Facebook AR (SPARK AR) vs Snapchat AR


 

Face Masks

Facebook and Snapchat use slightly different methods to overlay the face masks

Facebook uses a standardized face overlayed over your face. This means that the mask doesn't always appear to overlay accurately as they are using a one size fits all method.

Conversely, Snapchat are building a mesh of your face directly, meaning the mask fits more accurately.
However the mask is not as high detail, and some simple masks appear to suffer because of the lower detail face that Snapchat builds.

 

Facebook

 

Snapchat

 

NOTE: Snapchat has a "detect face" feature when building masks, meaning if you are building a mask from a photo of a person, the build process gets accelerated immensely. Facebook AR mask had to be manually wrapped to a face.

Overall I feel relatively even on the two platforms when it comes to this - though I would perhaps stay away from super geometric masks on Snapchat currently due to the way it treats expected vs real face shapes.

 

 

Face Models

Essentially the same here - models are anchored to the face and move when you move etc. The two models we used are different sizes, but there doesn't appear to be any real difference in how they work.

 

 

Ground Plane AR

The Snapchat flatplane AR is seems to be more stable than Facebook flatplane AR - 3d models appear to be more convincingly anchored to the ground.

 

 

Process

Both Snapchat Lens and Facebook AR provide a lot of control during the build process - they each even come with a code editor that lets you build more specific/detailed interaction and animation. Both Studio's are structured quite similarly.
Both Facebook AR Studio and Snapchat Lens Studio use Javascript as the coding language, though they each have their own set of API's.
Snapchat has the advantage of coming with a whole heap of templates (and the detect face feature) which significantly speeds up the process when testing and getting familiar with the software features, though I don't honestly know how much they would speed up someone who was familiar with either piece of software.

Facebook AR effects are limited to 1.6mb, while Snapchat limit to 2mb. Neither of these formats seem designed to do any real heavy content or interaction.

Distribution

Facebook AR provides publishers with links that can be shared anywhere, and posts made on Facebook can have Camera Effects added to them specifically.
Snapchat has links too, but also leverages sharing via snapchat. Anytime a user receives a snap that uses a lens, the receiver has the option to use the lens by swiping up.
In addition, each Snap lens comes with a unique QR code that snapchat can scan to provide access to the effect, enabling some degree of print marketing as well.

Thoughts

All in all they are remarkably similar. I wouldn't say that either kit was significantly better than the other - I would expect the needs of the client/content to drive the choice most of the time here.