Eye and mouth Radiance effect — Instagram Filter Review

Published on Mar 24, 2019 | Filter name: "InnerRadiance"

Filter creator: Christian Venables (@csavenables)

As always, browsed today through many filters, looking for something unique that stands out and then saw that Instagram effect called "InnerRadiance" by Christian Venables and was blown away.

I saw this IG effect before on Twitter, but back then I was busy with reviewing augmented reality (AR) apps and games, and now that I spend more time on reviewing filters, I wanted to spend some quality time with this filter and experience it fully.

Christian has many great filters and I'll surely try them all soon. This, however, is quite unique compared to other filters that I've tried and it immediately reminded me of Cyclops laser eyes, the mutant Scott Summers from the movie X-Men. This mutant has red-colored beams coming out from his eyes. These are powerful laser blasts that can slice through objects.

It's, even more, resembles the scene where Neo put his hands inside agent Smith in the movie The Matrix: Reloaded (2003). Then he gets boosted by the Matrix and ar strong radiance coming out of his eyes, mouth, and body then he explodes. same goes to agent Smith a few moments later. I assume this is the movie scene which that effect was inspired from.

This radiance effect is a strong bright light coming from both your eyes and mouth, it is triggered when you open your mouth. The inner part of your eyes are white, overriding your default eyes). I like the 3D radiance effect because it takes on volume in the 3D space, which make it appear more realistic and convincing.

Inner Radiance Instagram effect

Obviously making the effect run when you open your eyes wouldn't be optimal, because users had to close and then open their eyes, and closing the eyes during an Instagram filter experience isn't something that I like (some do use it), for obvious reasons, you can't see anything with your eyes clothes. Even if the effect is trigger after you close your eyes, it still not clicking it for me but for some filters, it might work well, depends.

There is also a nice option to reduce the camera video stream brightness by tapping on the screen. this is very useful in case you are using the filter in a bright area like outdoors in daylight. This, of course,e can reduce the effectiveness of the effect because it won't shine that much compared to if it was seen in dark surroundings.

I've seen some Spark AR filter creators making that by default for some of their filters, darkening the camera input so the base effects will look more noticeable and create a striking effect whether it's for something that glows, glitter, sparkle, flashes, glaring or just omitting simple light in the AR scene.

Place for Improvement

One of the things that were missing for me is having a gradual appearance of the intensity of the radiance. Now, this can work with what I've mentioned above, but it doesn't mean that the eyes have to be fully closed for it to work. By this, I mean that the intensity of the luminosity in terms of distance and brightness will be related to the amount your mouth and eyes are opened. This way, you can separate the eyes and the mouth and have the effect worth independently for each of them. If you slightly close your right eye, the glare effect will be less prominent and if you open your left eye more, a more prominent and stronger light will come out of it.

The thing is with this implementation, with two eyes working independently also from the mouth, is that the user can close one eye that eye won't project and radiance, and when the user leaves the second eye open, only that eye will project the radiance.

In this case, you play with both the Intensity and the part of the face that projects the radiance. This way, users have more freedom to play with the effect and create unique videos and photos and the Instagram filter experience itself becomes more engaging and entertaining.

Now I don't think that there is a technical problem achieving this using Spark AR Studio, but that's something that I need to discuss in the group just to be sure.

Tip: the effect can work on two faces at the same time.


Overall, I liked this effect a lot and it definitely was a new type of AR experience to me. It's inspired by scenes that I love in movies thus it brought some memories from those movies as well. The effect looks nice although the bright cover shape doesn't always cover the eyes and mouth accurately, make the effect look not too convincing. Still great filter, one that definitely worth trying—so don't forget to follow Christian Venables so you can try this filter and his other Instagram effects.

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