I experimented with transparent images to see what I could do. Invisibility, 3D pictures, photo to art and animations from still images.
The TikTok Invisible Filter
Show the palm of your hand, and the TikTok filter adds an invisible effect. You disappear until you turn it off by showing the palm of you hand again. Becoming invisible on camera is an interesting effect. It has the wow factor.
There are different ways to disappear. I usually use a see-through transparent effect with a background image or video. You see through me like an intangible ghost. This filter detects the foreground and covers it with the background from the same image.
Instead of making it look like you are no longer in the picture you are very visible but covered with colors from the area around you. It sounds like a contradiction but you want people to see that you are not visible. Like the invisible man wearing pants, you want to be seen and hidden at the same time.
The mask covering your body is interesting to look at, and all you needed to do was show the palm of your hand. It seemed great at first.
People started copying each other. Most of the videos I saw were different people doing the same thing. Out of the 20 videos I watched, one person stood out because they did something different.
Based on the icon, the idea was to become invisible and dance. Someone came up with the idea to take their clothes off. You see people doing one of those options or a combination.
The filter does not cover you 100% of the time; some people made mistakes, and other people just wanted to get more views. So some of the results were not rated PG. People started searching for failed attempts and ways to remove the filter from recorded videos.
In the end, a fun filter was associated with adult content, and it was encouraging young people to get undressed while they were recording themselves. I had a hard time finding a video that was appropriate for this website. You can see it below.
A Lack of Imagination or a Lack of Options?
I'm Invisible; What Do I Do Now?
Invisibility is an amazing effect. While sitting at my computer and displaying a view from my webcam, I could see through me. After becoming transparent for the first time, my first thought was, "Wow, this is amazing." The second was, "What do I do now?"
I could sit in my computer chair or walk around. It was hard to think of different things to do in front of my webcam. So I added more options to my invisible filter. Now I could turn a towel into an invisibility cloak or see through my blue shirt while the rest of me was still visible.
More Options, More Original Ideas
If a filter or effect only has one option, then coming up with original ideas is difficult. When that filter is popular, people end up copying each other. Giving people more options allows them to use their imagination. You make original content by making a series of choices.
To use the TikTok invisible effect, you needed to be in the foreground close to the camera, and you could only turn the filter on and off. It was a good effect, but people did not know what to do with it. They had trouble coming up with good ideas.
TikTok Invisible Challenge Fail
The one and only TikTok invisible challenge was to flash the camera without actually showing anything. People were already trying to do that. An invisible challenge fail resulted in a video that you should probably delete, but "TikTok invisible filter fail" and "invisible challenge fail" were popular search terms.
As a challenge, it failed. Most of the people posting videos were misusing it, and other people were saying the filter could be removed from videos. So it was removed from TikTok.
A better challenge would have been to think of original ideas. Find a really interesting background, do something different, or use some props. If I could start a similar challenge, it would be to make spooky see-through ghost videos and GIFs.
The Good and the Bad
Great foreground detection
Need to stay in the foreground
Trigger the effect with your palm
You need to show your palm
Simple and easy to use
Lack of options leads to people doing the same thing
Interesting masking effect covers your body
The mask is often used like a censor blur
Does not need background image
Can not do a real see-through effect
Effect is obvious
Still visible, just covered
The Problem With Popular Filters
A filter becomes popular. Then the internet gets flooded with variations of the same image or video. You search Google or YouTube and find pages and pages of duplicate content.
Duplicate content is bad. When using popular filters, try to make something that will stand out. Experiment to see if you can create something you have not seen 100 times before. If you are copying someone else, try to find a way to make a better version.
The more popular a filter is, the harder it is to create original content.
People are searching for popular filters. So you may want use the keywords and hashtags. Just remember that a copy of a copy is not worth very much. Add some value to it.
Most of the popular filters are simple and really easy to use. You can replace the word popular with common. Words that mean the opposite of common include rare, exceptional, extraordinary and valuable. One way to add value is to do something hard, so it is not easy to copy.
Get Off Your Phone
Phones have very small screens, they don't have a mouse, and they don't have an actual keyboard. Apps designed for phones need to be simplified. When you use a phone to edit photos and videos, it limits your options.
You might want to record the video with a laptop webcam, GoPro or a regular digital camera. A smart phone is convenient and good for close up selfies. I like that you can see yourself while you are recording the video. With a digital camera you can capture a larger area at a higher resolution.
Smart phones are convenient, but a lot of things are easier to do on a laptop or desktop computer.
- How to Make and Use a Transparent Image
Transparent background images focus on the subject and they are easy to edit. You can quickly add them to other pictures or turn them into an animation. See through photos can be merged with other images. Learn how to make and use transparent picture
- How to Make GIFs From Videos and Photos
I started making animations while I was learning how to make 3D images. Learn how to make animated GIFs from your videos and photos.
- Best Photo Filters
Make cool pictures using photo filters. Change the colors to make them look more interesting. Transform your old pictures into new ones. You can do a lot with a digital image.
Using Invisibility Effects
I recommend using invisible filters on short videos and GIFs. You don't really need any sound. Focus on quickly showing off the effect. Combine some videos together or show off different filters to make it longer.
The hard part is coming up with unique ideas. Try out different themes and experiment. Change the background, change your outfits and try different actions. If you run out of ideas, you can try out the different options or use another filter.
TikTok is a very popular app that had a nice filter, but there are lots of ways to become invisible on camera. Different types of effects allow you to do different things. You don't always need to remain in the foreground, and you don't need to camouflage yourself with colors from the area around you.
I created my invisible filter in 2019 before I heard about TikTok and before I knew how to use foreground detection. When I noticed they had their own version, I was impressed. It made me want to learn how to do foreground detection. Then I noticed that the videos people made with it were too similar.
Now when I search for terms like "invisible filter" or "invisible effect," almost all of the results are related to the TikTok app. The filter was removed. If it was still available, the new videos would probably look like the old ones.
Most people don't know that there are other invisibility apps. I am biased, but the main point of this article is to get people to try to make original content. Don't just copy people, and don't ruin a fun filter by doing things that are not allowed on the site that is hosting the app.
Check out How to Become Invisible on Camera to learn about the other types of effects you could be using. I think more people should use invisibility effects on photos and videos to make something new.
I never got to use the TikTok invisible filter. All the information I have was from watching the videos and reading about it. The first and last images on this page are from videos I made with an unfinished filter that I started working on a few days ago while learning how to use foreground detection.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Michael H