It’s like something out of a sci-fi movie! Watch this model’s facial features transform into a variety of surreal incarnations, including a cyborg and a rippling pool of water.
The project is called Omote and is a collaboration between Japanese filmmaker Nobumichi Asai, make-up artist Hiroto Kuwahara and French digital image engineer Paul Lacroix. The process is a combination of projection mapping and motion capture technology, which creates a form of ‘digital make-up’ on the subjects face, which moves when they do.
Sounds complicated doesn’t it! So, how does Omote work in Layman’s terms?
First of all, the face is scanned with impressive accuracy using face-tracking mechanics.
This is a form of motion capture technology, where a computer records the movement of objects – in this case a person – using reflective markers (the shiny dots on the model’s face).
Next a range of stunning masks are simulated on the face using a projector, which move when the subject does.
The technique sounds so much simpler when narrowed down to these two steps, but it really isn’t an easy thing to accomplish! To make this happen, the artists have to generate 3D rendered images into real-time.
In other words, they use specialised software to map objects onto a virtual programme which mimics the environment it is projected on to create an augmented reality.
My brain hurts just thinking about it!
More impressively, the artists have experimented with a wide range of different looks including bold make-up:
And a cyborg/android-like creature.
However, projection mapping isn’t really a new thing. It’s been around in various forms since the 1960s, although combining it with the more modern invention of motion capture technology is a pretty smart thing to do!
Could this be the make-up of the future?