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AR Face Filters: 20 Ideas For Developing The Best Face Tracking App

What's the key to developing a successful face tracking app? Performance? Marketing budget? Absolutely true, but most importantly is amazing AR content that will win your users. One that makes them come back to your app, share and help you grow organically.

The Secret Formula for Success

We’ve learnt this formula to success when developing our own face tracking app and experimenting with different face filter designs and concepts. As the result of our 4-year journey, today we have a half-million-user base, numerous positive reviews, almost 5-star ratings and over 1,000 face filters in our collection. 

Take a look at types of filters you can create with our Face Filter SDK, and you’re sure to find inspiration for making the most engaging face tracking app. Want a custom filter design? Get in touch! We’ll help you implement your better than Snapchat filter.

1000 face filters banuba

Before we get down to the list, let us reveal the magic trick of what AR face filters are and how they work. 

How do AR face filters work?

On the user side, the camera detects the presence of a face in real-time and overlays digital objects and animation - via a mobile device or web interface. The user can take a photo or record a video to share on social networks. 

On the technical side, augmented reality face filters are implemented with face tracking algorithms that map the position of face landmarks and 3D rendering engine that displays the AR filter the way the user sees it. The face tracking technology deals with the accuracy and quality of face filter performance, while the 3D rendering is responsible for the “beauty” and professional look of your effect.

Both components are crucial for the end-user experience. However, in this post, we’ll focus on the rendering part since it’s the powerful 3D renderer which allows for the most fascinating and realistic Face AR experiences to come alive in your face tracking app. 

3D renderer engine is a proprietary software component which comes as part of our Face Filter SDK and enables realistically rendered Face AR visualization. The visualization itself (your face filter source files) you can design in any 3D modelling software like Maya, and our 3D rendering engine will see to it that the result will match your expectations. 

Why to invest in quality face filters 

The more features the 3D renderer supports, e.g. ability to transfer gravity, physics or produce real-world lighting effect, the more sophisticated and high-quality face filters you can create. But why is actually AR content worthy of your investments? And how does it pay off?
Here’re 5 reasons why you should never compromise on the face filter quality:

  1.  Win the competition. The higher the quality of face filters you have, the more competitive your face tracking app will be.
  2.  Inspire shares. Low-quality face filters don’t resonate with users and don’t inspire creativity since nobody wants to share bad content on their social networks.
  3.  Grow organically. Make existing users bring new audiences without costs - via organic shares and effective referral programs backed by quality face filters.
  4.  Increase retention. Users will stay longer in your app only if you regularly bring in new face filters with different options to play around.
  5.  Monetize efficiently. The more loyal audience you have and the better metrics are, the easier it’s to monetize your face tracking app.
  6.  Virality. If you nail down a killer face AR app concept, you’ll succeed. Just one unique face filter can make your app go viral.
  7.  Save on ad costs. Organic users acquisition pays off immediately while paid users are hard to gain and retain.

Face Filter Catalogue

banuba_filters_catalogueBanuba Face Filters Catalogue

If you consider developing a face tracking app like Snapchat but are short of time or design specialists, you can purchase AR face filters from our Catalogue. Our Face Filter Catalogue features around 600 best AR masks which developers can purchase and use in their face AR apps. We’re working on bringing them all online for your quick and easy access. For now, you can request your link by submitting the contact form on our website.

How developers benefit

  • Quality AR content in your app. All filters are tested on real users and in real apps, so we know how to design face filters that resonate with the audience and can share our piece of advice with you.
  • Fast and easy launch. You can easily select your face filter pack and set off with a content-rich face tracking app where users won’t get bored.
  • Regular updates. We’re constantly making new AR face filters for you to keep your users endlessly engaged with new face filters.
  • Save on efforts. AR face filter development requires design and sometimes coding skills. Let our Art team with 1,000 filters designed on the back take care of your filter idea.
  • Optimal performance. We keep our filters lightweight, optimize and test so they don’t drain battery and memory. The size of the face filter is 2-5 MB average.

What AR filters you can add to your face tracking app

Now, as we’re done with the basics, it’s time you take a quick visual tour on our face filter Catalogue and pick ideas for developing your killer face tracking app with AR face filters. 


1. Fun morphing

morph face filter 2

AR face filters with morphing allow changing the size and proportions of the face allowing you to surprise users with fun images of themselves like enormous eyes, cheeks or smiles. 


2. Famous celeb look

celeb face filter

You can create face filters that visually resemble a popular movie character or famous person allowing users to become someone else.


3. Cartoon characters

cartoon characted face filters

Like real characters, face filters with cartoon heroes can be a way to go, especially for kids and family apps. 


4. Beauty face filters

beauty face touch up face filter

Among the most popular types of face filters are face touch up and beautification which enhance the user appearance. You can add cute elements like a flower in the hair or make it realistic just enabling skin smoothing and slight makeup.


5. Background changer filter

virtual animated background

Face filters with background removal feature are best fit for video conferencing apps to enhance augmented reality meeting. For broader audiences, you can add animation or fun 3D objects to real user backgrounds.


6. Color Instagram-like face filters

lut face filter

Apart from face augmentation, you can also overlay the full-screen color correction and style transfer effects. With such Instagram-like face filters, users can easily create professionally-looking video and photo content to share on social networks.


7. Face controlled animation (Triggers)

trigger face filter

Users can call the effect with their facial expressions, e.g. smile for the sunshine or open mouth and the see the spider appear. Such small scenarios in face filters are enabled with triggers. They are great for user engagement and significantly increase the time spent with a face filter.


8. Touch-based face filters

touch based face filter

In addition to face triggers, you can add touches to make your face filters even more interactive and fun to play with. You can combine several effects into one and allow users to change them by a tap. Or make 3D objects react to touches like in the example where the mask unlocks by a tap.


9. Face AR games

face filter game banuba gif

Combine triggers and touches and design super fun AR filters where users can play with their face. Users can control game elements using face expressions, touches or head turns. Face AR game filters are sure to boost your user time-spent in the app and increase satisfaction.


10. Try on face filters

try on face filter

Overlay digital objects on uses - glasses, jewelry, earrings, hats, piercing, tattoos, virtual beards and hairstyles. Make them fun or realistic like from their favorite brands.


11. Seasonal face filters

Seasonal face filters

Let your celebrate holidays like Halloween, Christmas or St.Valentines augmenting their face. Promote your business or event with unique seasonal face filters which are super effective to drive organic shares of your app. 


12. Live gift cards (Frames)

gift cards face filters

Your users can create personalized animated gift cards with face filters dedicated to special occasions like Birthday, Wedding or just wish a good night to their lovers.


13. Animal face filters

animal face filters

The trend for animal face filters has been firmly set by Snapchat, and it's unlikely to wear off soon. Users are keen on seeing themselves with rabbit's or cat's ears and noses, so let them have fun with cute animal-like effects, and they will pay off with numerous shares.


14. Face filter with 3D animation

3d face filter animation

Surprise users with rich 3D animation in face filters  - for entertainment and having fun. You can animate 3D geometry making objects move on a given trajectory so that create truly captivating scenarios. 


15. Face-cut filters

face cut face filters

Teleport users to other places, objects and replicate AR photobooth face filters where the face is placed into new surroundings. Allow users to have fun putting themselves into art masterpieces.


16. Mood face filters

mood face filters

Let users share their moods without words but in fun and engaging face filters. Happy, sad, angry, in-love - we have mood face filters for whatever your users feel.


17. Turn faces to objects

objects face filters

Face filters are most often about turning to someone else. Or something else. Bring more magic to your face filters! Let uses go wild with their creativity and have hours of fun seeing themselves as animated broccoli or talking egg.


18. Style transfer face filters

color and style transfer in face filters

Let users turn their photos and video into art by dynamically changing colors and applying style transferring effects. Cartoon-like, noir lighting, black-and-white, retro photo effect - you name it. 


19. Voice changer effect

You can change not only use appearance in face filterers but also their voice. Users can sound like a robot, cute girl or a brutal man. The voice changer feature adds fun to your face filters and unlocks more use cases for your face tracking app.


20. Your AR face filter idea?

There's much more interesting to see in our Face Filter Catalog, just drop us a line. Need a custom AR face filter design? Cool! We're up for new challenges, and we'll be happy to create something unique for you.


Also Read: Getting Started With Creating Face-based AR Experiences

Summing up

AR face filters are not new anymore but they are still popular like never before. Snapchat has set the bar for user expectations, but not the limits. 

With our Face AR platform you can allow users to create eye-catching content to share with friends, family and online networks, expressing their personalities in ways that represent who they really are. Our team is ready to help you implement the best face tracking app. Get in touch and let's make it together!

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