This isn’t your average thrift store Halloween face paint. It’s also not a computer animated creation, devoid of any living human life. No, this a combination of the two, a fusing of man (or in this case woman) and computer using digital makeup — and it’s a long way from the face paint of your childhood.
Unlike traditional face paint — which is an incredibly meticulous process to apply — not to mention that it makes your face feel like a dried up lake bed — Japanese artist Nobumichi Asai can create nearly any character in seconds with this electronic makeup, and the process itself is incredibly beautiful and actually kind of trippy to watch. Asai uses a special digital makeup that has the ability to use real-time image tracking and projection mapping over an image — in this case, a woman’s face –to create a shapeshifting mask. It’s an incredible process that allows the model’s facial makeup to change instantly, almost like it’s alive.
The process is called projection mapping, and permits the model’s facial makeupt to change in real-time, providing the near CGI-like effect. FastCo. reports that the process works a bit like laying 2-D images over a still 3-D images, using the Omote software package. This combined with facial tracking has allowed Asai to use this projected digital makeup on a living model. It can be done so quickly and with such detail that it takes on an almost CGI effect — making the possibility for one hell of a cool Halloween costume. You could literally morph from one creature to the next within seconds: goblin, animal, robot, you get the idea. Before you get your hopes up of having the perfect makeup for this year’s Halloween party, you should know that the process only works on still objects.
Yes, unfortunately for the time being, it only works well on non-moving models, but it’s still fascinating to think about what developments this sort of makeup artistry might go through. Who knows, it very well could one day be common place for live performances, transforming an actor or musician into something entirely new.
Omote’s real-time face tracking and projection mapping will have a demonstration for a live audience in Japan later this month. For now, check out more of artist Nobumichi Asai’s website here.