How Snapchat filters works


What are you doing this weekend, chilling out with friends and family uploading some snaps on Snapchat? I also like to use Snapchat a lot and specially its filters the most, but wait did you ever think off how Snapchat manages to put those flowers and dog faces on our faces? No, don’t worry I also didn’t but it’s interesting to know let’s find it out. How actually snap chat filters work.

Snapchat called this feature as Animated lenses what we all know as filters, there are plenty of them in the app a lot more interesting is there working. Actually this technology came to snapchat by a Ukrainian startup called Looksery which snapchat acquired at 150 million $ in 2015. This deal is called the biggest in the history of Ukraine tech industry.


Applying filters to your face goes through a process in which the first step is Detection of a face in an image. Notice that a video is stream of images that why it’s called 30 fps (frames per second). The main magic that recognizes a face in an image is called Viola-Jones algorithm. An image is made of pixel values the algorithm scans for contrast in that image to detect a face in the image. As human face has certain specific properties that help to identify a face, like the upper part of the nose is always lighter than the side two dark parts, the center forehead is lighter than the left and right foreheads. By scanning this properties algorithm concludes that there is a face in an image this process is called computer vision.

Viola-Jones algorithm+snapchat

This is exactly how Facebook knows your face in your profile picture, self-driving cars at Google know there are people ahead so they have to apply brakes. The same how your camera makes squares around your face when you are taking selfie with friends. All thanks to Viola-Jones algorithm.

Face+ Recognition+snapchat
Face Recognition Pixels by Pixels

OK, this was about the detection of your face but how those cool effects are applied to your face in Snapchat. This is done by using an Active shape model which is trained manually by millions of images to identify facial features like lips, heads teeth etc. The algorithm make a series of point on your face and by calculating distance between this points it adjusts the edges by seeing the brightness variations (isn’t that cool). Once a 3-D map of your face is ready we can do a lot of things with it apply crown of flowers to it, change color of eyes, show large teeth when you open your mouth.


All this to be done needs a huge processing power. Snapchat does this all in real time that is a very recent development in networks by us. So, did a question struck to your mind that Why so much pain to just put dog face on your face? Well the answer is pretty simple snapchat finds an opportunity in this for advertising.

So, this must not stop you from uploading snaps to snapchat but next time you know how this all works. I hope you like this share your views on this is below comments and do subscribe my blog by entering you email. Thanks 
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19 January 2018 at 15:24 delete

very informative post for me as I am always looking for new content that can help me and my knowledge grow better.


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