Developer News
Harness the Power of Augmented Reality with Camera Effects Platform

Facebook has long been a place where people connect and communicate with one another by sharing personal stories, photos, and videos about their lives. Last month we introduced the Facebook camera to make photo and video sharing even more expressive with fun masks, frames, interactive filters, and fresh art from featured guests, but we believe that self-expression needs more than just the effects we create. So today we’re making it possible for the whole world’s creative community to build for the Facebook camera with the launch of Camera Effects Platform.

The Camera Effects Platform turns smartphone cameras into the first AR platform, providing an opportunity for artists and developers to create effects for the Facebook camera. Included with this new platform are two creative tools, Frame Studio and AR Studio, that give the Facebook community the power to create a full spectrum of camera effects, from simple frames to interactive augmented reality (AR) experiences. This platform empowers artists and developers to connect art with data to bring AR into everyday life through the Facebook camera.

The tools in the Camera Effects Platform:

Frame Studio is a web-based tool that allows anyone with a profile or Page to design frames for use on profile pictures or in the new Facebook camera. Frames that are made in Frame Studio will appear in the cameras of your friends or Page fans. It will also feature the creator's name alongside the effect in the camera as well as in the final posts in News Feed. Frames must follow Facebook’s guidelines and cannot include logos or trademarks unless pre-approved by Facebook.

AR Studio, an augmented reality experience authoring tool, is now in closed beta for Mac. AR Studio enables artists and developers to build their own AR experiences such as animated frames, masks, and interactive effects that respond to motion, interactions during Live broadcasts, or third-party data. Approved effects made with AR Studio will be available in the new Facebook camera for use with photos, videos or Live broadcasts. AR Studio is built to enable you to code against the real world; to create experiences that are responsive to the environment around you.

AR Studio lets developers create effects that combine various computer vision algorithms, sensor data, and their own data, to create an experience that comes to life. Here are a few key features of the platform that is in closed beta today:

  • Face Tracker is a real-time computer vision algorithm that tracks the face and allows the creator to make masks that fit and respond to facial movements without writing a line of code.
  • Sensor data is used to allow developers to create effects where people can move their phone to pan around a virtual world.
  • Scripting APIs allow developers to access and download data, respond to user interactions, and modify the effect in real time.

Our earliest AR Studio beta partners, Electronic Arts' Mass Effect: Andromeda, GIPHY, Manchester United, Nike, Real Madrid, TripIt, and Warner Bros' Justice League, have used AR Studio to build camera effects that can help delight and engage their communities in a new way.

Create Effects for Facebook Live

As a part of the AR Studio beta program, new effects are now available in Facebook Live. AR Studio enables developers to design effects that respond directly, in real time, to what's happening in Facebook Live broadcasts, such as how many people are watching and what they are saying in comments. This opens up a whole set of new possibilities for developers and makes Facebook Live broadcasts even more engaging by connecting creative effects to interactions between broadcasters and viewers.

See how these effects work by checking out two we're making available today in Facebook Live: This or That and GIPHY Live. Both effects are powered by AR Studio and are designed to respond in real time to what's happening in a live broadcast.

  • This or That is an effect created by Facebook to show how broadcasters and viewers can interact live in new ways. Broadcasters get to pick between two options live while viewers can comment using a hashtag to pick the option they think the broadcaster will choose. The effect then surfaces the most popular hashtag!
  • We've also partnered with GIPHY to announce GIPHY Live. This effect allows viewers to let broadcasters know which topics they're most interested in by commenting with hashtags during the live video. The most frequently commented hashtags will show up in a ticker across the top of the video. The broadcaster can then select one of those hashtags to cause a GIF related to that topic to pop up on screen, creating a whole new form of interaction between broadcaster and viewer.

With the launch of the Camera Effects Platform, people will see more effects in their Facebook camera that are more personal, like frames from their local sports team, advanced effects that help share their morning run stats, frames made by local artists to celebrate hometown pride, or “just for fun” frames from their creative friends.

Apply for the Beta

The Frame Studio is available today. If you’re interested in learning more about AR Studio to develop creative effects for the Facebook camera, you can apply for the closed beta.