Keeps Face Center in Frame — Instagram Filter Review

Published on May 7, 2019 | Filter name: "Face Track"

Filter creator: Karim Iskakov (@karfly)

"Face Track" is a new filter made by Karim Iskakov. I discovered it today after browsing through Spark AR Community on Facebook. I've been trying out plenty of interesting camera effects. What this Instagram filter does is tracking your face and center it in the frame. In this automatic composition type of filter, no matter how you position your camera, the face will be at the center of the frame. That unless your face is completely outside of the field of view.

To center the face, when needed, the effect digitally enlarges the frame so the face will appear at the center of the screen. It just "cut off" the edges when necessary. If you rotate your face to the right or left, it will still make sure that the face is centered by resizing the frame and reposition it respectively.

It is, some way reminds me of a digital image stabilization system in cameras. However, in digital image stabilization systems, you have a larger image to work with and the system just digitally shifts the image to different sides. Only part of the image is in the actual active pixel area which will be then rendered in the final image Here, you get to work with the entire frame. So to make sure the face is centered both horizontally and vertically, as much as possible, the camera enlarges the frame and reframe it as needed.

It might seem a bit boring just to see your face at the center of the screen, you might ask "What's the point?". Well, this type of effect really shines for videos, rather than for pictures. When you move your head or the phone around, the digital adjustment produces a unique dynamic zooming effect. It reminded me of some effect that I've seen in music videos. It also was quite similar to the effect of changing the focal length of a camera lens using a zoom lens and seeing how the background changes in relation to the subject.

The results can be very entertaining to watch and fun to experiment with. Adding music and moving to the beats can really produce some cool results. Oh, and don't worry if you are not a good dancer. You actually don't have to move, just move the phone's camera with the rhythm and let this IG filter create some dance moves by itself.  I also think that it's a perfect filter for rapping and beatboxing, so if you know how to beatbox, I definitely recommend trying this out. You become your own film direction of your beatboxing music clip! Oh, if you do some beatboxing with it, please share the video with me on Instagram, I want to see how it looks. All I can do is just imagine or simulate, and from my own little experience, it should look awesome.

Although the effect just enlarges and reposition the camera stream, it produces a unique effect that looks great for selfie videos. Of course, the background still remains so it's great for taking selfies with some nice background as well.

Another cool use that I found for it. Remember ever trying to record a video while pointing the camera at you and circling around? Well, when you hold the camera straight it's not an issue, but if you want to be more creative and move the phone freely up, down or slightly to the right or left, it's hard to make sure your face is centered. Using this filter, you can do just that, you can circle around the spot and moving the phone to a different direction, and the effect will make sure that you are always in the center of the frame. Just make sure that you are not completely aiming the phone completely outside of the location where your face is.

It's one of those filters that put emphasis on the main subject in the frame, and this is you.  You can even look at it as a photo or video composition helper. That being said, just keep in mind that sometimes it mind producing results that you don't want and enlarge the frame while leaving other subjects or the background partially or completely outside the frame. That being said, if you do want to take a standard image, all you have to do is just switch to the regular camera.

If there was an option, I would keep this filter in a "Camera helper" bookmark folder so I can quickly access it when needed. This feature isn't yet available on Instagram and I hope that Instagram does work in making filter management easier for all of us. I have hundreds of filters. At least I can view the new ones at the beginning of the list now, make it easier to try out and discover new amazing filters and camera effects.

I mentioned it before and I will say it again. There are plenty of great opportunities to use a simple effect that produce fun and engaging results. I am obviously in favor of artistic experimentations and coming with crazy ideas but let's not forget those simple filters and real-life simulations like freckles, eye color changer, try-on makeup, face freckles, and others. Luckily I've seen quite a few Spark AR creators targeting that. They discover that it takes a fraction of the time to do them and they yield great engagement from the community.

I've also remembered seeing another filter, quite similar to this one but from what I remember, the other one doesn't use digital enlargement and also puts a black square in the frame. This one is cleaner and this is why I'll probably use it quite often.

Just follow its creator and think about a cool music track you can run in the background and share the excitement.  I also recommend using it with a nice background which is far away from you. This to make the effect more striking and pleasure to watch.

Overall, a smart little filter that produces entertaining results—Love it.

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