As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we have a reduced capacity to review effects and delays in publishing are expected. Learn more.

There may be differences between your version of Spark AR Studio and this tutorial because the product is currently in beta and we update it regularly.

Tutorial: Previewing Spark AR Studio Effects

In this tutorial we'll look at the different ways to preview your effects in Spark AR Studio before you submit them for publishing. We'll cover:

However you choose to preview an effect, it won't be visible to the public.

To get started, open a saved project. You can use our sample content if you like.

The Simulator

As you're building an effect, the Simulator will show how it would look on a device.

You can click the dropdown at the top of the Simulator to change which device it represents:

Mirroring your effect in Instagram or Facebook

To see how an effect looks when it's being used in the camera, you can send it to the Instagram or Facebook camera. This will give you an idea of how your effect will look once it has been submitted and approved for publishing.

Click the device icon in the toolbar, and select Send to App:

Next to either Facebook Camera or Instagram Camera, click Send.

You'll get a notification, inviting you to try the effect in the camera.

Using the Spark AR Player app

Before you can mirror an effect in the Spark AR Player app, make sure you've:

  • Downloaded and installed Spark AR Player, on either an iOS or Android Mobile Device.
  • Installed iTunes, if you're using a Windows machine and plan to test your effect on an Android device.

You'll also need a USB cable handy.

When you're ready, connect your mobile device to your computer with the USB cable, and open the Spark AR Player app on your device.

If you’re connecting a device for the first time

For iOS devices you’ll need to adjust settings on your computer so it ‘trusts’ the device. How to do this will depend on which version of macOS is installed.

For macOS 10.14 and below:

  1. On your computer, open iTunes.
  2. Accept the prompt to trust the Device.

For macOS 10.15 and above:

  1. On your computer, open Finder.
  2. Select the device from the left bar and click Trust.
  3. On your mobile device you’ll be asked to trust the device you’re using. Click Trust.

If you’re using Spark AR Player for the first time

If you're opening Spark AR Player for the first time you'll be asked to enable access to some features, like your camera and microphone. This is because Spark AR Effects are played in the device’s camera, and the microphone is used to add sound.

If you're using an Android device, you'll be asked to turn on developer mode and USB debugging in your phone settings.

Mirroring your project

To see your project in the Spark AR Player app, again, click the device icon here in the toolbar. This time:

  1. Select Send To Connected Device - you'll see your device listed here.
  2. Click Send.

You'll now see the effect playing on the device.

Testing performance

When your effect is playing in the Spark AR Player app, you'll see its FPS. This means frames per seconds, and represents how fast or slow your effect is on the device you're mirroring it to. You should aim for an FPS of 30 or more.

To see more detailed information about your effect and its performance, tap FPS.

Learn more about different ways to improve the performance of effects.

Viewing previous versions of effects

You can view earlier versions of projects you've mirrored on your device, without being connected to your computer or the internet. To do this:

  1. Open Spark AR Player.
  2. Tap the menu in the top left.
  3. Select the effect you want to view and the version.
  4. Tap Done.

You'll see the previous version playing on your device.

If you're having trouble mirroring your effect in Spark AR Player, see the Mirroring and the AR Studio Player app FAQ.


In this tutorial you've learned how to preview your effect in Spark AR Studio and mirror it in your own device using the Spark AR Player app, and inside the Facebook and Instagram apps.

Once you're happy with your how your effect looks in your device, you can go ahead and submit it to the Spark AR Hub to be published .

Join the Spark AR Creator's community

Find inspiration, see examples, get support, and share your work with a network of creators.

Join Community

Join the Spark AR Creator's community

Find inspiration, see examples, get support, and share your work with a network of creators.

Join Community

Frequently asked questions

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