One of the fun parts of Samsung’s new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ phones is the new AR Emoji feature. You can use the AR Emoji mode of the S9’s camera app to track your facial expressions and map them onto an existing cartoon characters (including a certain famous mouse in an upcoming update), or you can point the camera at yourself or a friend to create an AR Emoji in that likeness.
It’s the last part we’ve had a little bit of fun with today. You don’t have to point the camera at someone who’s standing right in front of you – turns out, you can use a photo of someone else. Maybe that photo could be someone famous. Maybe even someone fictional?
We thought we’d start with Tony Stark.
The AR Emoji system tends to remove or drastically reduce facial hair, so Tony Stark’s (aka Robert Downey Jr) trademark goatee gets reduced to a little bit of a blur on the emoji character’s chin. Still, he gets to wear a suit so thats cool.
I figured that doing more Marvel heroes would probably not work due to costumes and disguises, so turned my attention to celebrities. How about George Clooney?
AR Emojis tend to come out significantly younger. Complexion isn’t really reflected, and again, facial hair is often not carried across. George Clooney kind of looks like he might in a comic.
Turning our attention to real people now, we thought we’d go straight to the top with Donald Trump.
Trump looks somewhat recogniseable because of the treatment the AR Emoji system gave his eyes, and of course the flame red (orange) hair. It also helps that his AR Emoji doesn’t look too happy (literally the only time I’ve ever seen an AR Emoji look unhappy).
If we’re being critical, he might be a cross of the actual Donald Trump and MAD Magazine’s Alfred E Neuman.
Can’t go on without looking at the former leader of the free world, so here’s how AR Emoji saw Barack Obama.
Not sure we’ve really captured Obama here, short of some … er … stereotypes. Still, if you put these guys next to each other it becomes a little more obvious!
At Dan’s prompting, I also threw together an AR Emoji for Kim Jong Un…
… and our own PM, Malcolm Turnbull.
Finally, I thought I’d try The Doctor. We’re between Doctors though, and to be honest the AR Emoji for Peter Capaldi’s Doctor didn’t really work out so well. The hair options are a little bit limited and can’t handle the wild hairstyle his Doctor featured towards the end of Series 10. So I threw a picture of David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor in.
Can’t do a former Doctor without the new Doctor. Pictures of Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor are slim, so I used one of the announce pics from a few months ago.
I think the AR Emoji system needs a little better handling for “blonde” – something that’s a lighter colour between bright yellow and light brown would work well.
Samsung told us at the Australian launch event for the Galaxy S9 the other night that there’s an update to the AR Emoji system coming that will produce 50 stickers per character instead of the 18 we’ve shown here. I’m hoping it’ll also bring a few more options for customisation in terms of hair style and colour, and also allow me to edit the facial structure more directly (kind of like Nintendo’s Mii characters).
Either way, this is all in fun, and its an indication of some of the options available when creating an AR Emoji. You might want to grab some of these stickers to use as your own reaction GIFs. And hey, while you’re here, sorry about the clickbait headline! 😉