Created by Catalyst

Catalysts definitive guide to using AR filters effectively.

What exactly constitutes an AR filter?

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that blends real-world elements with virtual ones such as sound, images or text. This transformative AR experience works through smartphones, leveraging the devices camera and sensors.

In recent years, the surge in accessibility of smartphones has seen the emergence of AR filter experiences, turning them into an integral part of the digital landscape. Users find themselves drawn into a realm where augmented digital objects materialise right before their eyes, creating an interactive and engaging fusion of the physical and the digital.

Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok have been instrumental in the AR evolution.. AR development offers brands an effective means of communication, as they can now directly engage with their audience through the captivating lens of augmented reality. AR filters have become a dynamic and effective channel and will only evolve.

Transforming digital experiences into vibrant realities has become more crucial than ever. At Catalyst we've witnessed a surge in the adoption of Augmented Reality (AR) activations and an increasing interest in social filters. However, a prevailing misconception persists among marketers that incorporating AR filters is either too technically intricate or financially burdensome, leading them to overlook this innovative option for their brand.

ROI on AR?

The seamless integration of AR with social media platforms opens up endless possibilities for brands of all sizes and sectors. A straightforward concept can drive substantial engagement, thanks to the synergy between AR and social media. Our creative team are skilled experts in 2D/3D modeling, UI art design, and programming. From ideation to execution and deployment, we help brands craft distinctive AR experiences to captivate consumers in a memorable way.

Why should you consider AR filters?

Filters are great way to activate or bring to life any ATL campaign. Engaging activities such as virtual try-ons or tutorials linking directly to e-commerce platforms to drive impressions and conversion.The overarching trend is clear AR forges deeper connections between brands and potential customers, fostering a stronger consideration and appreciation and feel good factor that lasts long in the memory.

We have classified the different types of filters into 5 digestible categories:

  1. Face tracking
  2. Body tracking
  3. Surface and Landmarks
  4. Image tracking
  5. Gaming

1.Face tracking

Entry level AR filters work by using the phones camera face recognition software and overlay a digital 3D image merging the physical and digital world seamlessly. Face-based AR unlocks a wide array of use cases, from overlaying quirky facial features to beauty effects users can enjoy and share the fun with their friends.You can enhance AR face tracking filters by adding or combining backgrounds, add multi product effects, create step by step tutorials or add interactive animations. Utilising our expertise in AR and digital interactivity we partnered with Whalar to extend Robinsons Fruit Squash's gargling fruit squash campaign online and developed the 'Guess My Gargle' TikTok filter. This innovative filter incorporated a random topic generator, prompting users to perform impressions while gargling Robinsons Fruit Squash. Whether imitating a famous song or a cartoon character, the filter offered a hilarious platform for users to engage with their friends and family in a nomination-style challenge, bringing the fun of guessing games to social media.


2.Body tracking AR body tracking filters harness the power of the smartphones camera to track body's pose and spatial location. This cutting-edge technology enables the estimation of user proportions and poses. Using AR technology a digital outline of the body is used as a canvas for overlaying digital content such clothing or 3D images.

In the realm of digital fashion and dynamic dance trends, body tracking AR body tracking offering a transformative experience. Users can leverage body tracking to virtually don digital clothing, creating a seamless fusion of the physical and the digital. This immersive application of technology allows users to explore the realm of virtual clothing in unprecedented ways.

Delving deeper into the possibilities, body tracking unveils its prowess with 3D avatars and NFT characters. Imagine transforming into a full-fledged 3D character that not only mirrors your movements but responds to them in real-time—an exhilarating manifestation of technological ingenuity.

The emergency of body tracking and AR technology not only revolutionises how we engage with digital content but also unlocks a realm where self-expression and creativity know no bounds. AR Body tracking filters continues to captivate, shaping the future of interactive and personalised digital experiences.

3.Surface of Landmark tracking

Another AR filter solution surface tracking allowing users to place digital objects in the real world. Using the smartphone camera you can provide unique brand experiences for consumers but anchoring virtual content onto floors, walls or the buildings that define the landscape.

4.Image tracking

Unlock a new dimension of augmented reality (AR) with image tracking filters. Filters equipped with image recognition and tracking capabilities can seamlessly identify and follow specific images and objects.

By layering virtual objects, graphics, and 3D animations onto print and products, we redefine the narrative of visual media, offering users an enriched and interactive encounter with the physical world. 3D images, scanning physical cards, posters, menus or ads image tracking filters can create an interactive storytelling experience.

5.Gaming Drive next level engagement with gamified AR. Immersing your audience in the heart of the action with interactive mini-games, challenges, and quizzes is a great way to drive brand engagement. 

Using AR technology users can respond dynamically using gestures to transform passive viewers into active participants.

Partnering with Whalar for Nike, our task was to inject interactivity and excitement into the 2023 Women’s World Cup buzz on TikTok. We aimed to transform fans from mere spectators into active participants, engaging them directly with Nike's lineup of incredible athletes. The challenge was to create a TikTok filter that would not only showcase these athletes but also spark dynamic user involvement, paralleling Nike’s energetic campaign.


We developed the 'Choose Your Nike FC Icon,' a TikTok filter where users participate in a virtual tournament-style selection process. With the star’s photos mounted on their forehead in AR, users tilt their head to choose their favourite Nike athletes, simulating a knockout bracket. As creators progressed through their selections, the filter encouraged them to share their reasoning behind each choice, offering a personal glimpse into their football inspirations. This feature encouraged detailed, personal content creation, prompting users to speak to the camera, explaining their choices, thereby deepening engagement.

Our Blogs

Catch up on what's new


We love meeting new clients and coming up with creative ways to turn your ideas into reality.


© 2024 CATALYST | Delivering exceptional AR, VR, and 3D web contentPrivacy Policy