TikTok wants you to build your own AR – if you own a Mac

TikTok is opening its Effect House tool in public beta for all creators and developers to try out and create their own filters.

The service originally launched in fall 2021 as a closed beta with around 450 TikTok creators adopting it. This relatively small group released their own created effects, which were then used in 1.5 billion videos garnering over 600 billion views.

Learn by creating

Creating AR filters requires a certain level of technical knowledge. TikTok has provided a series of guides people can follow to learn how to create a filter. There is a guide on how to create face mask, segmentation effects and 3D face textures.

And there’s even a guide on how to create effective lighting and shadows. It’s all pretty comprehensive, and the best part is that it’s all free.

When you’re done, you can submit the filter to the Trust & Safety team for review and approval. TikTok has a set of effect guidelines in place that everyone should follow when creating a filter.

The company does not want any negative or controversial content. Examples include no threats of violence, drugs, sexual content, or hateful behavior.

Hardware requirements

You can download Effect House now to start creating, but there’s a catch: the app is currently only available for Mac computers. The download on your PC won’t work and if you try to get Effect House on your Android phone, the website will ask you to use your Mac.

At least the minimum hardware requirements for Mac are not too high. To give an example, you’ll need a Mac with a 2.5GHz Intel Core i3 processor and Nvidia GeForce 710 graphics. It’s a relatively underpowered processor, which leads us to believe that graphics discrete ones do most of the work here.

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Some of the hardware TikTok lists has been out for nearly a decade, so as long as you have a relatively new Mac computer, you’re ready to start creating.

Chances are, Effect House will release externally on at least one mobile platform. In the Effects Guidelines page, it mentions the technical requirements for the Android version. However, TikTok did not specify when the other versions will be released.

And since Effect House is in beta, TikTok asks its community for feedback if there are any bugs or issues.

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