

To add a plane tracker to your project:

  1. Click Add Object.
  2. Select Plane Tracker.

Because plane trackers only work through the back camera, the video in the Simulator will automatically be replaced by a video showing the world, rather than a person.

Your Viewport will look like this:

A screenshot showing Meta Spark Studio configured with a plane tracker.

Making an object appear when a surface is detected

To make an object appear when the camera detects a surface, all you need to do is make the object a child of the plane tracker in the Scene panel. In Meta Spark Studio, when one object is a child of another object, it'll respond to and take on any changes made to its parent object.

To do this, either:

  1. Right-click on the plane tracker in the Scene panel, and select 3D Object.
  2. Drag an object from the Assets panel or your desktop, straight onto the plane tracker in the Scene panel.

Plane tracker properties

When you've selected the plane tracker in the Scene panel, you'll see its properties in the Inspector.

Layer

Click the dropdown next to Layer to adjust which layer the plane tracker is assigned to.

Visible

Clear this box to stop the plane tracker and any children from being rendered in the scene.

Auto Start

Select this box to find a plane in world space as soon as your effect is opened.

Transformations

You can't change the transformations for a plane tracker, because it isn't an object.

Enable For

This sets camera-specific visibility. For the plane tracker, Enable For is set to Back Camera automatically and can't be changed. This means that the plane tracker will only be visible in the back camera of a mobile device.

Resizing, moving and rotating objects using screen interactions

You can use the Patch Editor to easily add interactivity to effects that use the plane tracker.

Because objects that are children of the plane tracker will appear on a real world surface, it's a good idea give people the ability to resize, move and rotate the object using screen interactions like taps and swipes. Learn how in this guide

Adding instructions to effects with a plane tracker

When you've added a plane tracker to an effect, it's a good idea to add an instruction to let users know the effect should be viewed through the back camera. You can use the Patch Editor to do this.