snapchat lens studio
Snapchat announced the new Lens Studio on Dec. 14, 2017. The studio allows users to create their own augmented reality lenses. Snapchat

The Snapchat community mourned the loss of the dancing hot dog when it disappeared from the app in September. The little dude accompanied Snapchat users while they were shopping, enjoying a meal and even dance battled them before it was removed from the app. But now, there’s a way to get it back, users can design their own hot dogs, or make something even better.

Snapchat announced Thursday that it created and release the “Lens Studio.” The studio is an app, made for Mac and Windows desktop computers and it allows users to create their own augmented reality lenses to use in their Snaps. Those are the animated lenses that add things like the dancing hot dog, or a moving Bitmoji to user Snaps.

Snap is essentially using this platform to crowdsource its new AR lenses by making it super easy for users to create them. The app became available for download online for users after Thursday's announcement.

How to create an AR lens for Snapchat with the Lens Studio:

First users will have to design the two or three-dimensional creature, person, or item that they want to add to their Snaps. Then they can import it to the Lens Studio.

The second step is to add the movement, animation, and interactive triggers to the animation. This means users can make the animation move or for example, dance, when it’s tapped or placed down in a Snap.

Once users do this they can preview the lens on their phone and then they can submit it for publication. Snapchat will then review it and if it gets approved then Snap will send a Snapcode that should let users share the lenses they've made with anyone, according to Snapchat.

Guides on the Lens Studio site help users figure out how to use the Lens Studio and the tools available through it. It also helps users figure out how to do everything from exporting their animations to adding the animation. Information about the difference between a lens and a filter is also available here. The main distinction is that filters are added on afterward and lenses are used while the Snap is being captured.

To get people involved Snapchat is also creating lens submission challenges. The first will be a challenge for New Year’s spirit, the winning designers get a swag bag that includes an iPad Pro, not to mention the lens might end up in every Snapchatters app.