Black Ink body-fill effect — Instagram Filter Review

Published on Apr 11, 2019 | Filter name: "Face ink drop"

Filter creator: Nazareth Carrero (@nazarethcarrero_dyn)

Today I browse through the posts shared on Spark AR Facebook Community group an came across this amazing new filter called "Face ink drop" by Nazareth Carrero. I've spent quite some time with this filter and I want to share my experience with it.

First of all, this filter produces a body-filling effect that once you open your mouth, is gradual paints your body in black ink from the center of your face outwards until it covers your entire body area visible for the camera. The effect does visually distinguish between the face part and the body. The face part does look like a reflective plastic mask, whether the body area appears matte black, with slight transparency.

The use of reflection does help with facial expression transmission because otherwise, it would just appear flat black. However, it does segment the two parts, head and body, which may be for some effects, depends on what the creator wants to achieve, this would be undesired. Because both the body area behind the mask and the mask are filled separately, this breaks the flow of the effect to some degree because it isn't synchronized.

That being said, the two segmented animation does create a unique visual effect and of course, there are no rules when it comes to art, in fact, if there are any rules out there, it's fun to artistically break them.

In terms of interactions. In order for your body to start to be filled with black ink, all you need to do is open your mouth. The mouth-opening serves as a pause-continue trigger. By default, the filling effect will continue to repeat itself without stopping. The ink will fill outwards and then retract inwards. Once you open your mouth the first time, it will pause the effect. This is the part that I really liked. It just stops the animation whenever it was at, in a specific frame. Once you open your mouth again, it's like pressing a "Play" button in a video, the animation continues when it stops. Cool idea and works well for this type of AR experience.

gradual black ink filling effect, Instagram filter

One of the things that I wanted to see in the future is the ability to have a 3D scan of the body, so it's possible to make the ink have the same reflective effect. So when it is dropped into or onto the body, it will look three-dimensional. The ink effect does have a slight transparency to try to portray the 3D look. I believe that Spark AR doesn't support 3D body depth scan, so reducing the opacity leaves some depth cues for us to perceive depth to some degree. Also because the effect is animated quite fast, it does help in giving the effect of 3D filling to some degree. 

This Face Ink Drop Instagram filter reminds me of how a spot of ink looks when you drop it into the water.

The main difference is that it doesn't produce the same magnificent fine spreading structure and it moves really fast in this mask.  It also reminds me of the amazing Dark Friend Instagram mask by Rustam. That mask had a really cool smoldering black smoke effect. I like that effect a lot. These are two different effects that try to mimic the behavior of different real-world materials, the one in this mask is ink, and the other one in "Dark Friend" mask is of black smoke.

Keep in mind that this effect can work on two people simultaneously. So if you have a friend nearby, you can take a photo or a video of both of you (see the embedded Instagram post in this post as an example). Just open your mouth, you can do it at the same time or different intervals and see how the effect takes place on both faces—cool!

Ink face fill effect in augmented reality

Overall, an impressive filter with beautiful animations and one that I enjoy interacting with. "Face Ink Drop" joins my list of amazing Instagram filters with a blink of an eye, well done!

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