Introduction: Beginner's Spark AR Studio Tutorial

If you are new to Spark AR Studio, a free augmented reality software compatible with Instagram and Facebook, this tutorial will show you how to navigate the workspace and create your first AR filter.

Download Spark AR here.

Browse through Spark AR's tips and tutorials here.

Read my mini-intro to Spark AR here.

Check out a Instructable about photogrammetry/Metashape Pro here.

Try out my filters:

Strawberry Shortcake



Download my filter assets here.

Step 1: Open Spark AR and Start a New World Object Project.

Spark AR is completely free and works with Instagram and Facebook. You can also download the free Spark AR app on your phone to easily preview your filters while working on them.

There are several templates that you can start out with. In this tutorial, we will create a filter that shows 2D and 3D objects in the "real world" through your phone camera.

Step 2: Navigate the Workspace and Delete the Default Objects.

When you open the template up, you will see a simple workspace. The preview in the top right corner, highlighted in magenta allows you to view your project as if you were looking at it through your phone. The top icons in green are tools that allow you to move, scale, and rotate your objects.

The default object will be in the center of the window with its assets on the left navigational bars. Delete the default objects and assets in the left bar, highlighted in red.

Then, click "add object", highlighted in blue.

Step 3: Add Your 3D Object

A menu will pop up with all of the different types of objects you can add to your project. Click "3D Object" and import it into your project. Here I am using a 3D model of a statue I scanned using photogrammetry.

Step 4: Add a Texture to Your Object

In your assets bar, click the material icon (the circle) for your object and import a file for the texture. You can play around with the options on the right bar to adjust your texture's opacity, tiling etc.

Step 5: Animate

Click your 3D object in the Scene bar on the left, then click "Actions" on the top right corner. Then, click "Animate" and choose one of the animation presets.

The Patch Editor will pop up on the bottom, allowing you to adjust your animation intuitively and without coding.

You can change the duration of the animation—a higher number will result in a slower animation.

You can also choose a preset for the curve to make the animation more dynamic.

Step 6: Adding a Plane

To add a 2D object, go back to the scene panel and add a "Plane" object. Click the plane and on the right bar, click the + sign next to "Materials". This will create a new material for you to import a texture.

Step 7: Add a Texture to Your Material

Click your new material in the "Assets" panel on the bottom left, then add a texture the same way you would for a 3D object material. In the "Shader Type" menu on the top, you can choose how the texture behaves in the scene. I chose "Flat" as my shader type to make the 2D object not respond to any lights in the scene.

Step 8: Animate

You can animate a 2D plane the same way you animate a 3D object.

Step 9: Test Out Your Filter

Click the icon on the bottom left to either send it to Spark AR on your phone (while it is connected to your computer) or preview it on Instagram/Facebook if your profile is linked to the software. Once you are happy with your filter, you can also publish it following Spark AR's guidelines found here.