Turn Your Doodles into an Instagram Face Filter with Spark AR | Annie Liu | Skillshare

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Turn Your Doodles into an Instagram Face Filter with Spark AR

teacher avatar Annie Liu, Digital Designer ✨

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class Project & Overview

    • 3. Setting Up

    • 4. Sketching & Prepping

    • 5. Doodling with Procreate

    • 6. Warping Your Doodle

    • 7. Using Spark AR & Uploading Files

    • 8. Testing Your Face Filter

    • 9. Creating an Icon

    • 10. Uploading Your Filter

    • 11. Conclusion

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About This Class


Face filters might look intimidating to create, but it doesn’t have to be! In this class I’ll be teaching you so that it’s fun and easy!

Great for beginners as well as creatives looking to expand their medium and boost their social engagement! This project is where you and your creativity and imagination gets to shine!  

This class is all about making it easy to learn and create your own face filters. Appropriate for beginners. Students will be learning how to prepare their work for Spark AR, how to use basic functions of Spark AR and how to upload and prepare a file for completion and approval.

Materials needed:

  • Adobe Photoshop/Fresco/Procreate (Ipad/tablet optional) 
  • Computer with Spark Ar downloaded (free)
  • IG account  
  • Paper+Pencil
  • Your imagination/creativity! 

Face filters are an effective way to garner more social engagement (tagged and shared around in IG story) as well as an interactive experience that can be an evergreen content. All while expanding your notion of what's possible and what mediums you can touch!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Annie Liu

Digital Designer ✨


Hi I’m Annie or LIUCID and for the sake of brevity- the meaning behind LIUCID is two folds. 

Clarity through connection (which is the basis of creativity) Light- keep shining, your spark sparks others.

And I’m all about living, creating and teaching with the above mission statement in mind as well as sparking it in others! 


In order to give you a sense of who I am- listed are my related expertise when comes to the topic of creativity.

2021  Ox Bookmark Activity x Chinese American Museum Lantern Festival 2020 Asian Creative Collective Speaker (on my Creative Journey) 2020 Adobe Creative Residency Community Fund Recipient 2020 Instagram Featured: &l... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Face filters are a great way to expand the possibilities of your own work so that 2D work doesn't have to say 2D. In fact, face filters are incredible in boosting social engagement, and here is a case in point. This is my pride effect called rainbow connections, and this face filter was actually featured on Instagram's gallery of favorite pride effects. This filter actually garnered four million impressions and is being used and shared around the world. That's pretty neat. In this course, I'll be your instructor. I'm Annie or Liucid, and for the sake of brevity, the meaning behind Liucid is two folds. One is clarity through connections, and the second is light: keep shining because your spark sparks others. This is the mission statement that I always have in mind whenever I'm creating. Whether it's through illustrations, GIFs, wonky lettering, or face filters, I keep it liucid. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking face filters, that seems really intimidating to create. Well, the hard part is getting started, and I'll make sure that it's an easy and fun process. In doing so, you get to doodle whatever you want. You have full creative freedom and with that, let's dive right in and let's get liucid. 2. Class Project & Overview: For this class, we're going to be creating a face filter from your doodle, and here's what we'll cover. We'll cover doodling, downloading and using Spark AR, exporting the files and uploading the face filter, and of course, we're going to be submitting the face filter for approval. Within a day or so, your face filter should be ready to be used and shared with all of your friends, including me, maybe. What I will say is that this course is one that's easy to follow along so that this is a great introduction on how to use Spark AR. So with that, let's move on to the next section, which is, what do you need? So here's what we'll need. We'll need Adobe Photoshop or Fresco, or Procreate, an iPad, tablet, solace or Apple pencil, which are optional and we'll need a computer with Spark AR downloaded. Spark AR is free by the way, and we need a paper and pencil, an Instagram account or Facebook account or both and of course, your imagination and creativity. So let's first setup. 3. Setting Up: First things first, let's download Spark AR and the face assets. I've attached a free downloadable PDF as to where you can find this as well, and once you click onto it, it'll bring you to where you need to go. Spark AR can be found at sparkar.facebook.com, and let's go ahead and click "Download". Go through the process of downloading, and next, we'll download the face asset. There's a feminine and a masculine look, and we're going to be using this as a template and a guide. I know the face looks creepy, but that's because this is a 3D face brought into a 2D plane. Just imagine it's your face pulled off and smashed onto a paper. Although when I said that out loud, that sounds weird. But, with these two components downloaded, let's start prepping so that we can doodle and use our creativity and imagination. 4. Sketching & Prepping: It's prep time and it's always a good practice to have some inspiration in mind so that we can form a basic idea of what we want our face filter to look like. Let's get out a paper and a pencil, and let's look for some inspiration. Maybe your own Google Pinterest or Instagram wherever you find and collect inspiration. What I usually do is I search up face tattoos or makeup looks for inspiration and to get a sense of what might a good composition on a face look like. With the inspiration in mind, the first thing I like to do is draw a basic face. It doesn't have to be perfect. In fact, feel free to laugh at the face that I drew. From there, I like to list a theme that I'm working with and the elements as well. I'll do that right now. For myself, I want to do a dark, edgy face tattoo type of theme. For right now, the elements I want in my face filter would be the words stay away in red and some slight blush, and maybe some freckles. I'll draw multiple faces to play around with the variations of the placements of the element. For yourself, you can doodle whatever you choose. Just make sure you cover the basic elements you'd like to see in your face filter. Again, you don't have to stick with this sketch, maybe you want to add something or subtract something later on, but this will just serve as a starting point. With a really basic sketch we've just created, let's move on to the different ways in which we can approach doodling. 5. Doodling with Procreate: Keep in mind, there are several ways in which we can go about the process of doodling. I'll take you through possible ways in which you can approach this. One way is to draw the elements on different layers in Procreate or Fresco, then upload that into Photoshop and from there, arrange your elements and warp it accordingly. Another variation is to directly work in Photoshop or Procreate. My preferred method is working directly in Procreate, so join me in the next section to start doodling. It's doodle time. This is the part where you get to shine. You have full creative freedom to doodle as you please, and we'll use this time to doodle something together using either Photoshop and/or Fresco/Procreate. I'm going to be using my iPad and Procreate. I've already imported my face file template in Procreate, and you can do that by clicking the "Wrench tool" and inserting a photo. The file size is 1800 by 1800 and with the face file template opened, let's start doodling, and I'll be giving a walk-through of what I'll doodle for my face filter. Right now, I'll start with the cheeks and I'll just create a blush on both sides of the cheeks. What I'll do next is I'm going to make sure I fill it up. I'm going to turn down the opacity just so it's a more subtle blush. The next thing I'll do, I'll go ahead and add a new layer. Now I'm just going to be picking a brush. Let's see. Maybe zooming in a little bit and I'm going to be adding just tiny little freckles, and I'm just going to make those little dots. I'm just going to fill it all up. The next thing that I'll do is I'm going to turn down the opacity as well just for a more subtle look. Next, I know I said I was going to make stay away red, but right now, I've decided that instead of red, I actually like black a little bit more. I'm going to be using a black color and I'm going to be doing a face tadded look. That's just going to say stay away, and that's the basic of my face filter. I'm going to just add in a little bit of those details. I'm also going to do my little trick of the opacity, just lower that down a little just so it's not too overpowering. That's my little face filter doodle.2 6. Warping Your Doodle: All right. We're in a good place with that element flash doodle. But a quick tip to remember is that we should also distort some of the elements to follow the shape of the face. Remember that the face is essentially a 3D wrap on a 2D plane. Let's make a copy of our doodles and turn that layer invisible. We'll be using the invisible layer for an icon in the future lesson, so hold onto that. With the layer that is visible, let's use the warp tool and try to follow the shape of the face. After we done warping our doodle, let's turn off all of the layers that the doodle isn't on and export this as a PNG file. Now we're ready to bring this file into Spark AR. 7. Using Spark AR & Uploading Files: This is Spark AR. We'll create a new project. Go ahead and click the plus sign and then, click "Face Tracking". We clicked into "Face Tracking" and this is the window that pops up and the next thing I'll do is I'll hit the camera. I'm going to be using my webcam, so I'm going to do that. The next thing that we'll do is we're going to add in an object. That's right here, and we'll click "Face Mesh", and we'll insert in our face mesh. Because the "Face Mesh" is underneath the "Face Tracker", what will happen is that wherever your face goes, your face mesh will follow. The next thing we'll do is we'll hop back on our right-hand side and click into "Materials". Add a material, and "material0", you're going to go into your left-hand side and click into that. On the right-hand side, your interface has changed and it has become material0. From there, you can go into your texture, and what you can do is you can add in a new texture. This is when we add in our PNG file. Open that up and boom, that's your face filter. I'm going to take off my glasses right now so I can see what my face filter looks like. I can go ahead to, and if I want, I can play with the shader type. Usually, I like to play with the face paint for things of this. You can knock down the opacity if you like, or play with any of those. What we'll do is we can add in another object, and this will be a face smoothing tool. If you want to smooth your face, you can follow along for this part. Otherwise, this will be your face filter. I'm going to go ahead and add in a face mesh, insert that. As you can see, this face mesh isn't underneath a face tracker, so it's not following my face, but we can go ahead and just put that underneath the face tracker. Now it's confusing because they are both called faceMesh0. I'm going to go ahead and rename one of them smoothing. For the smoothing face mesh, what I'll do is the same thing I did for the last face mesh, which is go to "Materials" and add in a new material. Here's material1, this is the new material. I'm going to go to my left-hand side and click into that. So material1, what we'll do is hop back on the right-hand side and let's change our shader type. Our shader type now is going to be retouching. As you can see, if I bump it up, it's more smooth, and if I push down, not as smooth. You could see the subtle difference of that. I like to just put in a bit of a smoothing. That looks good to me. Now that we've learned how to put our doodle into Spark AR, the next thing we can do is test it out. Let's go ahead and do that in the next video. 8. Testing Your Face Filter: This is the fun part, and this is the part where we get to test exactly what it looks like on your device. On the left-hand side, click onto this button right here, and what you can do is you can send to app. You can either send it to your Facebook camera or your Instagram camera, and what I usually like to do is I usually like sending it to my Instagram camera. So I'll do that, and it's sending right now to my camera. Let's switch on over to that camera. In front of me, I have Instagram opened and there should have been a notification in order to try your effect preview. What you can do is when you get that notification click into it and then click "Continue." From there, that's your face filter and that's what it will look like on an actual device. If you're not happy with what it currently looks like, what you can do is you can go back and make those changes and then come back again to retest your effect. But if you're like me and you're happy with what this looks like, then the next step is to create that demo video. A demo video is needed for the approval process and it'll also live under your profile, under the smiley face with sparkles tab. What this will serve as is, it'll serve as a preview to what your effect looks like. In order to do that, what we'll do is, we'll have to go to this blue button, click and hold it in order to create a video. This video should be no longer than 15 seconds long and it should also be vertical. Make sure it's not horizontal. Make sure this is the correct orientation of your phone. The other thing too, that's a little bit extra that I like to do is actually made an outfit change. I did this because this matched my face filter a little bit more than the outfit I had on earlier. If you want to do that, you can do that as well. The next step is, now that we learned how to create a demo video, what we'll learn next is how to create an icon. But before we do that, I'm going to drop in a little bonus. This bonus is, that right now, if we wanted to share this effect out, we can't directly share it through Instagram because this effect hasn't been approved yet. But what you can do instead is you can record the video on Instagram and then you can screen record your phone, and then what you can do is you can drop it back into Instagram story to share a little sneak peek of your filter. That's a little tidbit of a little secret. From there, let's move on to how to create an icon. 9. Creating an Icon: It's time to create an icon. Remember how we had that invisible layer that we created of our unwarped doodle? Well, now's the time to make that layer visible and export it as a PNG. What we can do is that we can either export it as a PNG and work in Photoshop, which is my preferred method or you can work directly in Fresco or Procreate to create your icon. Make sure that this icon is a minimum size of 200 by 200 pixels. For myself, I usually like to do a 400 by 400 pixel. I have that right in front of me and what I also did was I already uploaded my PNG file of my doodle elements that are unwarped. What I like to do next is I like to separate all of the elements. In this case, I only have two elements, which is the word stay and away and I'll just lasso tool it and hit "Command J" on a Mac in order to separate both of the words. So I'll do that with away as well. As you can see, away and stay are now on two separate layers. This makes it so that I can just move the words around quite easily. You can do that with your elements and just move it around in order to create a new composition. This makes it so that it's really easy to create a new icon. Maybe this is what you like as your icon. What we can do next is you can hit "Shift Command S" in order to save it out as a JPEG. Save it out as a JPEG and once we have that ready, we can go into uploading our face filter. When we have our demo video, when we have our icon, and when we have our face filter done. Let's do that in the next section. 10. Uploading Your Filter: So we have our face filter file ready, and we've created a demo video as well as an icon. Now it's time to upload our face filter into Spark AR hub. But before we do that, a quick reminder that I've included a downloadable PDF that will guide you through this process, and if you want, you can use that and refer to it while we go through this process together. The first thing we'll do is we'll go to our left hand side and we'll upload and export. That's this button right here. Click on that, and this window pops up. Make sure there's a green check mark for both the file size and capabilities. What we'll do is we'll publish a new effect. Go ahead and click the "Upload" button. I've already done that. When you've already done that, what will happen is that Spark AR hub will pop up. This is Spark AR hub and I've actually already filled out everything. What we'll do is a quick walk-through. First is the name of your filter. I've already put that in and I've called this filter, stay away please. The next thing is the platforms. You can choose what platform you want your face filter to live on. It could be Facebook, it could be Instagram, or it could be both. For myself, I usually just like to use Instagram. The next item at hand is the categories. You can select through a multitude of categories. Of course, next is the key words. In the keywords you can add in some tags that you think are relevant for your face filter. Next, we have our demo video, and I've actually already uploaded my demo video. From there you can actually choose the video thumbnails, but for myself, right now it hasn't uploaded all the way. I can't really do that right now, but for yourself, you could probably do that. The next item at hand is the icon. This is the icon, usually it's cropped as a circle. But in your face filter preview on the right, this is what it will to look like in the tab section. Next, we can choose a publication date. You can either set a time for or you can just make it as soon as possible. For instructions for reviewer, what you can do here is you can leave a quick description of what your face filter looks like. With all of that, the next thing to do, and the final thing to do is submit. If you want, you can also test this device or test this on a device. What that does is you can send a link to your friends or to yourself, and you can use this face filter before it actually gets published. That's really neat. 11. Conclusion: Congrats. You made a face filter from doodling to spark AR to exporting, you did it all. Please do upload and share a video or a picture of your face filter along with the link so that we can all use your awesome effect. If you want, please do share it with me @LIUCID_ and I'd love to use it as well as share it on my Instagram stories. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to all of your face filters. Take care and keep shining.