LESSON 2: Make a 2D Lens

Congratulations on completing the first leg of your journey! You’re all warmed-up and ready to level up your Lens creating skills. It’s time to spend some time getting to know the Lens Studio software.

In this lesson you’ll…

  • Improve your prototype Lens, using feedback from others and thinking about what makes a great Lens.
  • Explore Lens Studio and start creating Lenses.
  • Make your first 2D Lens and try it on for size in Snapchat.


All you need to create your first 2D Lens is…

2D Objects Template Tutorial by Next Shift Learning
  • Your Sketchbook (or ours)

Step 1: Iterate (this should take around 10 minutes)

Last lesson you created a prototype. Now it’s time to look back at your Lens design with fresh eyes. Why not ask a friend for some user feedback?

Gathering feedback and then making improvements is an important part of the creative process. In the world of design, this is called testing and iterating. 

Taking a step back and being open to feedback will always lead to better designs and products. This is because we can’t always see what’s good and not so good in our own work. Taking time away and asking others for feedback will help you see your design with fresh eyes. It’s easy to get carried away and lose sight of the most important thing – your end user (or target audience). Your goal is to design a Lens that someone will want to use (and hopefully share). Testing and iterating will help you keep your user/audience at the centre of your designs.

You can use these prompts to gather useful feedback. Record your findings in your Sketchbook (see page 6)


1.       Does your Lens have audience appeal? Who is this Lens most suited to (in other words, what is their target audience)? Why might it appeal to them? What would you change to make it even more appealing?

2.     Does your Lens have a purpose? What would you like your Lens to do for the user? What are its key features or uses? Are they clear to the user?

3.     Is your Lens fun to interact with? How would you like your user to interact with your Lens? Could you make it even more interactive? Don’t be afraid to remind your user that this is a prototype and isn’t fully developed yet. 

4.     Does your Lens provoke a reaction? How would you like your user to react to your Lens? What emotions would you like them to feel? What could you improve to make this reaction even stronger?

5.     Is your Lens sharable? If so, why? If not, what could you improve to make your user want to share it with others? 

Think about any changes you’d like to make to your prototype and record your ideas in your Sketchbook (page 6).

Step 2: Watch (this should take about 10 minutes) 

Before you do anything, take some time to watch and learn. Take in as much as you can before trying anything out.

Open the Lens Studio software on your computer. Then watch the tutorial video all the way through with the captions on:

2D Objects Template Tutorial by Next Shift Learning

Step 3: Create (spend up to 30 minutes on this)

Now you’re going to have a go at creating your first Lens. You’ll do this by using the 2D Objects Template in Lens Studio and making it your own. 

Ready? Let’s go! 

Watch the tutorial video again. This time, pause the video at each step so you can follow along on your own computer. You can either import your own designed 2D elements or you can use the ones in our Sample Asset Library.

  1. 1:07 - Drag and drop your designed assets (the 2D elements of your lens design – these are called Face Sprites) into the 2D panel.
  2. 2:00 - Play around with your Face Sprites.
  3. 2:38 - Preview the Lens you just created.

If you need more support along the way, you can always rely on our handy step-by-step 2D Objects Template guide here.

Spend a few more minutes finishing up your Lens and trying it directly on your Snapchat app! This is called Pairing to Snapchat and you can find out more here.

If you have any questions, note them down in your Sketchbook (see page 6). You’ll get a chance to ask these during the virtual workshop.

Don’t forget to save your Lens on your computer. Then, save a screenshot of your Lens as a .PNG ready for upload to the Lesson #2 Padlet. If you’d like, you can also Preview the Lens and save a video copy (there’s a handy guide to this here).

Bonus Level

Got time left over? Want to add something extra to your Lens? How about adding your own giphy to your face, or stickers on screen? You can import GIFS straight from GIPHY into Lens Studio!

Follow our GIPHY Import Guide here. This guide will walk you through the simple steps for importing a GIPHY GIF into Lens Studio.

Step 4: Share and Reflect (leave about 10 minutes for this bit)

You created your first Lens using Lens Studio. Go you!

On Padlet

Share your creation with your classmates and our friendly learner community by uploading your final work to the Lesson #2 Padlet. In the caption of your photo, write a short answer to the following questions:

  1. What was it like to make your first AR Lens?
  2. How would you make it better for next time?