Curious how TikTok filters are created? And how they are enabled by TikTok’s AR technology?

We caught up with our Lu Wang from our User Design team to discuss the team and the work that they do.

First, what does the User Design team do?

The User Design team is a team of illustrators, animators, motion designers, and 3D artists. They work to augment and diversify creators’ experiences on TikTok’s platform through different virtual lenses, filters, and AR features.

To show how this is done, the User Design team has created a video of filter creation from start to delivery to TikTok users’ phones. As the video shows, this requires both design and animation work.

Their designs fall into four main categories:



(These filters respond when nodding head.)

AR Filters

Information stickers

(Celebrating it finally raining in Los Angeles with the team!)

While designers create the visual aspects of a filter, developers code the special effects and interactivity. Designers and developers work together to finalize it.

Lu elaborates: “Oftentimes during the design process, we will work with TikTok’s developers to create coding to animate further the interactive filters. To do this, we will first design all features of the graphic and then create a demo video along with a detailed request around how the animation should look when its finished. Using this the developers create unique code for the animation.

After the developers have completed the background coding and attached it to the design, we will then use an in-house app to test and ensure that the filter’s functionality is optimized. After this testing, the filter is launched to millions of users to add to their videos.”

We asked Lu what her favorite part of her role is, as well as why she enjoys working at TikTok.

Lu: “Personally, the most exciting part is solving problems, bridging gaps, and challenging myself. TikTok is a fast-paced company and there are new challenges everyday. Being able to provide instant feedback and find solutions gives me a sense of accomplishment. TikTok is also a global company, which means we communicate with colleagues around the world. As a bilingual, I enjoy bridging language and culture differences.

Finally, I love that TikTok is at the forefront of the tech industry. New features and techniques are being launched everyday. I enjoy the opportunity to try and utilize these new techniques and thoughts. Because of this I am always learning. There are a lot of talented people here at TikTok and I continue to learn through working with them.”

Interested in joining the team? We asked Lu what they look for in applicants to the User Design team.

Lu: “When looking for designers to join the team, a few things stick out in the most successful candidates. First, it’s important to have a strong portfolio and personal design website. We test our candidates to ensure that they have good logic, are self-driven, and enjoy pushing boundaries. They must have a passion and an interest in creating filters, as we believe this leads our artists to create the best designs. Finally, as a team of designers, we are also all very imaginative. We look for this in all of our candidates.”


Right now creating TikTok filters and effects is availabe only from this countries: China, Hongkong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, United Kingdom, France and Italy (11.10.2020.) In the near future we will see even more countries on this list.

We can help you of course to build and upload TikTOk filters and effects through our partners, so please send us a message.

TikTok for Developers