- I’m a 30 year old graphic designer and AR artist making filters for TikTok.
- My effect has over 1 billion views and no compensation.
- Effect House is an AR tool used by TikTokers who want to create filters for their video sharing apps.
This essay is based on a conversation with 30-year-old Ilias Pistopoulos, a Greek graphic designer who creates viral filters for various social media platforms. The following has been edited for length and clarity.
I’m a graphic designer with an engineering degree and have been creating augmented reality effects (also known as filters) for Facebook, Instagram and most recently TikTok for the past 4 years.
For me, AR is the most powerful technological evolution. Last year, I had the opportunity to participate in a private beta effects test for Effect House, an AR tool that makes it easy to create TikTok effects, and I’ve been using the platform since day one.
It helped create viral animal filters like ‘Maxwell The Cat’, ‘Maxwell In The Sky’ and the ‘Capybara’ filter based on the popular sound on TikTok. Filters can be uploaded to the app for free once approved, but I make no money from it.
I get most of my inspiration from TikTok “For You page” trends and research different media to find the best ideas for filters. After the concept is decided, a lot of software is needed to create the design, and 3D modeling is needed to know how it will look in the real world.
I work 9-5 at a marketing company, but after work I’m scrolling through TikTok and working on effects. Three months ago, I worked hours on Maxwell The Cat to get it ready for Effect House review. I found a cat and sound that looks like it could be in a game, and I thought, “This definitely needs an effect.”
Today my effects have been viewed over 1 billion times on TikTok and the whole world is using my work. You may not get paid, but you will get the chance to increase your exposure and audience. Thanks to these effects, I was able to increase my TikTok followers from 200 to 37,000 in a few months.
My viral effects helped grow the FAM of AR business. Because big brands reach out to work with me and being part of Effect House creates a community where creators learn and share.
We know that in most cases TikToker will not be tagged using filters. I’ve seen places like Clancy’s Auto Body Shop make products with my effects, and I don’t care.
I think it’s really cool to see how other people can create it. You can use those analytics to show how well your effects are working. Branding is everything, so I keep that in mind when I share my effects with the world. .