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Snapchat Lens Studio now lets anyone create AR Face Lenses, gains integrated GIF stickers

Snapchat is updating its Lens Studio tool with the ability to create custom Face Lenses for the first time. Lens Studio previously offered the ability to create World Lenses, or AR effects applied to your environment, and now users can create custom selfie effects as well.

Just like custom World Lenses created in Lens Studio, user-created Face Lenses can be submitted to Snapchat for approval and used by other Snapchat users. Snapchat includes seven AR templates for Face Lens creation to start:

  • Face Paint: Focuses on face substitution, mapping a face to create art tied to facial features/structure i.e. eyes, nose, mouth, etc.; perfect for Lenses that show off makeup, costumes, and accessories.

  • Photo: This template is similar to Face Paint, but only requires the creator to have a single, head-on photo of their face creation. Import that image into Lens Studio and our “Detect Face” functionality will align the image to a face Lens.

  • Distort: Everything you need to give your friends a wacky new look – stretch a face in all directions, make your eyes bulge, and more. No assets required.

  • Trigger: Create experiences based off of facial movements — like raising your eyebrows, blinking, opening/closing your mouth, and smile; scripting and 3D experience helpful

  • 2D Objects: Attach 2D images to your head! With 2D illustration experience, users can apply sprites to build Lenses much like our favorite dog eared Lens.

  • 3D Objects: Attach 3D objects to a face or multiple faces. For multiple faces, the 3D objects for each face can be the same or different. This template also includes a helper script to play looping animation on the 3D objects.

  • Baseball Cap: Make simple adjustments to the 3D baseball cap to change the color, brim style and add a single image to make it your own in seconds

Lens Studio is also picking up integration with GIPHY so both World and Face Lenses can include animated GIF stickers, and Snapchat is launching new initiatives to promote community created Lenses.

Snapchat’s Discover section will feature Community Lens Stories which will feature Stories with shareable World and Face Lenses that can be added with a swipe up, and Snapchat’s new “Official Creator Program” will offer select partners early access to new features and more direct support.

Snapchat is a free app on the App Store, and Lens Studio is available on the web at

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Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news, hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast, and created