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How to Use the Clips AR Spaces Effect with LiDAR

9th May 2021

Jacob Woolcock



Clips can now use the power of the LiDAR Scanner in iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Pro (2020 and 2021) to scan your room and create powerful and fun effects that react to the environment you’re in. They’ll even react to people in shot! This opens up some fun and creative uses for LiDAR which suggest a very powerful future for this clever technology.

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In my opinion, Clips is one of the most creative apps from Apple right now.

Here’s a quick guide to how the AR Spaces feature works. When you’re in Clips, you’re going to press onto the Effects Star button and, as long as you’re using a device with a LiDAR Scanner—so an iPhone 12 Pro or a relatively new iPad Pro—you’ll see the new AR Spaces option. Tap onto here, and you’ll be prompted to gently move your device around to scan the room. This will use the LiDAR Scanner to map out the 3D space you’re in, as well as identifying objects like walls, floors, and flat surfaces. It’ll work in daytime or at night because it’s using LiDAR, not the camera.

Then, you can jump through the different effects using the buttons at the bottom of the app. I’m sure over time even more effects will be added here, but to start with, there’s a solid selection of options to transform your space. I really like the Confetti, which will sit on the tables, chairs, and floor, and the Dance Floor as well, which goes underneath your furniture. Plus, the Stardust option is great because it’ll interact with people in the frame.

In fact, that’s something worth focusing on for a moment because of the ‘People Occlusion’ feature in ARKit, these effects will interact with (and around) people on the camera. So you can stand on the Dance Floor, the Lasers will go behind, not over you, and sparkling lights can follow you around as you move.

As you can see, it’s a great fun feature, and when you’ve found the effect you like, you can swipe down on that bar to bring back the recording options, and then you can record your clip as normal. It’ll make your videos look really dynamic and fun, but sadly, it won’t help improve your own dance moves!

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