Newsletter #19

Published 2022-03-11

It's been a while since I sent out a newsletter, but I am indeed still rambling about AR stuff.

Batteries are included

I sometimes like to recreate TikTok filters for Snapchat. My most recent recreation was the Split Scanner lens I created. So what's the big deal? The big deal is that I did not write a single line of code to create this lens. I used the built-in behavior and tween scripts to handle everything. I think it would have been easier to write a control script, but I wanted to see if I could create the lens only with the built-in scripts. The scanning effect itself is based off my time warp tutorial, and then I went ahead and created a tutorial for the tween script. The more I use the tween script, the more I'm impressed by what it can do. Definitely check it out if you haven't already.

Demo of the split scanner lens for Snapchat

Miss out on the Snap Lens Network?

Back at Lens Fest in December, Snap announced they were opening back up the Snap Lens Network (SLN) application form. Snap just did their quarterly review of applicants and I know a bunch of creators were not selected. Here is my advice to anyone who was not selected this time around for the SLN.

  • Keep creating. If you are passionate about AR, a little rejection won't stop you.
  • But don't keep doing what you've been doing. If you were not selected, creating the same sorts of lenses won't get you in the SLN the next time you apply. You need to be trying new things and upping the quality of what you are creating. You don't need to be a world-class creator to get in, but you do need to be improving.
  • Remember that the SLN is about helping YOU as a creator grow, not about the verification. Yes the verification is nice, but it isn't going to change your life. The real benefit is in having extra access to the Lens Studio team for troubleshooting lenses and testing new features.
  • Fail. I've achieved a certain level of mastery of Lens Studio (there's still tons I don't know how to do) because I moved away from the templates and started trying things on my own. I've spent countless hours trying to get things to work and have a ton of unpublished projects that just didn't work out or failed to meet even my very low standards for what is ready to publish. But through all that failure, I've learned how Lens Studio works and figured out ways to get things to work. It is an extremely frustrating process and I see lots of creators avoid doing this, but thinking long-term this is one of the most beneficial things you can do with regards to learning anything.

Niantic bought 8th Wall

You've probably already heard the big announcement that Niantic bought 8th Wall. My big question is if this means 8th Wall will become affordable for independent AR creators. Currently it is $99 a month - for comparison you can get the entire Adobe Creative Suite for $80 a month. I've made the acquaintance of a few people at 8th Wall and they're great, I love talking with them. But that pricing is just too high. I guess it worked well enough to be bought by Niantic, but just imagine how prominent WebAR could be if they opened up their platform a bit more.

Meme of person riding a bike labeled as 8th Wall. It is captioned as them creating a great WebAR platform. The next panel has them shoving a stick into the front wheel of the bicycle and is labeled as pricing their product at $99 a month. The last panel shows the person and bike on the ground having crashed.