5. Building Your Favorite AR Lens

Hey Lens Creators!

Welcome to the last tutorial for this AR Lens Challenge. 

Now that you’re an expert, you’re going to create your own brand new Lens using the design and Lens Studio tools that you have learned so far. 

By the end of this tutorial, you will be able to ...

  • To incorporate new Lens Studio skills to build a successful and original AR Lens of your own.
  • To use multiple design workflows to plan and execute the Lens.


Estimated time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Step 1: Plan

Start by quickly sketching a Lens design on paper.

1. 📝 Brainstorm types of images and features that you want for your Lens.

2.📝 Brainstorm who your user would be.

  • Friends? 
  • Families?
  • Kids?

3. 🤔 Think about the following as you sketch:

  • Do you want the user’s face to look different?
  • Do you want to build a custom background?
  • Do you want to incorporate a 2D character into the Lens?

4. 🤔 Think about the template that you would like to use. Remember what we used in the past units:

  • Unit 1: 2D Objects Lens Template
  • Unit 2: Face Paint and/or Distort Lens Template
  • Unit 3: Segmentation Lens Template
  • Unit 4: Face in Picture Template
Don’t forget to use our Successful Lens Checklist to help you

1. How could you make your Lens appeal to your target audience? 
2. How could you give your Lens a clear purpose? 
3. How could you make your Lens more fun/interesting/meaningful to interact with? 
4. How could you make your Lens provoke a stronger reaction from the user? 
5. How could you make your Lens even more shareable?

Step 2: Design

Next, you will illustrate your paper sketch on your computer using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or a similar tool.

1. 📐 Open Photoshop or Illustrator. Create a new file.

  • Make sure the size and dimensions of the canvas correspond to that of your phone.
  • Select optimization for mobile digital design.

2. 📐 Mock up a digital version of the physical sketch that you just made.

  • You can also download images from the web or trace them in Photoshop.
  • Make sure to place each element of your image on a separate layer like you did in the Warm-Up Unit.

Step 3: Create

In this activity, you will take what you have illustrated and design your AR Lens.

Keep in mind...

Your design does not have to be perfect! This is just to get you started using the tool, and to bring your vision to life.

1. 👻 Open the Lens Studio software on your computer.
2. 👻 Find and open your favorite Lens Studio template that you learned this week.

3. 👻 Import the assets that you just designed. If you need more information on how to import and update resources, check out this link:

📎  Importing and Updating Resource

4. 👻 Modify the Lens Template using your imported assets.

  • You can tinker with the template or refer back to the tutorials from previous units.
  • An easy way to get started is to manipulate the Textures.

5.💬 If you have any questions, post to the Unit #5 Padlet.

  • It doesn’t have to be perfect! Just do your best.
  • Try using it on your phone, too.

6. 💻 Test your Lens on your phone and/or with a user. Use the information you get from these tests to improve your Lens. 

7. 📤 Save your progress on your computer.

8. 👻 (Optional) If you are finished, submit your Lens to be officially published on Snap.

📎  Submitting Your Lens

9. 📤 Save a screenshot of your Lens as a .PNG to upload to the Unit #5 Padlet. If you’d like, you can also Preview the Lens and save a video copy.

Step 4: Share

That’s it! Congratulations on creating your very own Lens and for completing these tutorials!

Remember to upload your progress as a screenshot (.PNG) to the Unit #5 Padlet and show off your work. Feel free to browse the products of your fellow Lens Creators and leave feedback in the comments, too. 

In the caption of your photo, write your answer to the following question: 

  • What is your next step as a Lens Creator?
💬  Unit #5 Padlet

Extra Credit

You are ready to take on the Snap AR Challenge brief! Check out the brief here and get a head start on designing your Snap lens for the competition!

Remember to create a preview video of your Lens.