Spark AR Effects

During the Coronavirus outbreak, with additional free time, I decided to create an Instagram Effect for LSU Media, which would be used to advertise committee positions which were open for applications at the time.

The effect is activated through a head ‘nod’ action, and will then randomly display the 9 options for 4 seconds, picking one of the frames at the end to display. At this point, an emitter is activated and logos of the organisation spray across the frame like confetti.

Although a simple effect, both the logic and designing took a while to get right, with each requiring forward planning and the use of prior design knowledge from both Photoshop and After Effects. Learning as I went, I developed the logic tree and designs from scratch using documentation from the Spark AR Hub and across the internet. Fortunately, the ‘patches’ are a simple way of creating animation and logic within effects, although the simplicity does bring limitation in some areas, especially with triggering multiple animations simultaneously!

Logic tree for the effect (Patches)

The resulting effect was both simple and effective, and was well-received by the other members of my team. It was used 85 times within the first 18 hours, which accounts for around 10% of the page’s followers. However, ensuring that the particles emitted at the correct time and at the correct density and angle was the most difficult thing about the whole project. Ensuring that it triggered at the correct time (and did not work prematurely) was more of a challenge, whereby I had to create a set of logic gates to ensure that the pulse was sent to display the animation at the correct time.

Overall, it was great to learn a new skill whilst in a situation that could otherwise be unproductive, and I hope to develop more of these filters and effects for LSU Media before my term of office is complete!

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