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The Latest Snap AI Tools for AR Content Creation

The latest Snap AI tools are set to make augmented reality content development easier than ever for businesses and creators. Building on the existing artificial intelligence and augmented reality capabilities, Snap introduced a new business strategy at the Augmented World Expo in 2024.

During AWE 2024, Snap announced that it’s investing in the latest generative AI capabilities. It wants to enhance the real-time AR experience on the Snapchat phone app and in existing AR developer tools. If you’re using Snap for AR innovation, these new tools are set to make a massive impact.

Here, we’ll explain how to use Snap AI for AR content creation and what’s new to the evolving platform.

What is Snap AI? The AI Roadmap

Most people using Snapchat’s content creation tools will be familiar with Snap AI features. For years, Snap has leveraged AI and computer vision technologies to build unique immersive experiences with filters.

The company even launched its own generative AI bot within Snapchat in 2023, known as “My AI.” Similar to many of the generative AI assistants, this bot enhances user experiences by answering questions and sharing information.

The bot is powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology. However, it includes additional safety enhancements unique to Snapchat. In a Snapchat conversation, you can open the Chat tab and type @MyAI to trigger the chatbot. It can understand text, snaps, voice messages, and emojis and comes with a customizable avatar.

However, while My AI is focused on Snapchat’s everyday users, the latest Snap AI features target creators and business users. These tools help users create more realistic and compelling special effects with augmented reality.

As a pioneer in the AR landscape, Snap is betting that offering users the ability to create more advanced special effects with artificial intelligence will help it outperform competitors like Meta, Instagram, and TikTok.

Snap AI for Augmented Reality: AI Lenses

Snap offers a range of AI and machine-learning-powered tools to creators and companies. These tools allow them to add filters and “Lenses” to advertisements and campaigns. For instance, in May 2024, Snapchat released AR extensions that add AR lenses to various ad formats, like Snap Ads, Dynamic Product Ads, and Spotlight Ads.

Plus, the company has leveraged machine learning for AR asset creation, allowing companies to accelerate the creation of “try-on” apps, and leverage machine learning face effects (powered by generative AI), to create branded AR ad campaigns.

At AWE 2024, Snap shared a look at its new on-device generative AI model intended to enhance lens creation. The new model will allow creators to turn text prompts into custom lenses, potentially opening the door to more innovative creation processes.

The early prototype gives creators an opportunity to share the idea for AR transformations with the integrated AI bot, and it will build lenses in real time. According to Snap, the new feature has been enabled by the company’s breakthroughs in optimizing faster, more intuitive GenAI solutions.

In addition to using generative AI to create lenses, users can access the same tools to develop other resources. These include Bitmoji backgrounds, chat wallpapers, Snapchat Dreams, and AI pets.

AI in the Lens Studio AR Authoring Tool

During AWE 2024, Snap also announced that it’s adding a new generative AI suite to its current AR tool for content authoring, Lens Studio. This will empower creators and businesses to generate custom machine-learning assets and models for their Lenses.

Snap said the new suite of tools will “supercharge” augmented reality development, saving users time creating new models from scratch. According to Snap’s Chief Technology Officer, Bobby Murphy, the tools will enhance the creative space in which people work. Plus, they’ll offer a user-friendly experience for beginners.

Within the updated Lens Studio, creators will have access to an AI assistant, similar to the My AI assistant, that can answer questions about development processes. Another tool will allow artists to type a prompt and automatically generate three-dimensional images they can use in their lenses.

The suite also includes the “Immersive ML” feature. This applies a realistic AR transformation to user surroundings, faces, and bodies.

This means that going forward, users will be able to create more comprehensive filters and lenses that include the full body of the user rather than just their face. For instance, a fashion company could allow customers to use a filter to try on an entire outfit in AR.

While these features might not seem very different to the solutions already available from Snapchat, earlier versions of the companies AR technologies have mainly been limited to simple effects, like placing a pair of sunglasses over a person’s eyes in a video.

The new Lens tools will allow developers to create more realistic lenses, even ensuring they can enable filters to to move with users or match the lighting in the video.

How to Access Snap’s Tools for AR Creation

The new features for AR content creation coming to Snap AI are still in production. According to Snap, the latest AI-powered lens creation tools will begin rolling out to creators in the coming months. The full selection of AR development tools in Snap Lens Studio will emerge as part of the company’s Lens Studio 5.0 release, which is live and ready to access now.

This new version of the Lens Studio includes additional features, alongside the GenAI suite, intended to improve AR development productivity, modularity, and speed. Already, Snap has shown examples of the experiences users can create with these tools through collaborations.

For instance, the company worked with the London National Portrait Gallery to help them design Lenses for Snapchat based on classical portrait styles.

What’s Next for Snap AI and AR?

The new focus on generative AI capabilities is an important step forward in Snap’s roadmap. For some time now, Snap and Snapchat have rolled out various new AI features. For instance, users can now send AI-generated snaps to contacts.

Now, the range of tools designed to make AR development experiences more convenient and intuitive for creators will further strengthen Snap’s position in the market. The company wants to retain and grow its user base at a time when companies like Instagram and TikTok are gaining more ground with their own generative AI tools.

For creators, the ability to develop AR experiences in real-time with generative AI will be a significant improvement. Usually, creating high-quality effects takes a considerable amount of work. If Snap can simplify the process and make it available to everyone, this could increase the number of companies using augmented reality for marketing and sales strategies.

Of course, while these new tools will make creating AR effects easier for developers, there may be some potential downsides, too. For instance, if anyone can create AR filters with generative AI, there’s a good chance they’ll start doing this themselves rather than buying lens effects.

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Early Bird