Cute Princess

Editorial choice Cute Princess Live

How we created a cute effect for Instagram with half a billion impressions.

Screenshots & Video


Three weeks of development story started when I saw that "Cartoon Princess" filter on Snapchat. It was soooo cute! And it was cute for a reason! Carefully crafted shapes, textures, lighting, and much more. The compilation of the small details makes it that cute.

But what do we see on Instagram? Just deformed faces with lenses. And a couple of rough 3d models. Though more than three months have passed after that princess filter boom started.

So I decided to accept the challenge and make a really high-quality effect. I shared this idea in small talk with my friend Nastya and she decided to join. She had no idea it would be so hard, haha!

We started with research. What makes it cute? What shape should eyes be? How this is even work? The research ended with 5 pages of google doc with screenshots, sketches, and descriptions. And we've started to work.

Modeling and skinning were challenging! Spark AR had been crashing for no reason so we had to roll back to previous versions of the model, lose time, and start again. When Nastya had been working on the eyes model, I tried to create a cartoon face deformation. Took about 160 tries! Then common project construction, animations, rigging, textures, the script for the interface, and so on. All this was created from scratch.

Well, that was hard but, so exciting! Now our effect has about half a billion impressions, 2.5 million shares, and 30-40k shares every day.

How to Use it

Just open it on Instagram!

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