Animoji - The Ultimate Guide on Apple's Animated Emojis - iPhoneHeat

Animoji – The Ultimate Guide on Apple’s Animated Emojis

Animoji is one of the star features that Apple introduced with iPhone X. It has become very popular among those who have already bought the shiny new iPhone X. The new Animoji feature makes use of the TrueDepth camera system on your iPhone X to create and share animated characters that not only mirror your facial expressions but also use your voice. Some people have also gone to the extent of creating their own Animoji karaoke!

Here we are going to break down everything that is to know about Apple’s Animoji feature that is currently exclusive to iPhone X.

animoji the ultimate guideTopic Covered

What is Animoji?

As the name suggests, the Animojis are animated emoji characters that you can create and share on your iPhone X. The Animojis takes advantage of Apple’s new True Depth camera technology which is capable of mapping over 50 different muscles on your face. After capturing those facial muscle movements, it then applies them to a 3D emoji character of your choice. These Animoji characters are made to mirror any of your facial movement in real time; such as tilting your head, blinking, talking, and even raising your eyebrows.

Animoji Compatibility

Animoji works only on devices with TrueDepth camera support such as iPhone X. Any iPhone or iPad with TrueDepth camera technology can send or receive Animoji through an iMessage.

While Apple claims that Animoji makes use of TrueDepth camera system to replicate the facial expressions and movement, some quick hands-on tests appear to show that the feature works even when the IR blaster unique to iPhone X is covered.

Even when the infrared camera which is exclusive to iPhone X, for now, is covered, the Animoji facial tracking keeps working reliably. This raises the question that is Apple artificially limiting Animoji to its most expensive iPhone? Continue reading to find out more.

Devices running iOS 11 can receive the Animoji.

How Animoji uses TrueDepth camera system

According to Apple, Animoji depends on the TrueDepth camera system to work. The TrueDepth camera system consists of the front camera, infrared camera, dot projector, flood illuminator, ambient light and proximity sensors, speaker, and microphone.  In combination with the latest A11 Bionic chipset, the TrueDepth camera system “captures and analyzes more than 50 different muscle movements” to create facial expressions and movements of your face.

It’s worth noting that iPhone X is not the only iPhone with A11 Bionic chipset; iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus also features the same Apple chipset. So, the question here is that why does Animoji appear to be working when only the RGB camera is exposed while the IR camera is covered?

Despite the fact that Animoji appears to be working under RGB camera only, to our understanding, it does indeed depend on the IR and RGB cameras to work properly. The IR camera of the TrueDepth camera system fires up to create a depth map of your face as captured on video.

The difference between IR + RGB Animoji and RGB only Animoji appears to be performance related. The performance of Animoji when the IR camera is covered would greatly vary under different environment while Animoji on iPhone X with IR blaster offers a smooth and consistent experience for users today.

There are apps available in App Store such as SUPERMOJI that can create an Animoji-like experience on an iPhone or iPad running iOS 11. But one thing you’d note with such apps is that the performance is not as smooth as the real thing on iPhone X.

Apple has not yet provided an in-depth technical explanation of under the hood working of Animoji and we do not expect Apple to disclose her behind-the-scene Animoji trick to competitors in great detail.

Let’s get our hands dirty with everything related o Animoji starting with how to create one.

Which Emoji characters are available as Animoji?

Apple did not make all the emoji characters into a 3D animated cartoon. For now, there is a dozen of Animojis available for compatible devices. These characters are as follows:

fox animoji

Fox Animoji

unicorn animoji

Unicorn Animoji

poo animoji

Poo Animoji

dog anomoji

Dog Animoji

robot animoji

Robot Animoji

monkey animoji

Monkey Animoji

chicken animoji

Chicken Animoji

rabbit animoji

Rabbit Animoji

panda animoji

Panda Animoji

alien animoji

Alien Animoji

Pig Animoji

rabbit animoji

Rabbit Animoji

Given the facts that how popular these little-animated characters have become, I am sure Apple will be adding more Animojis to iOS.

How to Create an Animoji

With any iOS device with Animoji feature, you can create and share custom animated characters in Messages app as an iMessage. These Animoji characters will use your facial expression and voice as well. Before you can share or do anything with an Animoji, you have to create one first. Let’s do exactly that.

  1. Open Messages app on your device.
  2. Create a new message or tap on an existing conversation.
  3. Tap on the App Store icon on the left side of the text field.
  4. Tap on the Animoji app. You can find it by swiping along the app tray.
  5. You can choose an Animoji from the vertical list of characters on the left side of the screen. There are currently twelve Animoji characters to choose from. You can see an Animoji in fullscreen glory by tapping on the upwardly-pointed arrow.
  6. Make sure you’re looking straight into the device and your face is inside the frame. Tap on the shutter button to start the Animoji recording. This should begin recording all your facial expressions, movements and the voice.
    Note: An Animoji can be up to 10 seconds in length.
  7. You can stop Animoji recording by tapping on shutter icon again.
    create animoji recording
  8. Tap on the circular arrow icon to preview your newly created Animoji.
    Note: After recording your Animoji, you can switch between different characters and your already recorded movements, expressions and voice will automatically sync to the newly selected character.
    sync animoji recording with another character
  9. To send the Animoji to a friend in an iMessage, tap on the blue Send button. Devices running iOS 11 can receive the Animoji.
  10. To delete the Animoji and start over, tap the trash button.
    Send or delete animoji

How to create an Animoji sticker

Other than creating an sending Animoji as a video, Apple also allows you to create a static sticker depicting your special facial expressions and movements. Creating an Animoji sticker involves the following steps:

  1. Open Messages app on your Animoji compatible device.
  2. Tap on the App Store icon on the left side of the text field.
  3. Tap on the Animoji app. You can find it by swiping along the app tray.
  4. Select your desired Animoji from the vertical characters list on the left side.
  5. Make sure you’re looking straight into the device and your face is inside the frame. Now, strike a pose.
  6. Once you get your desired expressions in the character, drag the sticker from the bottom into the conversation area and drop it.
    how to create animoji sticker

How to save an Animoji recording

Once you’ve sent or received an Animoji, you can save it as a video in your Camera Roll. Saving an Animoji in Camera Roll for later viewing involves the following steps:

  1. Open Messages app and open the conversation/message thread that contains the Animoji you would like to save.
  2. Tap and hold on the Animoji. This should bring up a popup menu.
  3. Tap on Save.
    Alternatively, tap on Animoji to play it in fullscreen mode and use the multipurpose Share menu to save it. On any device with 3D Touch, deep press on an Animoji, swipe up, and tap save.
  4. Your saved Animoji goes under Videos album in the stock Photos app.

How to share Animoji recording

Forward Animoji as a Message

Animoji is exclusive to Messages app and that’s where you can forward any sent or received Animoji to a friend or family member:

  1. Launch Messages app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Open the conversation containing the Animoji that you want to share.
  3. Tap on the desired Animoji in the conversation.
  4. Tap on the share button at the bottom-left corner that looks like a square with an arrow pointing out of it.
  5. Now you can choose to share it through any app or the share extension of the social network.

Sharing a saved Animoji from Camera Roll

iOS also allows you to share any saved Animoji from your Camera Roll just like a video or photo. Since it is saved as a video, you can share it on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or more.

  1. Launch the Photos app.
  2. Go to Videos album and look for your saved Animoji and tap on the Animoji video.
  3. Tap on the share button at the bottom-left corner that looks like a square with an arrow pointing out of it.
  4. Now you can choose to share it through any app or the share extension of the social network.

Animoji FAQ

How long can an Animoji recording be?

Apple has limited the length of Animoji recordings to 10 seconds. This is enough to record and send a quick message to your loved ones. However, it is not long enough to sing and record your favourite song, or deliver your favourite movie monologues.

Can I switch Animoji characters after I record?

Yes, you can switch between characters even after recording the Animoji. Before sending the recorded Animoji, simply choose a different character and your recorded expressions and voice will automatically sync with that new character. There is no need to re-record the same expression with another Animoji. But keep in mind that you can do that only before sending the Animoji.

Can I create an iMessage sticker like Animoji sticker?

Yes, Apple allows you to send an Animoji as a static sticker in an iMessage. When you’re in Animoji interface, select your character, strike a pose, and drag the Animoji up into the messaging area. You have just sent an Animoji sticker. For detailed step-by-step instructions, please navigate to the concerned section.

Which emoji characters are available as Animoji?

You can find the list of all emoji characters available as a 3D animated character called Animoji in iOS here.

Wrap Up

Animoji is an interesting new addition to iOS that you will become accustomed to in no time. Apple is promoting Animoji as its one of the main selling points and it turned out to be a huge iPhone X selling point for many because these are available on iPhone X only for now.

However, it remains to be seen if Animoji fad will fade completely over time or this will become a part of iPhone user’s daily life. Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Also, let us know your favourite Animoji character