How are the prices of filters on social networks calculated?

The prices of filters on social networks (Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook or Tiktok) depend on various factors and the people you are going to use. Depending on your needs, prices can vary from 400€ à 20 000€.

In general, it should be understood that the price of producing filters and effects on social networks corresponds to man-time. Of course, some agencies will charge according to the impact of the campaigns for the brand, which can also make the price of the campaigns fluctuate.

On this page you will find all the elements that can make the prices of augmented reality filters fluctuate.


To create a filter on social networks, it will be necessary to create graphic elements that will then be integrated into augmented reality via Spark AR (for Instagram and Facebook) or Lens Studio (for Snapchat). Depending on the campaign, the assets are sometimes provided by the brands or sometimes have to be created. There are two types of graphic elements possible for Instagram or Snapchat filters. The 2D elements (2D assets) and the 3D elements (3D assets). 

The 3D elements allow for a more qualitative rendering in the augmented reality effect, but it must be taken into account that the size of the filters is limited by the platforms. On Instagram and Facebook, filters are limited to 4MB and on Snapchat to 8MB.

Prices for creating assets can vary from €100 to €10,000. 


In case the brands do not provide the assets, the 2D assets have to be created. There are different types of 2D graphic elements. 

It can be a collection, inspired by the brand's graphic charter, the objective of the campaign, etc. And there can also be illustration (from scratch). As with all creative work, the illustration that is created for the filter may have different rates depending on who is going to draw the elements. (their experience, seniority, creations, etc.) and also the potential extension of rights to the illustrations concerned. For example, if the brand wishes to use the illustrations outside the Instagram filter, the price may be higher. In the creation of 2D assets, graphic thinking should also be taken into account (this is detailed in part 4: other factors)


In order to have qualitative renderings it is generally important to create filters integrating 3D elements. These are then integrated into the environment of the user of the effect or on him (his face, feet, body, hand). The creation of 3D assets has two main steps and optional steps. The first step is to create the structure of the 3D model, also called the skeleton or the Rig. To be able to integrate them into filters on social networks, they must be created in low poly (few polygons), which allows them to be smaller and to be integrated into Spark AR or Lens Studio. Then the texturing step is important. This corresponds to the element that will be integrated on the structure to give it the final rendering. Generally, the textures are also compressed to be integrated into the filters. 

There are also other elements that can vary the price of 3D elements. For example, it is possible to integrate physics into the 3D models to improve realism when the user moves. Or Blend Shape, which allows the 3D model to react to eye movements, mouth movements, etc. This is often used when a 3D character's face is to be integrated on the user's head and made to react to movements.


Once the graphic elements are created (assets2D & 3D), they must then be integrated into the augmented reality software in order to create the filters on the social networks. The characteristics of the assets will define how to integrate the elements and adapt them so that the scene is aesthetically pleasing and consistent with the mechanics. 

The number of elements where properties will have to be defined and the necessary adjustments will make prices fluctuate. 

Prices can vary from 200€ to 7000€. 


The choice of the scene will be the first determining element in the creation of its filter. This is the stage where we determine whether the scene will be on the front camera or the rear camera of the smartphone (or both). In addition, it is necessary to determine which elements will be tracked in order to integrate the assets previously created. On all platforms, the algorithm is able to recognise the user's face, the elements of the face and to segment between what is a person and what is not (the background). 

Some platforms have specificities on their recognition algorithm. For example, on Snapchat it is possible to track the user's hands or feet. Since 2021, it is also possible to recognise buildings (World object). Either the monuments are already recognised by the algorithm (Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe in France) or it is possible to train the algorithm on Lens Studio to recognise the desired buildings. 

On Facebook it is possible to recognise the user's hands, a feature that is not yet available on Instagram.


When integrating 2D or 3D graphic elements, they must then be given characteristics that allow them to meet the desired aesthetic. All developers are aware of the problem of having different renderings between design or modelling software and augmented reality software. 

The definition of these characteristics will be able to play on the colours and textures inside the materials. Define the normal map (depths of the 3D elements), opacity, retouching and reflections.

The management of the lights is also done at this stage, it is a determining point to display elements in 3D. The definition of all these properties will make the price of the filter fluctuate on social networks.


Once the elements have been integrated, the scenes selected and the properties defined, all the elements must be optimised. For example, the textures will be compressed again by the augmented reality software. The sounds must be in a specific format (m4A, 44100 Hertz). 

For filters on social networks, it is also necessary to adapt the filters to all possible OS. The phones have different formats and characteristics.


To make a filter dynamic, it is necessary to create interactions when the user tries the effect. There are a multitude of interactions and here are some examples: blink, open your mouth, touch the screen, move your head, smile etc... All these interactions allow you to trigger a specific action in the filter such as making an object appear or triggering the next step in the filter.

The price of a filter can therefore fluctuate according to the complexity of the interaction, but also the number of possible interactions. 


There are other factors that can make the price of your Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat or Tiktok filters vary. This can be related to the progress of your project, your project itself, but also the people you will be working with to produce your AR effect.


Anecdotally, many requests to make filters on social networks have fairly short deadlines (1-2 weeks). 

It is important to know that an agency defines a schedule for the creatives and developers in order to optimise project management. Some of these requests will sometimes have to modify the planned project management schedule and naturally increase the price of your augmented reality filter.


For each augmented reality project, there will be a retro-planning to organise the round trips between the agencies and the clients. Some agencies (this is not our case) will limit the number of round trips, and therefore charge for optimisations. 

This is why it is important to define the specifications with the client beforehand, with 2D mockups detailing the entire storyboard. This allows us to avoid increasing the rates during the service.


Creative thinking is the process of  The client has a communication objective, but no concrete method for implementing it. The role of the agencies is to think, to create mockups and to think about the communication plan in parallel which will allow the filter to be promoted on social networks. Some agencies charge for mockups, but we create your mockups for free at Filter Maker.


To make an instagram filter, you can go through different people: 

- Do it yourself: the cheapest, but requires a lot of time to learn how to create complex filters.

- Freelancers: They are few in number, their rates are between 200 and 1000€ per day. 

- Augmented reality agencies: Rates are higher than those of independent agencies, but agencies will accompany you from the idea to the production of the communication plan, weekly reports, etc.




As explained above, there are many factors that vary the cost of creating a filter on social networks. Indeed, it can depend on the assets provided or not by the company, the complexity of the filter mechanism or the elements to be integrated (2D or 3D) as well as the social network on which the effect must be published.
In addition, short deadlines require a different organisation for our teams and this can make the price of an Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok filter vary.

Indeed, the software for creating filters is different depending on the social network. Some require more time than others to create a filter and therefore our teams have to spend more time on it. In addition, the mechanism of a filter may also require different coding depending on whether the effect is to be published on Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok.

Going through an agency like Filter Maker it will be difficult to get a filter for less than $500. Agencies charge for man time and Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok filters often take a long time to create and require specific expertise. We have also created a platform (Lookaar) to create a filter automatically. Prices start at $19.

The price of a filter wheel will depend on the animations to be integrated. Generally the price is between $1000 for a simple roulette filter and can go up to 5000$ if we have to integrate animations.

Unfortunately not, each social network uses different augmented reality software. On Instagram the software to create filters is Spark AR, on Snapchat the lens software is Lens Studio and on TikTok the filter software is Effect House. So the filters cannot be duplicated between each social network. So the team in charge of your filter will have to develop the effect twice in the different software.