I've been tossing around the idea of making Lens Studio tutorials, and I'm happy to say I finally did! You can find them here at AR Bootcamp! The goal is to create the best resource for learning Lens Studio and Spark AR.
Why make tutorials? The short answer is that it's fun. The long answer is actually pretty short too. I started making AR filters just over a year ago. While I have been dabbling in 2D and 3D design for a while, my background is in biochemistry and software, so I'm not your typical AR creator. Having been through the learning process, I wanted to make a guide to help people go from beginner to expert. There are lots of tutorials out there, and Lens Studio has some awesome documentation, but I still felt there was a gap. Usually the tutorials are "how I made this lens" or "how this feature works." What I wanted to see were examples of "how to do this cool thing and these are the features you'll need." I didn't just want to watch people make filters without necessarily explaining why they did what they did, nor did I just want to learn how the individual features worked. I wanted to see the rationale behind using certain features to achieve the desired result.
My first tutorial wasn't great and it used my laptop's microphone. The audio quality was bad, but I wanted to just get started. I did end up buying a microphone after that first tutorial so even if my tutorials still aren't great, at least they sound a lot better.
Before I make a tutorial, there are a few things I consider when choosing the topic.
Demand- Is it something people want/need to learn?
Applicability- Is it a niche topic or broadly applicable?
Difficulty- How much experience does one need to follow the tutorial?
All these factors play a role in me deciding which tutorial to make next and how to structure it. Most of my tutorials so far are for beginner level effects. Once I lay enough of a foundation, the tutorials will start moving up in difficulty
I am just one person, and there are already some really great tutorials out there, so I'm not trying to cover absolutely every aspect of social AR. I would like to have the most comprehensive set of tutorials for augmented reality on the internet, but I still want to build upon the work of others. To handle this I am following a two-pronged approach.
The main webpage for AR Bootcamp serves mainly as a landing page of sorts. Here I take topics that seem to be popular or frequently requested and compile a list of existing tutorials. Sometimes I might have my own tutorial for the topic, but not always. I like to find several different tutorials using different methods of accomplishing the same task. I do a short write-up for each topic and a leave a short summary and maybe a few thoughts about each video. The goal is for these pages to show up when people are searching for how to do something. They can then peruse the page and find a tutorial that they like, whether it be mine or someone else's.
The learning page for AR Bootcamp is where I list my own tutorials. Anyone is welcome to contribute, but so far it's just me. Each tutorial is categorized by software (I've also started creating Spark AR tutorials) and by difficulty level. Even though I'm creating video tutorials, I'm also doing a full write-up of each tutorial so I can include helpful links to the documentation to help explain each feature I'm using. I've also started experimenting with importing each of these tutorials to Medium to try to get more eyes on them. I haven't got many views through Medium yet, but their SEO is better than mine so I'll take it.
I don't consider myself a teacher, but I do enjoy sharing my knowledge and helping others. AR is still a relatively new concept for the general population so there is a lot of room for growth and demand for learning resources. I'm hoping to use my own learning experience as a way to help others get started more quickly and lower the barrier to entry.