Doodles become augmented reality art with Snapchat’s new 3D Paint tool

Tired of Snapchat’s usual round of face filters? Soon, you can paint your own augmented reality Lenses using a new tool called 3D paint. Rolling out beginning October 30, 3D Paint allows Snapchat users to draw in augmented reality using the front-facing or rear-facing cameras on iOS 8 or later, with a future update bringing the tool to Android.

3D Paint allows users to draw in augmented reality, creating a 3D doodle over people or objects in the environment. Inside the AR Bar in the app, the designated section for exploring AR filters, the new option is available by tapping on the Create option, then 3D Paint. Users can choose a color, then draw with a finger on the screen to add a doodle to the screen. 

Mixing your own custom doodles with objects and people on your smartphone’s camera opens up more possibilities for getting creative with Snaps on the app. Face doodles work like the lenses and move with your face, while moving the camera around a drawn-on object also shows off the 3D effect.

Snapchat 3D Paint created by Matt Szulczewski

Drawing in an augmented reality space isn’t a new concept — take the AR Doodle feature on Samsung devices, for example — but it makes sense for a social network known for its augmented reality filters. Snapchat has allowed users to draw on their photos before, along with adding stickers and filters, but the latest update takes that simple sketch tool into three dimensions.

The update follows Snapchat’s new 3D Camera Mode, launched last month. The mode allows users to add spatial detail in their Snaps, creating an interactive photo that changes based on the angle of the device it’s being viewed on. The feature launched with stickers and face filters.

3D Paint creates a new way to customize photos, following Snap’s launch of tools for users to design their own filters. Create Your Own Lens is an option that gives users without design experience tools to design a filter in the app for special events, such as designing a custom Lens for a wedding. The Lens Studio allows users to create more advanced augmented reality filters from a desktop computer.

The new 3D Paint tool is launching first for iOS users, with the update beginning to roll out today. Snap says that the tool will come to Android devices at a later date.

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