Facebook’s F8 developer conference is in full swing folks and huge, huge announcements are being made even as we speak. The company has unveiled a brand new, Camera Effects platform that has the potential to completely change the way we take pictures. Camera Effects aims to harness two very powerful things, namely the global Facebook community and Augmented Reality to create amazing experiences.

The company describes Camera Effects as follows:

The Camera Effects Platform turns smartphone cameras into the first AR platform, providing an opportunity for artists and developers to create effects for the Facebook camera.

The platform combines art with augmented reality and leverages the creativeness and the inventiveness of the people wielding it to create a bunch of camera effects that can range from something as simple as a picture frame to something as complicated as interactive augmented reality (AR) experiences.

So Camera Effects is comprised of a couple of tools and before seeing how things come together into a beautiful symphony, it is important to take a look at the tools separately. So here we go.

Frame Studio:

Okay, so the first fantastic tool Facebook has unveiled is the Frame Studio. What it does, is that it allows literally anyone — me, you, literally anyone — to turn into a frame creator, or a creator of frames for Facebook pictures, to put things differently.

Frame Studio is a web based tool so it is very, very easy to use. I mean there is art involved so I won’t comment on that, but you won’t find the technical part to be rocket science. Once you have created a frame, it will start appearing in the cameras of your friends or Page fans. How cool is that! The creator’s name will also be mentioned in both, the effect in the camera as well as in the final posts in News Feed.

So basically, if you wanted to create picture frames, you can now do it. Easy Peasy. There wasn’t any word on monetization of the frames you create just yet, however, it could well become a possibility in the future.

AR Studio:

If you thought Frame Studio was impressive, wait till you get a load of this stuff. AR Studio is a brand new augmented reality experience authoring tool, that is like a significantly ramped up version of Frame Studio. The software is currently in closed beta for Mac.

So like we said earlier, AR Studio is Frame Studio whipped up several times over. The feature can allow artists and developers to build their own AR experiences. This could range from anything from animated frames, masks, and interactive effects that respond to motion. So no more static effects that just do their job and sit around looking pretty (or ugly, depending upon what you wanted to make). The frames, masks and effects created via the AR Studio platform are proactive and can be set to respond to motions, gestures and so on.

Approved effects made with AR Studio will be available in the new Facebook camera for use with photos, videos or Live broadcasts. AR Studio is built to enable you to code against the real world; to create experiences that are responsive to the environment around you.

The platform also packs a slew of tools and functionalities that can be used to further enhance the things you churn out of the AR Studio. Some of the functionalities that are being offered to users include:

  • Face Tracker is a real-time computer vision algorithm that tracks the face and allows the creator to make masks that fit and respond to facial movements without writing a line of code.
  • Sensor data is used to allow developers to create effects where people can move their phone to pan around a virtual world.
  • Scripting APIs allow developers to access and download data, respond to user interactions, and modify the effect in real time.

Facebook has already taken up a slew of partners for its closed beta including, Electronic Arts’ Mass Effect: Andromeda, GIPHY, Manchester United, Nike, Real Madrid, TripIt, and Warner Bros’ Justice League.

Phew, if I wasn’t writing this article, I would definitely be trying my hands out at Frame Studio and AR Studio. Facebook has given its massive community yet another way to keep themselves engaged while also ensuring that a whole lot of, awesome content will be pushed out from thecommunity and for the community.

Stay tuned as we bring you all the latest updates from Facebook’s F8 conference.

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