Using the front-facing camera* in your Auras opens up a number of possibilities for content creators. The most obvious being to take a photo of yourself, or a ‘selfie’, posing with a character/celebrity.
However, other potential uses include:
You could train users in how to apply makeup by utilising the fact that the front facing camera acts like a mirror - include reference images or an instructional video on the screen at the same time to allow people to multi-task
Apply props to your face or head such as earrings, hats, scarves, necklaces, moustaches, beards, hairstyles, fake noses, headphones, earphones, bow ties, neck ties, sunglasses, spectacles, false teeth, braces, contact lenses, and masks
Adding a picture frame will mean that people can share images of themselves inside a frame which could become the watermark for images taken with this Aura. Alternatively, you could present Overlays of celebrities with a hole cut out so that a user can fit their face inside, better know as 'face in hole'.
Full screen Front Camera Action
Setting up an Aura using the ‘front camera’ Action works in the same way as a regular full screen Action. The creator selects an Overlay and then re-scales it so that this Overlay defines the area that will be attached to the screen of the device when this Action is activated by a user. Resizing the Overlay so that it is either wider than it is tall, or taller than it is wide will take the Aura either portrait or landscape.
Just like the standard full screen Action, interactive Actions that are applied to Overlays remain active even once the Overlays have been taken 'full screen with front camera active'. This means that it is possible to include a user interface that allows users to interact with the Aura. Suggestions include tapping to pause/play an animated overlay, or swapping out Overlays altogether.
Consider what Aura content would be appropriate to best utilize the front facing camera.
Typically props work best because using Auras built in this way are more intuitive to the end user i.e., more immediately obvious how the user can use the experience in a functional way. In terms of ‘Try-on’ photos, think about:
- Prop size & rotation
- Variation – is it possible for users to do different poses with the prop, or is there only a single possible pose
- Remember that .flv or .gif files can be used so that users can pose with animated prop(s), not just a static .png image(s)
Pose with character
Posing with characters can create trickier situations as you will find there are quite a few factors to consider when creating and testing these for yourself. For selfies with characters, it is important to consider the composition on the screen:
- Are users going to be able to easily pose with the character?
- Think about depth – consider the fact that the character will be the closest thing to the camera, and will always appear in front of any real world object, so if a user is trying to pose in the frame they will always appear in the background
- When holding their phone, will it be easy enough for the user to appear at the same scale as the digital character?
- Is the experience set up for a single user or does it allow for multiple people to get into the frame? Include instructions to your users in your CTA
- Think about different screen sizes because your Overlay will appear differently on screens with different aspect ratios
- Remember that .flv or .gif files can be used so that users can pose with animated character(s), not just a static .png image
Landscape vs portrait
It is important to think about what rotation you want the experience to be viewed at so that it supports your digital content and the individual(s) in the screen of the device at the same time.
- Portrait is typically more suited to single-user experiences or props which are located on the face/head, as you have the entire height of the device’s screen to utilize
- Portrait allows for greater depth so having the character set up in the foreground at the bottom of the device, and the people in the upper part and background of device
- Character experiences set up in a landscape layout allow room for a character on one side and the user(s) on another, or on both sides – making it possible for it to appear like all characters are stood in a similar place in depth
The camera view is mirrored
When the App switches to the front camera – the view is mirrored/reversed, as per standard mobile camera functionality. However, it is important to note that this results in your Overlays being mirrored/reversed. This means that if any of your Overlays contain text, you will also need to upload a mirrored/reversed version of that text so that it appears the correct way around when the front facing camera is activated.
Note: if you want to see an Overlay on full screen at both the front facing and reverse camera level, you will need to upload 2 versions of that Overlay. This will encroach on your overall Overlay count, so keep this in mind when planning the amount of other content you want in your Aura.
*The ability to use the Action ‘Full screen with front camera active’ needs to be activated in your account by Aurasma’s Support team and is only available in the Aurasma SDK, and White Label Apps and iOS Aurasma App – contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.