Guide to An­i­moji

Are you dy­ing to record An­i­moji Karaoke? Ja­son Cross shows how

iPad&iPhone user - - FEATURE -

Atalk­ing fox. A pig do­ing stand-up. A singing pile of poo. A ro­bot recit­ing slam po­etry. You’re go­ing to see all th­ese things and more all over your iMes­sages and so­cial me­dia feeds in the com­ing months. They’re called ‘An­i­moji’ and they’re Ap­ple’s friv­o­lous, fun, and down­right ad­dic­tive way to show off the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the TrueDepth cam­era in the iPhone X.

If you want to know how they work and what you can do with them, read on. Once you learn a few tricks,

they’re a lot more flex­i­ble and fun than just send­ing an iMes­sage to your friend as a talk­ing pig.

What are An­i­moji?

The word An­i­moji is a port­man­teau of ‘an­i­mated’ and ‘emoji’, and that’s ex­actly what th­ese are. It’s a fea­ture ex­clu­sive to the iPhone X that uses the front-fac­ing TrueDepth cam­era to scan your face and make an emoji fol­low your fa­cial ex­pres­sions and mouth po­si­tion.

When you talk, or squint, or shake your head, the An­i­moji will do the ex­act same thing.

An­i­moji and Face ID data

No. No apps can use your Face ID data. The op­er­at­ing sys­tem doesn’t even have ac­cess to it. It’s locked away in the Se­cure En­clave on your iPhone, and is never sent to Ap­ple nor shared with any apps at all. De­vel­op­ers do, how­ever, have ac­cess to the TrueDepth cam­era through the ARKit in­ter­face, which takes the reg­u­lar front-fac­ing cam­era in­put and com­bines it with a course 3D mesh of your face. They can’t use this info to un­lock your phone, or an­a­lyse it to pro­duce a set of data that could un­lock your phone. In prac­tice, it’s not re­ally more dan­ger­ous than tak­ing a selfie. In other words, An­i­moji (and other apps) use the same hard­ware as Face ID, but Face ID is a dif­fer­ent, to­tally sep­a­rate set of data.

Where to find them

An­i­moji are found in the iMes­sage app, built right in to iOS 11 on the iPhone X. Just launch Mes­sages, and then start a new mes­sage or open a thread to re­ply to some­one. Look for the lit­tle mon­key face at the bot­tom

(if you don’t see it, tap the grey App Store icon next to the mes­sage line). Tap the mon­key to get into An­i­moji. Once you start up the iMes­sage app, you’ll no­tice that the an­i­mated char­ac­ter be­gins track­ing your fa­cial ex­pres­sions and mouth move­ment. Press the red but­ton to record, or scroll through the list on the left to change char­ac­ters. Tap the up ar­row to make the An­i­moji app win­dow big­ger, so you can more eas­ily see all the avail­able emoji.

Which emo­jis are avail­able as An­i­moji?

Ap­ple hasn’t made ev­ery emoji into an an­i­mated 3D car­toon, but were sure more would be added soon.

How long can an An­i­moji record­ing be?

An­i­moji record­ings are lim­ited to just 10 sec­onds. That’s enough for a quick mes­sage to your friend, but not nearly long enough to sing a song, or de­liver one of your favourite movie mono­logues.

How to An­i­moji save record­ings

Once you have sent an An­i­moji mes­sage, or if you re­ceive one, tap on it to play it. You’ll no­tice a Share but­ton in the lower left.

Tap the Share but­ton. Then tap Save Video. Now it’s in your cam­era roll.

How to use An­i­moji in other apps

You’ll do the same thing as the above step, only in­stead of press­ing Save Video, you’ll press the share icon of what­ever so­cial me­dia or other app you want to use.

If the app doesn’t have a share icon, no prob­lem – just Save Video, then open up the app you want to use and de­ploy your An­i­moji record­ing ex­actly as you would any other video.

How to make An­i­moji Karaoke

An­i­moji Karaoke, where peo­ple lip-sync to their favourite tunes us­ing An­i­moji and share them on so­cial net­works, is grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity. But how do you sing along to your favourite song if An­i­moji record­ings can only be 10 sec­onds long?

You go around the time limit us­ing iOS 11’s built-in screen record­ing.

Step 1: Find a song and play it from a source other than your iPhone X. Mu­sic play­back stops when the An­i­moji in­ter­face comes up, so you’ll need to play it from an­other sound source, loud enough for your iPhone’s mi­cro­phone to clearly hear. Step 2: Open up Mes­sages and the An­i­moji in­ter­face. Pick your An­i­moji.

Step 3: Open Con­trol Cen­tre (swipe down from the up­per-right edge of the screen) and tap on the screen record­ing but­ton. You may want to press firmly to open the 3D Touch in­ter­face for it, and make sure the Mi­cro­phone Au­dio op­tion is On.

Step 4: Close con­trol Cen­tre and per­form your lip-sync. Don’t bother press­ing the An­i­moji record but­ton. When you’re done, press the side but­ton (which stops screen record­ing with­out open­ing Con­trol Cen­tre).

Step 5: You now have a full-screen cap­ture stored to your iPhone. You’ll need to edit it down, though. You can trim the ends eas­ily enough us­ing Pho­tos on your

iPhone, or iMovie. But if you want to re­ally crop out the An­i­moji and re­move all the in­ter­face stuff, you’ll need to down­load an­other app.

That’s the quick­est and eas­i­est way to make An­i­moji Karaoke. If you re­ally want it to look at sound great, you should use a video edit­ing pro­gram to re­place the au­dio track with a qual­ity record­ing. And you can use a split-screen ef­fect to use mul­ti­ple An­i­moji record­ings to do duets, too.

Record your An­i­moji Karaoke per­for­mance with screen recorder, and edit it later

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