Working at Fetch Media (the mobile-first agency) it’s no surprise that all employees keep up-to-date with the latest and greatest, most innovative technology from the world of mobile.
With one of our most-loved vendors being Snapchat, is it any wonder that my curiosity for the much-discussed Lens Studio had peaked, and I was ready to investigate. At first glance, I wasn’t so impressed. As a creative developer, the technology behind the Studio was different to anything that I had previously worked with and I was sure that I would find it difficult to learn. Luckily, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Following the standard protocol for developers in a huff (aka unsure of what I was doing), I found Snapchat’s Len Studio software and downloaded it. My first port of call was to skip the helpful tutorials and instead start messing around with a pre-made template. It was at this point that I realised that I had found myself in a 3D editing tool, similar to something that I hadn’t touched since my university days. As I began to edit and play with the template, I found that that not only was I understanding Snapchat’s system with very little guidance; but I was actually having fun.
Beginning with a few different templates, I then continued to experiment and learn by going through the basic tutorials provided by Team Snapchat. I have to say that these were fantastic, two to three minutes of easy-to-follow, well produced videos that both peaked my interest AND made learning the tools and system so much easier. What’s more, I started showing my results to my team and they agreed – it’s amazing software! Everyone started to download the software and before I knew it I was going from desk to desk, giving pointers and helping out however I could.
With Fetch’s yearly away day around the corner, I overheard our incredible social committee talking near my desk about wanting to have a new ‘Fetchified’ Snap Lens to share with everyone on the trip, so I immediately got to work. I ended up producing a quick Snap Lens playing on the Expedition nature of our outing (think countryside chic, the ominous outback and wild white-water rafting rolled into one). It all came together when I found a free 3D fedora that would work inside of the Lens Studio. I ended up using myself as a live model and with a few extra assets I managed to come up with this:
Having spent a couple of hours learning something new, it’s safe to say that I am officially hooked. I’ve started to play with Facebook’s AR software and I’m now on the lookout for more AR offerings.
If you’re interested in Snapchat’s Lens Studio but are put off by the perceived complexity of the tool, I implore you to please give it a try. It might surprise you how easy it actually is and how quickly you can get to grips with it.
Article by Sam Pepper, Creative Developer at Fetch.