Augmented Reality Face Filters for Instagram

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Saturday, May 30, 2020
Saturday, June 6, 2020

Create interactive face filters that respond to mobile camera input, with artist Russell Gordon.

Sign up:

8 hours total over 2 session, online

Sat May 30, 1pm - 5pm

Sat June 6, 1pm - 5pm

BY DONATION for VIVO Producer Members or those facing reduced income due to COVID-19

Regular ticket $39 (+GST)

Participants will need:

This online workshop will introduce you to a basic Augmented Reality softwarecalled Spark AR Studio (, which will allow you to create interactive filters and effects that Instagram users can use in their stories. Artist Russell Gordon, VIVO's communication specialist, will show you how to create filters and effects that recognize and respond to face movements and other objects through a user's mobile camera. Following a brief overview and demonstrations, you'll work on your own Augmented Reality filter and then learn how to submit it for publishing to social media. We will be making a version of the 'Which Are You?' Face Filter, popular on Instagram at the moment.

Session One is an overview of the general concepts and workflow. You'll begin sketching your idea and then get feedback through group discussion. For homework, you'll continue to develop and research your idea, and produce the 'assets' to use in the app.

Session Two is a deep dive into producing the 'Which Are You' filter, with the instructor's support. Following the session, you'll submit your filter so it can be searched by other Instagram users. The instructor will continue to be available after Session Two to help you troubleshoot the submission process, which can sometimes be tricky.

Topics covered include:

  • Researching the design components for your filter
  • AR Target Tracking for triggering effects
  • Adding 3D objects and overlays
  • Synchronizing effects with gestures for user interaction
  • Modifying templates
  • Actions and shortcuts to streamline workflow
  • Exporting and uploading to Instagram
  • Publishing your effect and getting it approved on Instagram and Facebook

Here's the software's example page:

About the 

Russell Gordon is VIVO Media Arts Centre's communications specialist. He has been working with Augmented Reality since ARKit was made widely available in 2017. He's made a number of Augmented Reality apps and publishes Face Filters for Instagram with collaborator Casey Wei as 'coldboi9969'. Recently, coldboi9969 was commissioned to make a custom Face Filter for Images Festival in Toronto. As an artist, Russell is passionate about using technology for personal expression; his work has been shown nationally and internationally.

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