Snap Inc.'s Lens Studio, first introduced in December of last year to help content creators expand on Snapchat's available World Lenses, is getting some brand new tools to make the platform even better. Of course, several new face templates take center stage in the changes, since face-altering lenses are a key highlight of Snapchat. There are seven new templates in total and they are designed to speed up and ease the process so that creators won't need quite so much technical skill to make their Lenses a reality. Beyond the new templates, Snap has incorporated new GIF sticker functionality, a more robust creator support network called the Official Creator Program," and a new type of story based on Lenses themselves.
The first two templates are centered around face substitution, allowing facial mapping to place items on or replace facial features. Face Paint utilizes a full face map, while Photo only requires a straight-on headshot from the end-user. Obviously, Face Paint will allow for much more detailed Lenses but it should be easier for creators to take advantage of Snapchat's face detection features without the extra work. The Distort template, meanwhile, does what it sounds like it does. It allows for easy facial stretching and manipulation Lenses to be created. Another template called Trigger can be used to create various scripts that will run when a specified facial movement is detected. That should make it easy enough to have Lenses respond more creatively as end-users interact with them naturally. At the same time, 2D and 3D Objects templates provide a platform for creators to create and attach items matching those descriptions to end-users. The 3D variant of the template takes things further and supplies a helper script that will allow objects to be animated on a loop. Last but not least, a simple Baseball Cap template may just provide the perfect starting point for new users to understand how the Lens creation tools work. It basically provides a cap which will sit on the end user's head and allows colors and styles to be tweaked.
The other features require very little by way of explanation. First up, Lens Studio now allows access to the all of the GIF stickers included in GIPHY's library so that they can be used in Lenses. Lens Stories, meanwhile are collections of public Snaps which highlight a given Lens. Snapchat users will be able to watch a story associated with a given Lens and then unlock it for their own use. The Official Creator Program, on the other hand, is a new community associated with Lens Studio that provides support for select creators and more direct support from the team behind Lens Studio. It goes without saying that creators will need to be using Lens Studio to access the benefits. Anybody interested in checking that out for themselves can hit the button below.