How to create your own Instagram filter

Instagram filters use virtual reality to add more elements to the image captured by the phone camera. The platform currently offers a huge library of filters available to users. But did you know that you can create your own very personal ones? In this article we will tell you how.

  • How to create Instagram filters
    • Download and install Spark AR Studio
    • Create a project using templates
    • Create an empty project
    • Export your Instagram filter
    • Post the filter to Instagram Stories

How to create an Instagram filter from scratch

Instagram filters use augmented reality. In this tutorial we will show you how to create your own filters by applying your own effects. A first look at what you need, and then you can explore the endless possibilities on your own.

1. Download and install Spark AR Studio

The necessary software to create your own Instagram filters, is Spark AR Studio. It is an official tool developed by Facebook and available for Windows and macOS. Therefore, you cannot carry out this process from your mobile phone, but have to switch to your PC. The following steps are based on the application for the Microsoft operating system. Load the first Spark AR Studio Malavida installer.

Double-click it once it has been saved to internal storage and click on the main wizard screen Next.

Start installing Spark AR StudioStart installing Spark AR Studio

As you can imagine, you must read and agree to the software’s terms and conditions in order to continue. Otherwise you cannot use them on your computer.

Accept T&CsAccept T&Cs

If you want to try the filters on your iOS phone, the installation wizard will remind you to install iTunes. Follow the steps on the screen and click Nextwhen you’re done. If you have an Android device, you don’t need to follow these instructions.

Install iTunes if you want to use an iPhoneInstall iTunes if you want to use an iPhone

Set the directory where you want to install Spark AR Studio. If you are happy with the default path, click Next.

Provide the installation pathProvide the installation path

Finally click on the button Installto start the installation process.

Install Spark AR StudioInstall Spark AR Studio

Wait for the process to complete. Please note that this is a fairly large program and it is therefore normal that it will take a few minutes to finish installing on your computer.

Wait for the installation to finishWait for the installation to finish

When the message you see in the screenshot below appears on the screen, click Finishto end the program.

Complete the installation processComplete the installation process

Find Spark AR Studio in the start menu and click on its icon. The login screen will appear and you will need to enter your Facebook account information.

Sign in with your Facebook accountSign in with your Facebook account

If you’ve made it this far, you’ve got the software you need to design your own Instagram filters. What’s next? Then let’s see.

2. Create a new project with templates

Now it’s time to learn how to create a custom filter for Instagram. But first, let’s make a little clarification. This section and the next show you how to design a filter and upload it to the Facebook database. All in all, Spark is AR Studio a very complex tool, which requires time and effort to become familiar with. The following steps are simple examples that are mainly intended to guide you through the entire process.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s move on. One way you can create an Instagram filter is to take advantage of the many templates offered by the app. We choose the face mask that allows you to create virtual masks.

Start a project from a templateStart a project from a template

The image below shows how the software workspace looks like. In our case we right-click Device clicked, the Add object section or Add object opened and in Face Mesh added.

Add face maskAdd face mask

We downloaded a mask in png format from the web and placed it in the space Assets drawn. Then we right-clicked on it to give it the “Use as Face Mask” or “Use as Face Mask” action, respectively. Use As A Face Mask to assign. Quick, in the sample video the mask has been applied to the user.

Copy image to attachments and use as face maskCopy image to attachments and use as face mask

Add as many elements as you think you need and adjust them using the various parameters in the right pane of the window.

3. Create an empty project

Besides using templates to create filters, it is also possible to start an empty project. Just click Blank Project.

Create a new empty projectCreate a new empty project

Add an object to the canvas. In our case it is a three-dimensional text.

Add a new destinationAdd a new destination

Use the parameters you see on the right side of the screen. Change the position of the text, the content or the typography. It’s even possible to add variables like the current temperature or the day of the week.

Change the appearance of the textChange the appearance of the text

Not only can you customize the text, but you can also anchor it to the user’s face or add actions. We choose to place the element on the person’s nose by opening the context menu, on Actions access and the option “nose” or Nos under Position On Face) choose.

Place the text on the user's nosePlace the text on the user’s nose

From this point on, the movement of the text is coordinated with the position of the user’s nose.

The text moves with the userThe text moves with the user

Follow the steps outlined in the previous section to publish your filter when you’re done. We recommend that you take some time to familiarize yourself with the options of this application so that you can get the most out of it.

4. Export your Instagram filter

When you’re done, you go up File and click Publish. In the pop-up window, click Upload.

Publish the project on the internetPublish the project on the internet

Now the filter has been uploaded to Facebook’s servers. However, it’s not ready for release just yet. The browser displays Spark AR Hub, the company’s filter publishing center. There you have to give it a name and choose which platforms you want it to be available on.

Give the filter a nameGive the filter a name

Likewise, you must specify the categories associated with the filter.

Add categoriesAdd categories

Upload an icon representing the filter. You’ll also need to upload a sample video that will allow users to preview the effect you’re creating. This must meet the following requirements:

  • It must be a representation of the use of the filter and taken with the camera from Instagram, Facebook or Spark AR Studio.
  • It must not be edited.
  • It must be taken in portrait format.
  • It must not be longer than 15 seconds.
  • The size must not exceed 32 MB.
  • Uploaded in MOV, MP4 or WEBM file format.

Add icon and other detailsAdd icon and other details

When everything is ready, click the button at the bottom of the page Submit .

Submit the effect for releaseSubmit the effect for release

Facebook moderators will review the project and if it conforms to Instagram’s guidelines, it will be published in a maximum of five days.

5. Post your filter to Instagram Stories

Now all you have to do is test your new filter by posting it in one of your Instagram stories and sharing it with all your friends, acquaintances and followers. Once your filter has been accepted, all you have to do is look for it in Instagram’s filter library. You can use it in video recording, in memory videos, in reels, boomerangs, photos… The possibilities are endless!

How to make your own Instagram filter, step by step

  1. Download and install Spark AR Studio
  2. Create a new project using the templates
  3. Or create an empty project
  4. Export your Instagram filter and upload it to Inetrnet for Meta to review
  5. Post the filter in your stories and share it with your followers

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