Snapchat today announced "Lens Studio," an all-new application for Mac and Windows computers that lets creatives and developers create their own augmented reality effects. Although anyone can use Lens Studio, the company noted that it was built with tools aimed at those who "dabble" in 2D animation effects, as well as professional artists.
With the Mac app users can create a fully realized Snapchat AR effect, similar to the popular dancing hot dog from last summer. The app offers templates and guidelines to get started, and both 2D and 3D objects can be created. Snapchat also provides scripting API within Lens Studio so that developers can code their own fully interactive experiences.
All Snapchat users on Lens Studio can make World Lenses for Snapchat that use the rear-facing camera on a smartphone. The company also partnered with seven AR development agencies, who will be able to build both World Lenses as well as face effects on the front-facing camera.
Once a World Lens effect is complete, the app gives out a special Snapcode that can be shared anywhere and allows Snapchat users to scan and unlock the custom Lens. From there, they can interact with it, take photos and videos, and post the content to their Story or send it to a friend.
With the launch of Lens Studio, we’re excited to make Lenses more accessible to creators, and experiences within Snapchat more personal and diverse. We’ve seen how much more fun Geofilters have become since first inviting the community to create their own three years ago — and can’t wait to see what you build with Lens Studio!
Lens Studio is a free download on both Mac and Windows, which you can download from Snapchat's website right here.