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How to create your own TikTok filters

TikTok Tips May 9, 2023
How to create your own TikTok filters

Ever wanted to design your own filters for TikTok? Do you dream of a filter that doesn’t exist or wish you could tweak something you like into something you love? Or perhaps you have high hopes for your own creativity going viral, watching other people enjoying your creations and building success in the process. By creating your own TikTok filters with Effect House, you could do just that.

What is Effect House?

Effect House describes itself as ‘a powerful AR tool that makes it easy to create, publish, and share high-quality augmented effects for TikTok’. It has been developed with creators of every capability in mind, so whether you’re a total novice, a professional animator, or fit somewhere in-between, Effect House aims to empower you with the capability to build incredible interactive experiences for TikTok.

Effect House is the augmented reality program for TikTok filter creation
Create TikTok filters with Effect House

Downloading Effect House

Effect House is free to download and it’s compatible with Mac (Intel or M1/M2) and Windows. Download it here: https://effecthouse.tiktok.com/download/

Minimum system requirements for Effect House on Mac and Windows
Requirements for running Effect House on Mac and Windows

How to use Effect House templates

Using a template is the simplest way to get started with your own AR (augmented reality) TikTok filters. There is an impressive catalogue of templates available to manipulate on command, each labelled with the level of experience required to get started.

Beginner and intermediate effect templates on Effect House
Effect House templates are labelled with difficulty levels

The home page of Effect House features a number of recommended templates. To see the full range of templates, head to the template page and cycle between all, recommended, face, body, interactive, world and audio templates.

Find the full range of templates in the templates tab on Effect House
View templates for a speedy way to get started with TikTok effect creation

Choose a template to work with. We’re going to look at ‘Face Distortion’ which is labelled as a beginner template.

You will find the chosen effect in the 'HIERARCHY' panel. Click on the effect to edit it. In this example, we’re selecting '3D Face [MODIFY DEFORMATION]'.

Click on an object to edit it
The hierarchy panel shows the objects in your effect

Under ‘INSPECTOR’ scroll to find the elements to manipulate.

How to create a filter without a template

To create an effect from scratch, without a set template, select ‘Create project’ in the Effect House menu on the left-hand side of the screen.

Select the create project button to get started from scratch
Create a new project without a set template

You must log in to continue.

Log in to use Effect House
Log in with your TikTok account (or other method) to access Effect House

Effect types

There are a number of effect types you can work with…


  • Portrait Segmentation
  • Hair Segmentation
  • Hand Segmentation
  • Clothing Segmentation

Generative Effects:

  • Hair Eraser
  • Eyebrow Eraser
  • Smile
  • Pucker

Post Effects:

  • Filter
  • Bling
  • Bloom
  • Chromatic Aberration
  • Distort
  • Grain
  • Vignette
  • Bokeh Blur
  • Lens Flare
  • Motion Blur

Face Effects:

  • 3D Face
  • Face Mask
  • Eye Effect
  • Eyelash Effect
  • Lip Effect
  • Eye Colour
  • Face Stretch
  • Face Liquify
  • Face Sticker
  • Face Inset

Pet Effects:

  • Cat Face Stretch
  • Dog Face Stretch
  • Cat Face Sticker
  • Dog Face Sticker

AR Tracking:

  • Head Tracker
  • Body Avatar Drive
  • Hand Tracker
  • AR Plane


  • Empty Mesh
  • Plane
  • Cube
  • Image
  • Sphere
  • Head


  • Scene Object
  • Camera
  • Directional Light
  • Point Light
  • Spot Light
  • Audio Player


  • 2D Scene Object
  • Screen Image

You can find all the above by selecting the plus (+) button near ‘HIERARCHY’ to ‘add object’.

Select the effect you’d like to use and edit the object’s components and properties in the inspector panel on the right-hand side of the screen.

Change the preview model

There are a number of models to choose from when viewing your effect in the preview window. These include different people, environments and pets in a variety of scenarios to give you a good example of any filter you’re creating.

Models include…


  • Idle
  • Nodding
  • Mouth Open
  • Eyebrow Raised
  • Head Turned

Full Body:

  • Dancing
  • Walking

Two person:

  • Idle
  • Nodding
  • Mouth Open
  • Eyebrow Raised
  • Head Turned
  • Dancing
  • Walking


  • Hand Appear
  • Gesture
  • Palm
  • Shoulder
  • Finger Heart
  • Index Pointing
  • 2-Finger Pointing
  • “I Love You”
  • Horns
  • Thumbs Up
  • Fist
  • Index Pointing Up
  • Victory
  • Backhand 3-Finger Pointing Up
  • 3-Finger Pointing Up
  • OK
  • 4-Finger Pointing Up
  • Open Palm
  • “Call Me”
  • V (Thumb and Index)
  • Pinched Fingers
  • Thumb Down


  • Ground
  • Road
  • Sofa
  • Table
  • Sky
  • Floor


  • Cat
  • Dog
  • Cat and Person
  • Dog and Person
  • Cat, Dog and Person
  • Cat Static
  • Dog Static

These models allow you to preview your effect in the environment which best suits the filter. Toggle through them by clicking on the drop-down menu.

Check out the scene

The scene panel shows the 2D and 3D objects added to an effect. Toggle ‘Show 2D/3D’ to switch between views and manipulate lighting, camera angles and objects.

Visit visual scripting

If you’ve got a bit of experience working with augmented reality, coding or text scripting, the visual scripting panel might be of interest to you. It’s similar to Javascript or C++ and links visual blocks together called nodes. There is a significant amount of types of nodes to check out and link together to create a path of logic within the effect.

Use the visual scripting panel for more advanced filter creation
Visual scripting panel nodes

Preview an effect in TikTok

You can preview an effect using the TikTok app by clicking ‘Preview in TikTok’ in the top right-hand corner and scanning the QR code using the TikTok app.

Submit an effect

When you are happy with the effect, submit it by clicking on the blue ‘Submit’ button in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Here you must add a thumbnail and a name for the effect. You can also add a hint to let users know how to use the effect.

You’ll then be prompted to sign into your TikTok account. From here you can add effect details including the category, tags, additional comments, challenge, and a video demo of the effect.

Add effect details for your effect including category, tags and an optional demo video
Add effect details before hitting the ‘Submit’ button

Make sure the effect follows the effect guidelines. TikTok will review the effect before it goes public.

Submit your effect for TikTok to review
A new TikTok effect will be reviewed before going live

You can resubmit an effect up to 10 times.

Creating your own TikTok filters unleashes a whole new dimension of creativity. Filters are pretty incredible as they’re interactive and available to anyone on the app, allowing you to weave your way into the lives of people all over the globe. Imagine what this could do for your business. From creating brand-specific filters for your fans to make user-generated content with, to designing broadly-loved filters with the potential to go viral. Effect House is your door to a new level online.

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Sarah Rachel

Fan of tea, rock music and fluffy animals.