Newsletter #6

Published 2021-04-13

Visual scripting in Lens Studio

I was initially excited when Lens Studio released visual scripting back in December because I saw it as a way to introduce non-coders to programming. But then I tried creating a visual script and quickly decided it wasn't for me.

Person saying "Thanks!" and giving a thumbs up before giving a thumbs down and saying "I hate it."

But I decided to give it another try this week and I think I'm actually going to try to stick with it for most of my tutorials. I was initially disappointed with visual scripting because it didn't abstract away the actual programming. You still need to understand logic and control flow and whatnot, but visual scripting does take away the syntax - the grammar and spelling. I won't always use visual scripting because I'm much more comfortable writing actual code, but it does seem easier to use for those with no programming background.

Did we just become best friends?

Stagnant Spark AR release

Farmer from Napoleon dynamite saying "I don't understand a word you just said"

Spark AR released yet another version (v111) and based on the last few releases, it feels like they are catering to niche power users and ignoring the everyday creator. Granted they did add a search bar to the patch editor, I'll give them that. But how many people are using the command line to extract metadata from patches? It sounds like an awesome feature, but I doubt most creators are even aware of the CLI and even fewer actually use it. To be clear I have no issue with that particular feature being added, but Spark AR seems to lack innovation. Lens Studio is busy adding feature after feature while Spark AR seems to be resting on its laurels of publishing effects to a bigger audience.

Coming soon - materials

Bob Ross mixing some paint

Now that I've got my latest Spark AR rant out of my system, I am going to be creating a tutorial series on using materials in both Spark AR and Lens Studio. I'm entirely self taught in all aspects of AR (my degrees are in biochemistry) and materials were/are tricky to wrap my head around. I'm starting to get the hang of things though so I want to create a complete guide to getting started with materials. If you have any particular questions or requests for content, let me know and I'll include it in the series.

Pro tip

If you want your demo videos to get more attention, just say something like "Experimenting with X feature" where "X" is whatever feature you are using. I haven't tried it personally, but if you want attention that seems to be the formula to use. I guess it makes you seem more official 🤷‍♂️