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John Bigboote

SnapChat and A:M

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Hello Forum- have not been here in awhile! Busy!

A client recently inquired if I could perhaps make a SnapChat lens... he may as well of asked if I could have made diced clabberboards, because I had no idea what Snapchat... or a snapchat lens even WAS! My research taught me SnapChat has been around since 2011 and is a popular (amongst the young-uns) social media chat and photo-sharing software, much like Facebook. After downloading it to my phone and playing with it i realized it was resonsible for much of what I have seen on Facebook as far as kids with bear-noses and fuzzy ears, face- paint and sparkles that track with them of distort their face and voice for the length of a very short movie. I downloaded Lens Studio, a free software from Snapchat.com and discovered the wealth of possibilities I had unearthed, as far as 3D and Augmented reality... my client was thinking of using it in a somewhat commercial way- and light-bulbs kept flashing in my head... IDEAS...POSSIBILITIES!

Within the week I have been learning Lens Studio they have now released V2 which goes even deeper into the realm of gameplay.

My first inclination was... can I get my A:M content into this thing, and seeing that it only allows .FBX file format (A:M needs to add this FEATURE REQUEST!) I embarked on Gerald's (A:M user Fuchur) 'FBX Pipeline to Unity' tutorial - https://www.patchwork3d.de/html/page.php?page_id=64 and discovered that thru A:M's robust .X exporters and purchase of Ultimate Unwrap ($50) I am indeed able to pipe my 3D animations (keep 'em simple) into Lens Studio- and the process is NOT as painful as I pre-judged it to be.

The debate is open as to whether Snapchat has seen it's better days- or needs to become part of Facebook or Twitter, or perhaps there is something better out there. I am wondering what the forum knows of this... is anyone else making Snapchat Lens's... does anyone even bother with Snapchat at all? Thoughts.

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Are  you able to show an example of this in operation?

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Yes- here is an mp4 I made last week, explaining to myself how it works and making it into movie form so you don't need the app to see(most people my age don't have Snapchat... even the clients who are asking for it!). The animation is nothing to get excited about, a spinning logo... what I was happy to see was that I took a picture of a building and used that picture to trigger the AR programmically, but when I went back to the spot where I snapped the photo- low and behold it registered and triggered the snapchat engine(even under different daytime lighting into a blazing sun- probably would NOT work at night)... the tuts i was following said you could only scan the image digitally to trigger the AR- which is what I am doing toward the end of this vid.

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Another cool thing... when I was testing this animation out on the street, I was able to walk up and under the 3D animation... looking at it straight UP from a true 'bottom view' or numpad 0 if you will. I've never interacted with my own 3D like that before... my jaw was on the ground and passersbys must have thought I had flipped.

More tests to come.

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So the video at the end was taken with your phone... which has Snapchat on it... and that adds the spinning logo on top of the image whenever it senses that it is seeing that building.

 

It's like "Augmented Reality"?

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Yes- first, you need to scan the QR code- or in snapchat terms... the 'snapcode'. This gives the user the programming for a 48 hour license. Then, when the app senses the correct imagery- in this case a building- it will unlock the content (video, 3D animation, gif animations, still imagery, sounds...etc) and 'lock-it' to the scene.

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How does one encounter the snapcode? What would be the situation where i would get the snapcode for this building?

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So could you stick a giant model of a spaceship to a place with this thing and then wander around looking at it life-size through your phone?

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21 hours ago, robcat2075 said:

So the video at the end was taken with your phone... which has Snapchat on it... and that adds the spinning logo on top of the image whenever it senses that it is seeing that building.

 

It's like "Augmented Reality"?

AR is short for Augmented Reality ;).

I know SnapChat and have had to do with them, but I did not do any kind of lense for them till now.
From what I have seen from them it is a platform, which is mostly used by teenagers who want to send nude pics to other teenagers more or less ;).

SnapChat is all about being able to send something that can not be copied, made a screenshot from and which is only lasting a certain time before getting deleted.
(at least they claim that)

Snapchat has been bigger before but since FB, Instagramm, Whatsapp and Twitter all included a lot of features from them because they started to grow big, they lost market share quite a bit. I am personally very unhappy with Snapchat because they did boykott Windows Phone/Mobile because they got paid by Google to do so... that was a very bad/sneaky move and I really do not like that kind of behaviour.

After that they tried to sell goggles branded by them and including a camera to take snapchat fotos with them but they heavily failed with that.
They always tried to create an "AR" based experience but they did not name it like that but just used it for instance to use the selfi camera of the smartphone to put funny hats or masks over the users face. And now bring in the nude pics things and think about what you could put on funny hats additional to that. ;)

And that is more or less what I know about them... ;)

But I am still very interested because I really like everything about VR and AR today... :)
Keep us updated on your progress and what the customer things about it please :).


Best regards
*Fuchur*

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On 4/10/2019 at 2:45 PM, robcat2075 said:

How does one encounter the snapcode? What would be the situation where i would get the snapcode for this building?

We had a small flier in our window, with the snapcode and instructions on where to stand and where to look... but I've since took it down because, it's just a test, nothing fancy.

 

My idea is for festivals, like we have here in Royal Oak. You enter the scene and see a snapcode sign that says 'check out this snapcode for festival information'... so you scan the code into your snapchat app, and begin to look about with it. You will see landmarks of the festival you might want to visit... 'drinks'   'bathrooms'   'food'    'bandstand 1'   'exit'   'vendors'... etc with big arrows that correspond to the titles and point your way. Also, a button would bring up a small video that would show the history of the event... another would have a welcome message from the mayor... and another would list the sponsors and band/event schedules...

Another idea is to have a 'snapchat' treasure hunt with multiple snapchat locations each with hints on how to get to the next...

Ideas abound.

 

Thanks for the explanation of snapchat, Gerald. My impression is it is something for a busy parent to pull-out to occupy her kids while waiting at the doctors... taking silly snaps of themselves with fuzzy ears and bear noses... hearts floating about. Totally underuses the tech but I think that is snapcode's fate.

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