How to create your own Instagram filter.

Daniel J. Schwarz
3 min readJun 7, 2020


The augmented reality technology (short AR) lets you add digital information into the physical environment, live, and in real-time.

Instagram adopted this technology and incorporated it into its service in May 2017. Since that, users can add graphics, sounds, and interactions to their Instagram stories.

The function evolved very quickly and today we are able to build our own filter for Instagram within minutes and publish it in a very simple way.

This function enables a lot of new possibilities in how to use stories and how to interact with your followers.

Instagram does a great job of making it as simple as possible to create a filter.

3 steps to your filter

The Idea

Be creative! The technology offers a lot of possibilities in what you can do.

Filters/effects could be used to make simple color filters that fit your style or to make games, face masks, or a lot of other crazy things.

You can track peoples faces, track surfaces, or recognize images.
Especially the face recognition is pretty amazing. Instagram is able to track the users eyes, mouth, nose, chin, and much more. You can even track the openness of the mouth.

After you tracked certain parts of your scene the fun parts begin. You can add images, sounds, and/or interactions to make a fun experience for the users. Some businesses are doing a great job, in engaging with there customers through Instagram Filters.

But you don’t have to track anything, after all, if you just want to do a color overlay or a border for example

Just look up already existing filters on Instagram. I am sure you will get inspired a lot and don’t know what you should create first.

⚠️ Important: Check the Spark AR policies before you start to create the filter.
This will safe you a lot of nerves and time.

The creation

Woman working on a computer. Creating an Instagram Filter.
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

After you have the concept for your filter you want to make, you can start to create.

You can do this on your own using Spark AR or you hire someone to do it for you. Fiverr is a great place to find some talented developers for this.

If you choose to do it on your own, just download the Spark AR Studio and get started with some tutorials at first.

Don’t be afraid of doing it yourself. I know the program looks really complicated at first, especially when you are not familiar with programs of this type. But you can learn it pretty fast.

The publishing

After the creation is done you will end up with a .arexport file. You will get this file from your developer or out of the Spark AR Studio.

Just take this file and got to Spark AR Hub and upload it. You have to log in with your Facebook account which is connected to the Instagram account where you want to publish the filter.

After the upload, you have to wait, because Instagram will check if your filter meets their policies. This can take up to 10 workdays. If it doesn’t fit you will get a notification, but no worries, just read their explanation why they declined the filter and change it.

If you meet all the policies your filter should be live!

🎉 Congrats to your filter 🎉