Shark Week, which debuted in 1988 as a week of programming on the Discovery Channel dedicated to the titular predatory fish, has grown into a cultural beast of its own.
At Next Reality, we can think of no better way to commemorate the week than to try out some shark-themed AR Lenses via Snapchat. Searching for "shark" in Lens Explorer returns no shortage of options, but these separate themselves from the pack (or shiver, as that is what a group of sharks is called)...
Shark Week is Discovery Channel's thing, so, of course, it has created its own Lens to commemorate the occasion.
The Shark Week Lens uses background segmentation to replace your background with an ocean scene, with an ocean overlay with virtual sharks in the foreground to create the illusion that you're treading water at sea.
If you angle your selfie camera just right, you can also make it look like you are sinking into the water and then rising above the waves.
To top it all off, the Lens also anchors a pair of virtual sunglasses on your face so you can look cool while swimming with the virtual sharks.
While Snap is proud of the work from its Lens Studio community, many of the best Lenses still come from its internal teams, including a pair of Lenses that bring sharks into your personal space through the rear camera.
The Shark Lens fills your camera view with a shimmering texture, giving the appearance of being underwater. Floating in front of you is a shark swimming towards you. The shark accelerates towards you until it collides with your screen, leaving virtual cracks in the camera view. Phew! You're safe for now.
In addition, the Undersea World Lens fills your physical space with a virtual ocean habitat, with schools of fish swimming around you, plants anchored to the floor, a starfish that attaches itself to physical surfaces in your surroundings, and, of course, a menacing shark circling overhead. The Lens is designed to work with the Depth API for ARCore, which results in a more realistic AR experience.
Lens Studio creator Phil Walton has a knack for creating Lens that change users into inanimate objects or animals, including the popular Potato Lens.
Another Walton creation that follows this formula is the Happy Shark Lens. This Lens replaces your background with an undersea backdrop, with a cartoon shark mask anchored onto your face.
In keeping with his usual style, the shark mask moves within the camera view as you move your head. In addition, the Lens morphs your eyes to simulate those of the shark and mimics your eye and mouth movements. If you open your mouth wide enough, you'll see that the inside of your mouth fills out the virtual shark's mouth.
Another creative take on shark filters for the front-facing camera comes from Wayne Lambo, another prolific member of the Snap Lens Studio community.
The Mind Sharks Lens creates a halo of miniature virtual sharks that swim around your head. The sharks also carry colorful shadows with them, giving the whole experience a psychedelic feel.
In addition, Lambo inserts a wavy effect over the camera view that, while seemingly lifted from one of the many old school VHS video filters, also gives one the sense of being underwater. You know, where sharks live.
You may have noticed a recent retweet from the Next Reality account featuring footage from Snap Spectacles smartglasses that included a twerking shark.
That's actually the Dancing Shark Lens, courtesy of Snapchat. So, while few have the 2021 edition Spectacles, you can still enjoy the same content.
For an alternate take on the theme, check out the Twerk Shark Lens by Sergio Rodriguez.
In closing, SHARK WEEK!