The Making Of: The Son Of Man AR Filter

Towards the end of February, I’ve finally completed and shared a project which has been at the back of my mind for the longest time!

While the idea was still incubating, I was going about my usual routine of scrolling through Instagram and checking out what my friends were doing through Insta Stories. As I was looking at the Instagram filters others have created, everything just clicked at the spur of the moment.

The idea to make a comment about mirror selfies through creating an AR filter sprung out! Knowing that my creativity motivation declines faster than anyone else, I knew I had to act upon it and I am proud to share that this project was completed within 3 days!!

For this time around, I would break down the process into phases, since each day was a phase of its own. Here goes:

Day 01:
The Quick-And-Dirty Phase

As its name suggests, it has to be quick and dirty.

After running through a few youtube tutorials, I began to kickstart the creation process.

Since I was turning the painting into an AR filter, it was clear that I would have to need a background and a green apple. For a start, familiarising myself with Spark AR Studio was a priority. Hence, the background was basically just a block of colour, whereas the apple was just a png image from Google.

Having followed through the tutorial video, I was faced with an issue: my body could not be detected when in use. As The Son Of Man painting shows Rene Magritte's half body and mirror selfie is usually meant to do a fit check, it was necessary for the user's body to be visible. There and then, I realised I made a mistake as the AR filter is not meant to be used with the front camera.

Day 02:
The Slow-It-Down Phase

When faced with a problem, the best thing to do is to (re)gain clarity.

It is especially hard to see when you’re in the quick-and-dirty phase since that is all about efficiency, so in this phase, it is less about efficiency and more about having the patience to sit with the issue.

Returning to the home page, my eyes lit up when I saw the filter template that tracks full-body movement. Following through the tutorial again, I was able to do it slightly faster than before.

What I needed to track was just the nose. As the template tracks many more points than necessary, it was extremely liberating to click the delete button. With more things out of the way, redoing the filter was a breeze. After making some quick edits on photoshop, the filter was coming together!

Day 03:
The Clean-The-Dirt Phase

Now that we have “slowed down” the “quick” in the “quick-and-dirty”, it is time to “clean up” the “dirt”.

In this phase, I was more focused on the minor details of the filter.

Continuing from where I’ve left off, there were a few things that I would like to work on:

  • Fixing the bricks of the background image

  • Fixing the “cleanliness” of the green apple

  • Adding a fun element

The fixings were rather straightforward, and the addition of a fun element was just a click of a button to make the apple scale.

So this is the fun part about it:

Click here to view this project &

Click here to try out the filter on Instagram!