While the Snapchat mobile app is Snap’s most popular offering, its desktop app Lens Studio lets users easily create augmented reality lenses that can be applied on the go. Today, Lens Studio is adding a collection of new features designed to appeal to a wider range of creators — inexperienced newbies and pro 3D modelers alike — including Landmarker template support for 14 new real-world locations, 6 new facial templates, and an interactive tour for first-time app users.
As true AR goes, the new Landmarker templates are perhaps the most compelling. They provide creators with examples of how real-world locations can be augmented with digital content such as persistent decorations and special effects; the assets can be customized for current locations or adapted for use at other places. And as shown in the screenshot above, regular Snapchat users will be able to see the Landmarkers live starting today if they’re lucky enough to be in one of 11 countries:
- Czech Republic, at Prague’s Astronomical Clock
- Egypt, at the Great Sphinx of Giza
- France, at Paris’ Arc de Triomphe
- Germany, at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate or Munich’s Neues Rathaus
- India, at Agra’s Taj Mahal or Mumbai’s Gateway of India
- Italy, at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
- Mexico, at Chichen Itza’s El Castillo
- Saudi Arabia, at Mada’in Saleh’s Qasr Al-Farid
- Turkey, at Istanbul’s Galata Tower
- United Kingdom, at London’s National History Museum or Tower Bridge, and
- United States, at the Statue of Liberty
Snap has also added six new facial Lens templates to the existing collection of 40 options. Face In Video adds a live face onto a video, Portrait Particles produces customized particle effects that appear behind a live head, and Countdown creates a timer to celebrate a given date with 3D hats and glasses. Additionally, a Skeletal frame tracker adds 2D images to heads, necks, shoulders, elbows, and hands, while Hair Color automatically recolors the user’s hair and an AR Make-Up feature adds lipstick, blush, eyeshadow, and other effects.
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Beyond making fun AR effects for users to play with, it’s been clear for some time that Snap is actively working to deepen its footprint in the AR creative and marketing spaces. The company saw success last year with musician-focused AR lenses, and later worked to broaden brands’ access to people with experience crafting Snapchat AR content. Over 500,000 Lenses have been developed since Lens Studio launched in late 2017.
The last new additions to Lens Studio attempt to make it easier for companies and marketing firms to dip their toes into the shallow end of the AR pool. Snap is adding an interactive step-by-step tour of the app that can be used on first load, helping first-time creators to understand how to get started. Additional interface tweaks spotlight new features and templates alongside particularly noteworthy Lenses that were previously released.
Snap’s new version of Lens Studio is available for free download today. It works on machines running Windows 10 and macOS 10.11 or later.