Instagram & Facebook filters (effects) by

The correct and technical term for these Instagram and Facebook filters is ‘Effects’. Yes, they are Instagram AR Effects and Facebook AR Effects. I keep seeing these terms being used interchangeably – “AR Effects”, “AR Filters” or “AR Masks” or even “AR Lens” from Snapchat, ALL of which are acceptable in my books, “Effects” is what Facebook calls them but I’ll refer to them as filters because that seems to be what most people on Instagram are calling them.

Now that we got the terms out of the way, hi, I’m Eugene Soh from Dude Studios, probably the first in Asia (who isn’t a Facebook employee) to create an Instagram Filter. To be able to create an Instagram filter, you will need apply to be part of the Instagram Closed Beta program where they slowly accept more and more beta testers while they work out all the kinks and add new features. Currently the beta member count sits at 2545 individuals from all around the world. 10 from Singapore.

Guess who was first ever to post an effect on Instagram Beta group page! yes, that’s right it was me.

Don’t ask me why or how I got into the program first, I don’t know the real reason. Facebook’s official statement is that they choose by random. But if i’d have to guess, it was because I was very aggressively making Facebook filters which is in Open Beta. I was genuinely amazed by what they called AR Studio back then, now its called Spark AR Studio. I did nonsense like sensor my nipples with emojis in AR, it was funny. I didn’t take it seriously.

So, I’ve been in the program for 5 months, I should have been churning out filters every day! Yes, I know I should have, but your dude has been busy helping the elderly in nursing homes with Mind Palace VR in a gruelling startup bootcamp by StartupX. I made filters with whatever time I could spare. I’m glad I still have a lot to show for the little time I could spare. (Check out my AR demo reel I compiled above!)

Also, if you want to try my AR filters yourself, I’ve put them all here

Shoutout to all my collaborators:
Howie Kim
Zig Lam
Brian Gothong Tan
Andre Brinstan Frois
Ou Ningfei
Kult Gallery
Chan + Hori Contemporary
ActiveSG Kallang Sports Centre
Global Cultural Alliance
Singapore Art Museum
Sengkang General Hospital
Singapore Tourism Board

Mind Palace wins SWSG Mega Hackathon 2018

We won! Grand Champions! What an incredible 3 day hackathon we had, 28th to 30th September. Our team was made up of Cedric Sommer [Hustler], Zhang Weiran [Hustler], Jek Tan [Designer] and me, Eugene Soh [Developer].

The project we made in 54 hours was, Mind Palace, it is a Virtual Reality experience for dementia patients to immerse themselves in an environment of familiarity. The environment can be their old home that doesn’t exist anymore or a familiar in Singapore that most of the elderly here would know, i.e. the old national day stadium.

The demo I built was a Mind Palace for myself to use when dementia eventually creeps up on me. It is a vr environment of my old house, littered with photos of myself and my loved ones.

We built something amazing last night and the judges placed their biggest bet on us,I can’t wait to share our project, Mind Palace, but for now I need sleep. whole team needs sleep.

This was absolutely surreal. This is my second Hackathon since graduation and I happened to be in the winning team for both! 100% win rate. Startup Weekend Singapore was really generous and with a much bigger crowd compared to my last one, there were so many mentors, the gift bag was super, the food never ran out and there was plenty of beer!

Kinect Boxing – Throw real punches at your friends without actually hurting them!

This is a Kinect Fighting game I made! Kinect Boxing, previously known as Kinect Fighter. I Always thought a fighting game like this was the most obvious use of the Kinect. I was surprised that no one did it this way! My game uses 1 to 1 motion capture to let you fight in whatever way you want – unlike those made by Microsoft where the characters do their own polished animated punch and kicks after it recognizes your punches. In my game, players can fight in their own unique way.

VR for the elderly (Granny Wheel Chair Racing)

Channel New Asia featured me in a 1 hour episode, teaching 4 elderly folks how to code and make a Virtual Reality Game. You can watch all the drama unfold here on toggle.
It was tricky teaching them elderly, some of them were confused between double clicking and single clicking, one shouldn’t expect too much i suppose. As much as i hate to admit, it was the two guys who did way better than the two girls. #GenderSterotype
The producers and I picked the best student’s work and got him (Victor) to finish up his game so I could turn it into a working virtual reality game to let the elderly folks at NTUC Health Nursing Home (Geylang East) try it.
While finishing his game I thought it would be interesting to turn it into a VR Wheel Chair game. So i did!

Granny Wheel Chair Racing VR

It is the third and final episode in a series, #DontForgetMe, where they introduce technology like phones, Facebook, Instagram and virtual reality to elderly folks in Singapore.
#DontForgetMe – Channel News Asia
“When forgotten and overlooked seniors are taught how to make use of Facebook, Instagram and even virtual reality by Singapore’s hippest social media stars … can these seniors be empowered to change the world ?”
Episode 3 – Seniors Go Virtual:
“In the finale, four senior tech ambassadors want “in” on the latest trend – virtual reality gaming ! They team up with famous tech-savvy creator, DUDE SG, to learn VR coding from scratch and craft a VR game made for elderly and retired Singaporeans.”

Dancing Doodles: PAssion Arts Fest at Bishan Park

Dancing Doodles is a live motion capture dance installation that I made in collaboration with 150 kindergartners! It was exhibited at the PAssion Arts Fest at Bishan Ang Moh Kio Park for 2 days on the 1st and 2nd of July 2017.

Characters are drawn by kindergartners 5 & 6 years old and are animated via motion capture from an Xbox One Kinect. I made this with Unity.

Dancing Doodles was also known as “My Avatar” at the event.

The children’s original drawings hanging on the side of the booth

The dance installation. Where the kids would control their drawings by standing in front of the screen and dancing.

The drawing workshops conducted by Nat Wee where the kids drew characters for the installation. I was there making sure they were using my template correctly

Lee Hsien Long was there!

ArchiGallery: Listening To Architecture Virtual Tour Installation at National Gallery Singapore

There are some cool areas at National Gallery Singapore(NGS) that are not accessible to the public, either because they are dangerous to get to or because they have become part of their private offices. I was commissioned by NGS to create a two virtual tour installations for two areas at the Old Supreme Court Wing – they are the main dome (the roof) and the prisoners walkway where prisoners walk to enter the court room from their holding cells.

The Microsoft Kinect One motion sensor and the instructions for visitors

Visitors stand in front of my installation and wave their hands around to navigate the tour without touching the installation. This is important because the installation is permanent and having a contact-less experience would minimize wear and tear. Typical virtual tours would use a headset that would probably break within a year.

This virtual tour is part of the ArchiGallery: Listening To Architecture exhibition where I am also responsible for another exhibit: The Construction Sequence Animation. I could have done the whole video myself but I out-sourced to my go-to 3D modeler, Zig!

This is a video I shot on my phone during the opening ceremony. The animation I made for them has no audio and I had no idea they were going to screen it like that during the opening, so it was interesting to watch the Emcee narrate my work.

This is where my construction animation sequence is silently on display every day. Level 4 of the city hall wing at NGS