Skip to main content

Looking to spice up your Facebook Stories? Try 3D drawing, a new AR effect

Facebook Augmented Reality 3D Drawing Promo - TechCrunch

It’s not just Instagram that’s competing against Snapchat — now parent company Facebook is getting into the action as well. As originally reported by TechCrunch, you’ll soon be able to take a photo of your surroundings, annotate them using AR technology, and turn them into Instagram Boomerang GIFs, all using your Facebook Camera. Because if Facebook has learned anything from photo-sharing apps, it’s that folks love to create and share their own content.

“We wanted to give people an easy way to create with augmented reality and draw in the world around them” John Barnett, a Facebook Camera Product Manager, said. The company is calling the new feature “3D drawing.”  If you haven’t received the feature yet, you should find it in your Facebook Camera capabilities within the next few weeks.

Much like other augmented drawing features, you’ll be able to hold up your phone and effectively draw on the outside world, even when you move your camera, your scribbles will stay in place. Think of it as ephemeral graffiti that is visible to you and you alone. You can even add your annotations before you start recording a video, so that you can create a big reveal moment as you move your camera from your boring old window to the AR doodles on your wall. And moving forward, Facebook is looking to add additional brushes — as it stands, you only have a few pastel colors to choose from.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook’s technology must “understand the corners and objects in the room to create a 3D spec.” Only then will it be able to accurately superimpose your drawings onto various surfaces in a realistic way. And since you can turn these drawings into GIFs, Facebook is obviously hoping that its users will begin making viral content to send back and forth.

The social media giant has been experimenting with augmented reality technology for quite some time now — AR effects were first launched at last year’s F8 in April, and more recently, the company has introduced AR effects that are tied to real posters or QR codes. Of course, Snapchat has been playing in the AR world for quite some time, and as Facebook continues to battle a growing number of social media companies for dominance, it’s looking for new ways to engage its users.

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
Ceramic ink could let doctors 3D print bones directly into a patient’s body
ceramic ink 3d printed bones bioprinting australia 2

Scientists use a novel ink to 3D print ‘bone’ with living cells

The term 3D bioprinting refers to the use of 3D printing technology to fabricate biomedical parts that, eventually, could be used to create replacement organs or other body parts as required. While we’re not at that point just yet, a number of big advances have been made toward this dream over the past couple of decades.

Read more
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury trailer reveals wild new game mode
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury

Nintendo released a new trailer for Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, which finally reveals information on the re-release's new mode. Bowser's Fury is an entirely new adventure that features a gigantic Bowser.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury is a Nintendo Switch version of the 2013 Wii U game Super Mario 3D World. Nintendo previously revealed that the new edition would feature something called Bowser's Fury, but this is the first time the mode has been shown in any form.

Read more
Qualcomm’s long-awaited second-gen 3D Sonic fingerprint sensor is 50% faster
qualcomm 3d sonic sensor second generation ces 2021 2nd gen

Qualcomm wants to make its in-display fingerprint sensor a little bit more seamless. Its first-generation Sonic Sensor was introduced a few years ago, and at the time offered a decent experience -- but since then, has been overtaken in terms of speed and performance by competing optical sensors. Now, Qualcomm has finally launched a new, second-generation 3D Sonic sensor with big improvements.

The new sensor is 77% larger than Qualcomm's original 3D Sonic Sensor, measuring in at 8mm square, compared to the original's 4mm by 9mm. In other words, you'll be able to place your finger on a larger portion of the screen, making the overall experience a little more seamless.

Read more