Sunlight Pass through Lighting Effect — Instagram Filter Review

Published on May 5, 2019 | Filter name: "Summer Afternoon"

Filter creator: Lianne tokey (@liannetokey)

In this review, I'll talk about "Summer Afternoon" Instagram AR face filter by Lianne Tokey. I love using Liann's filters. For me, they are elegant, creative,  invigorating, colorful and relaxing in most part.

This "Summer Afternoon" filter produces a lighting effect on your face, which look like light rays going through bright curtain. It looks and feels like a fondling light that brushes itself over your skin. In some ways, it produces a hinting glowing sun rays effect that changes the atmosphere. It reminds me of those moments where I was sitting outside in the yard, hearing the birds sounds, feeling the wind on my skin and seeing the light ray passing through the pavilion holes and feel their warmth on my skin.

Two women with light rays Instagram filter effect

This IG filter does work on your face, but the effect extends beyond it. This is why it looks authentic and convincing no matter what you wear. You can move the phone around to make the light appear in different areas of your head and body. The effect is also animated.

A few things that I wished for is having volumetric lighting effect and having the option to change the shapes of the lighting as it passes through different diaphragm shape.

The slow funneling movement of the light was relaxing and I even felt a bit of tingling, like the light was actually touching my skin, which of course it wasn't.  I was reviewing it in the afternoon, the perfect time to review this filter. Right not it's 4:48 PM (Osaka, Japan local time). I am on the 7th floor, and I can hear the birds sound in the background, hear the wind and see the beautiful warm light of the sun as it is a bright blue sky day,only a few clouds in the sky.

This "Summer Afternoon" effect definitely helped in creating an interesting and calming atmosphere which I couldn't get otherwise.  I actually have black curtains, which I hate but I can of course just open them and I have a little balcony that allows me to look outside as I am writing this Instagram filter review.

You can be creative with this filter. I tried it in different places on the face to get the exact effect that I liked best. It also reminds me yet again of a few of the reasons Instagram filters are so beloved by many, which is the ability to use those filters to create something of their own and them being part of their artistic artwork

Summer afternoon Instagram face filter

The light also passes through different parts of your body, lighting up the colors underneath it. Therefore the color spots carry different colors, and depends on what you wear, this sometimes can produce a lovely gradient of light specks. The skin is slightly darkened to make the lighting effect more prominent even when viewed in bright daylight.

That darkening effect does make the skin color to appear more flat due to lower contrast, but again, it makes the lighting effect stand out. I've seen this done in quite a few augmented reality games that I've tried for that exact reason. The developer wanted to make the visual effects bright and colorful and wanted them to stand out. Using those effect in daylight reduce their visibility and what was needed is to darken the camera video stream in order to make those effect stand out and more prominent. It's not like standard screen apps or virtual reality where everything is virtual. In Augmented Reality (AR) you need to consider the real world environment lighting and know how it can affect the type of AR experience you are making.

I also found out that this effect really shines with monochromatic or low-saturated images. There the focus was mainly on the differences between shadows and lit areas. The light effect better stood out and for me, produced a more compelling artistic visual. This is why I said before, that I want to have the option to mix and match different AR filters, make it a Photoshop-like experience. This way, I can produce more creative and interesting stills and videos with it.

Here is an example to clarify what I mean.

monochromatic images of two women with augmented reality lighting Instagram effect

The images are not fully desaturated, but you can clearly see how strong the lighting effect is this way.

For some of the other images, I felt I was drawing on an image with light. I positioned the light like in a show, where I want to user's attention to be and what areas I wanted to highlight. This way, I could have some degree of control of what I want the viewer to feel from the image or highlight points of interest that I want the viewer to focus on or both. Sometimes I wanted the viewer the feel the feeling of touch, warmth, affection or apply or enhanced certain motives in the image that I wanted the viewer to perceive, like enlightenment or desire.

Painting with light using AR on the human body

I played with light in a way that I could increase the viewer's emotional response. I did that by encouraging the eye to focus on certain areas or make the light enhance certain motives or highlight the main subject in the image.  Light plays a significant role in many artworks. This "Summer Afternoon" IG effect allowed me to make my own experimentation and receive different understandings about how light affects me and how I can use it to make the same to work with the observer of the artwork. I am not educated in that field, and I am on my own creative journey to figure things out in my own way. This way, I can fully understand them and of course, learn how we can use these insights to improve the augmented reality experience that we create using these magnificent immersive technologies.

Before I created the blog, more of the focus was on the technical aspects of augmented reality. Later on, I moved to spend more time understanding the design aspect and then I wanted to dive full in to get a better understanding of the artistic aspect and how developers can use art to deliver more compelling, creative, unique and emotional AR experiences.

As I mentioned in previous Instagram filter reviews, these filters allow me to do just that. "Summer Afternoon" is a fantastic filter, because it allowed me to play with light and observe the type of emotional response I get from playing creatively with it. Of course, you can do the same with 3D editing software, but this is a simple way that works fast and easily on the human face and body, augmenting the virtual content and thus make it easy to experiment with.

The part of playing with light is very important to me. I do this all the time when I take photographs and it doesn't change here. There are things about lighting and color that have a direct effect on how we feel.  This why I recommend every Spark AR creator to investigate the topic as sometimes just playing with light, colors and reflections can yield incredible results—Thanks for reading. 

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Sunlight Pass through Lighting Effect