Spark AR

Spark AR Expands Features and AR Capabilities for Instagram

Introducing creative new ways to add music,
objects and media to AR experiences

By: Spark AR Team
May 27, 2020
Spark AR

Spark AR Expands Features and AR Capabilities for Instagram

Introducing creative new ways to add music, objects and media to AR experiences

By: Spark AR Studio
May 27, 2020

We recently rolled out several exciting new Spark AR features and capabilities, and today we’re introducing more with the release of version 89 of Spark AR Studio. Together, these updates help simplify and ease AR creation, and they open up new creative possibilities for AR experiences on Instagram.

Of course, the success and growth of Spark AR wouldn’t be possible without the contributions and inspiration we find in our creator community — for this, you have our sincere thanks!

We have a lot of good stuff to share with you today. Let’s dig in.

Unlocking Creativity

We’re expanding AR capabilities for Instagram with music, plus there’s a powerful new way to augment previously taken photos and videos, and some fun improvements for effect personalization:

AR Music

Synchronize AR effects to music
AR Music

Left to right: On Kandinsky in Concert by @vi.de.or.bit; Audioled by @malf.visuals; Instabeard by @rosterizer

Creators can now easily build AR effects that respond to music. To do this, you can import and use your own legally licensed music files or you can let people pick a song they like from the thousands of free tracks in Instagram’s music library. This feature is now available for Android and iOS users.

We’ve already seen several creative examples of AR effects paired with music and can’t wait to see more. If you’d like to learn more about making effects that respond to music and sound, check out today’s blog post or get started with our tutorial.

Media Library

Add AR effects to previously taken photos and videos
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Left to Right: Video by Matheus Bertelli; Flower Power by @chrispelk

We’re introducing a new capability that enables creators to build AR effects that augment photos and videos that people previously captured with the Instagram camera or saved to their device’s media library. We think this latest capability opens up fun, new ways for people to use AR effects to express themselves and reclaim meaningful or otherwise missed moments.

Gallery Picker

Let people personalize effects with their own photos
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Left to right: instan(o)t by @autonommy; Green Screen by @Instagram

Gallery Picker lets creators publish AR effects to Instagram that people can then personalize with their own images, enabling green screen-style effects. With this new capability, people can transport themselves into any environment and place they want. Learn more about the Gallery Picker, or try it out today on Instagram with the Green Screen effect.

Making AR Creation Faster, Easier

We recently rolled out new templates to quicken and ease AR creation:

AR Stickers Templates

AR Stickers Templates

Quickly create effects with 2D and 3D stickers

Following last year’s introduction of Spark AR Studio templates, we’ve continued to add new templates to help creators, at any skill level, quickly find and build a range of AR effects. We recently added new templates for 2D and 3D stickers, which help you easily create world AR effects using plane tracking to place images and objects in a scene.

The new sticker templates also use Instagram’s Native UI Picker, which gives people more options for the types of stickers they can pick. Find the new sticker templates in the Create New tab of the welcome screen in Spark AR Studio. And if you’d like to learn more, read our latest documentation.

New Surfaces for AR Effects on Instagram

Lastly, learn how Instagram’s Effect Stories are providing creators with better visibility into effect adoption and usage, plus how a new surface on Instagram is showcasing creator effects related to cultural themes.

Effect Stories

Effect Stories

Better visibility into effect usage on Instagram

Late last month, Instagram released a new feature called Effect Stories to make it easier for accounts with published effects to discover how people are using them. Effect Stories contain a collection of up to 25 Stories from Instagram users that used a specific effect.

If you’d like to explore your own Effect Stories, go to the Effects tab on your profile page, then tap on your published effect. If Effect Stories are available, a highlighted border will appear around your effect icon. Simply tap the effect icon to open the Stories reel.

Effect Gallery

Promoting AR effects for cultural moments

Instagram recently launched a new surface in the Effect Gallery to showcase AR effects from creators. In April, you may have seen this showcase used to promote effects for Instagram’s Stay Home initiative, and more recently, for its Graduation celebrations. In the future, Instagram will continue to showcase AR effects related to culturally relevant themes and moments. Be on the lookout, your effect could be featured!

It’s been an exciting few weeks and we hope you’ll take a moment to try the new Spark AR features and capabilities.

Today’s Spark AR Studio (v89) update is available now for download on all macOS and Windows compatible computers. To keep up on all the latest Spark AR updates, sign up for our emails and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

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