Augmented Reality can be used for serious applications but also for fun. Besides taking photos with Captain America or inviting a panda into your living room, you can now bring your doodles to life and use them to add a bit of flair to your photos and videos thanks to a new app, DoodleLens. The concept is similar to Google's own Just a Line, but instead of scribbling on a screen, you can take your time to create more elaborate drawings on paper and apply several edits and animations to them.
The app is quite simple to grasp. After checking a few onboarding screens and approving some permission requests, you're left with the open camera and three buttons. One instantly copies what the camera sees into a doodle, the second captures a video of the doodle placed in your environment, and the third opens the menu. We'll focus on the copy interface first. You just have to make sure you put your doodle in focus in front of your phone, then tap copy. The app is surprisingly good at detecting what's a drawing and what's just background, so your doodle is immediately digitalized and stored. You can change its color, flip it, make it two-sided, and invert the copy, before tapping to paste it in your surroundings.
Notice how the digital doodle (orange) is very close to the original drawing (green).
Don't worry about exact location and orientation when pasting though, as you can always tap to move it around, rotate it, pinch-to-zoom to change its size, and either delete or duplicate it in the scene. It's possible to repeat the same process for as many doodles as you want, and even to use an advanced copy mode to animate a doodle by taking consecutive copies of different drawings. The app stores all your doodles in the menu, so you can always use an old favorite in a new environment, without having to draw it again.
Left: Move and edit a doodle. Middle: Advanced copy for animated doodles. Right: Menu.
Once done, you can take a screenshot or tap to capture the scene in a video, showing how the doodles animate or how they stay in place even when you move around.
My doodling abilities are pretty limited, but I had a lot of fun sketching and pasting things around me. But if you'd like to see the app's real potential in the hands of someone who knows how to draw more than stick figures, you can check out the video below:
If you like to draw or have kids that enjoy it, you can grab the app from the Play Store for $2, with no additional in-app purchase required. But keep in mind that DoodleLens uses Google's ARCore for its augmented reality aspect, so your device needs to be supported for the app to work.