There may be differences between your version of AR Studio and this tutorial because the product is currently in beta and we update it regularly.

Quick Start Guide: AR Studio

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Welcome to AR Studio.

In this tutorial, you'll build a basic mask effect. You'll learn the key parts of the interface, how to preview what you build and how to view and edit keyboard shortcuts.

Please download the sample content to follow along.

If you open the finished effect in the sample content folder, you'll see that we're going to build a mask that looks like somebody has drawn on your face with a marker.

Tracking Faces

A basic mask is made up of a face tracker, a face mesh, a texture and a material. Everything except the texture can be created in AR Studio.

To get started, open AR Studio and create a new project. The face tracker is the foundation of the mask you're creating. To insert one into your scene, click Insert, select Face Tracker and then click Insert.

You should now see axes on the face in the middle of AR Studio. This section is called the Viewport and you can use it to visualize and interact with your scene, together with the Simulator.

You should also see a face tracker listed in the Scene tab on the left. This tab lets you manage the hierarchy of objects in your scene.

Inserting Face Meshes

Next, you'll need to insert a 3D object called a face mesh. To make the face mesh track your face, you'll have to insert it as a child of the face tracker. To do this, right-click on the face tracker in the Scene tab, select Insert and then select Face Mesh. You should now see a face mesh in your scene. You can also create relationships between objects in the scene by dragging one on top of the other in the Scene tab.

As you can see, the face mesh doesn't have a material yet, so we'll take a look at this next.

Importing Texture Files

Textures and materials are inserted from the Assets panel. This panel lets you manage the files you've imported and the materials you've created using AR Studio.

Most textures need to be created in advance, but for this tutorial we've created a texture for you. Open the file in the sample folder you downloaded to have a quick look at the texture you'll be using. AR Studio also supports JPG texture files.

To import your file, go to Assets, click + and select Import Assets.... Open the PNG from the sample content folder.

You should now see moustache.png in the Textures folder. You can also import assets by dragging and dropping files into the Assets panel from your computer.

Creating and Editing Materials

Now that your texture is in AR Studio, you'll need to create a material to apply it to.

To create a material, go to Assets, click + and select Create New Material. You should now see the material you created in the Materials folder. The material's properties should be displayed in the Inspector panel on the right. This panel lists the properties of the selected object, asset or layer, and gives you the tools to edit them.

By default, the Shader Type for materials is set to Standard, but the best type of shader to use for basic masks is the face paint material. To change it, click the dropdown menu next to Shader Type and select Face Paint.

The next step is to apply the texture to the material. To do this, click in the gray box next to Texture and select the texture you imported from the menu.

Now that you've applied your texture to the material, you can apply the material to the face mesh. So, go to the Scene tab, select your face mesh and go to Material in the Inspector panel. Click + next to Material and select the material you created from the menu. You should now see your material tracking your face.

Congratulations, you've built your first effect.

Previewing Effects

AR Studio also includes a few tools to help you preview what your effects will look like on other people and different mobile devices.

You can try different sample videos with a range of skin tones, facial hair, glasses and hair styles, so that you can be confident your effect works well for everybody. To change video or switch to live feed, click Video in the Toolbar and select the one you want to use from the menu. You can also add your own video. To do this, click Video, then click the plus sign and choose your video from your computer.

The Aspect Ratio menu in the Toolbar lets you resize both the Viewport outline and the Simulator to match the screen dimensions of common mobile devices. To resize the outlines, click Aspect Ratio and select the name of the mobile device you want to use from the menu.

If you want to preview your effect on an actual mobile device, you can download and install the AR Studio Player app for iOS or Android. To find out how to use it, watch our AR Studio Player tutorial.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

We've added a few keyboard shortcuts to help with your workflow. To view the list or create your own shortcuts, click AR Studio in the menu bar, select Preferences, then select Key Binding.

Recap

To recap, in this tutorial you learned how to build a basic mask effect. You also learned about the key parts of the interface, how to preview what you build and how to view and edit keyboard shortcuts.