Snapchat’s new AR development tool, Lens Studio, lets users create, publish and share custom AR lenses in the social messaging app.
Custom AR lenses can be made by importing 3D models directly into the tool (after making them using separate software), using Lens Studio to add custom movement patterns, animations and interactive triggers, then previewing and submitting the lens for approval from Snapchat. Once approved, the custom AR lens can be shared with friends via Snapchat.
Brands, news publishers and developers are required to promote their custom lenses by marketing their QR Snapcodes that users scan to unlock the AR effect for 24 hours. This requirement ensures businesses pay a partnered creative agency to build a special effect, as well as pay Snapchat for a Sponsored Lens ad.
Lens Studio is available to download for free, on Windows and MacOS.