Snapchat's new Lens Studio tools make AR creation easier

It's launching new Lenses and new Lens Studio tools.

Snap has teamed up with a handful of partners to create new Lenses and new tools for the Lens Studio, which can make designing AR effects a simpler process. One of its new partners is StudioMDHR, developer of popular run and gun indie video game Cuphead. The companies created a special Lens that pits you against Cuphead and Mugman (the game's main characters drawn in 1930's style cartoons) in your snaps -- or, more accurately, they shoot you until it's game over.

Snap has also created an interactive path template that gives evelopers an easy way to bring their characters to life. Game studio Klei Entertainment created the first Lens, featuring Chester from Don't Starve as you can see above, that uses the new tool. When you use the Chester Lens, for instance, you can create a path for the critter to follow simply by dragging a finger along your device's surface. Other developers will be able to give their Lenses the same effect, thanks to the new template.

In addition, Snap is integrating the Lens Studio with software company Allegorithmic's 3D paint and texture program Substance Painter to make switching from one to the other much easier for developers. By launching all these new features, Snap is showing that it's serious about ramping up its AR efforts. It wants more Lenses for its app, perhaps because they could lead to more users and longer time spent on the platform.