Creator Spotlight: Alexis Zerafa

Creator from 🇺🇸 United States

Please tell us something about yourself. Where are you from and were do you work? For how long have you been creating AR filters? Are you a freelancer or a member of the company specializing in AR filters? etc.

Hi! My name is Alexis, and I love AR and tea lattes. I grew up in the midwest of the US, and live in New York now with my many houseplants and small aquatic frog. I studied AR a bit in university, and now I run a small studio called Pond Skater Studio, where I experiment with ceramics, AR, and other physical and digital fabrication methods!

How many effects have you created so far and for which platforms?

Over 50 at least!

Name the best three effects you created and briefly describe them (this effects will be featured in the article)

On my personal profile @alexiszerafa (I cross post on my studio profile @pondskaterstudio) I think Bathtime, Lepidoptera Languor, and Arm Flailing TubeMan are the most successful.

Bathtime is an effect that utilizes the issue of planes intercepting with the facemesh in a creative way! This effect places the user in a serene bath of opaque water, while flowers float around their face and ripples and droplets encase their chins.

Lepidoptera Languor is an AR piece created for a bioart exhibition. It showcases hyperrealistic but still low poly moths and butterflies, mostly endangered or heavily domesticated species, stuck on the users face and idly shifting as the user moves around.

Armflailing TubeMan is my personal favorite, it places a little inflatable tube person (like you see at car dealerships in the US), who dances around as you move! I utilized code to place the skeleton and joints, and the newer version of this effect “make him dance” inflates the tubeman as volume increases.

Which platform for creating AR filters is your favourite and why?

I did get my start with Unity, and then LensStudio. I work primarily with Instagram now because its much easier to share my work and float ideas with the community! Each platform has their drawbacks and strengths, but Spark for Instagram is definitely my main platform now.

What in your opinion makes an AR effect successful?

If you made something you love, I think thats the only concrete metric for success. Making someone smile, gasp, explore something new, these are all metrics for a good effect in my book!

If there is anything else you would like to share please do it here:

AR is not new technology, its been around for quite a long time in different forms, as early as overlaying physical objects on the earliest forms of video tech. The recent surge in mobile/social AR has with it created new forums and communities to discuss these creations, which I think is so wonderful and fun! Let’s all work to share out knowledge and creativity to grow these spaces and in turn, grow the technology itself.

Worth the attention