Projection mapping and face tracking tech blur fantasy and reality

[From RocketNews24, where the story includes the 2:19 minute video (via Vimeo), along with many images from it]

Omote realtime face tracking

Amazing real-time projection mapping technology blurs line between fantasy and reality [Video]

Kay August 24, 2014

Projection mapping is a technology we seem to be hearing about quite often these days, and you may have seen it being used at various events or amusement park shows. But the video that we’re sharing with you today makes use of a highly unexpected and unusual surface to create a series of projection mapped images quite unlike anything we’ve seen before. In fact, the technology used in the video is so visually convincing that it seems to blur the line between reality and fantasy, and once you see it, we think you’ll be impressed by it too!

The video, which was created jointly by Japanese projection mapping specialist Nobumichi Asai and make-up artist Hiroto Kuwahara along with French digital image engineer Paul Lacroix, is titled Omote (), which is a word that refers to the mask used in the traditional Japanese musical drama of Noh. The amazing footage in the video was made by combining projection mapping with a real-time face tracking technology, and according to Asai, who has experience mapping notable office buildings in Tokyo, the concept is using projection to draw a virtual mask onto a human face.

As you’ll see, the actual images in the video are of the face of a woman without any make-up on, whose appearance is dramatically transformed with projection mapping. The shape of her eyebrows, the color of her lipstick and even the color of her eyes are seamlessly transformed during the course of the video. And because the image is projected onto the face using face tracking technology, the projection stays in place and the illusion is never broken, even when the woman’s face moves. It really looks as if the woman has become something otherworldly!

The video has already attracted a huge amount of attention from around the world and has been viewed over 4 million times in the week since it was uploaded. Viewers from various countries have posted comments, some asking in wonder how this was technically done, and others saying they’d love to be contacted if there are plans to make a similar video again.

[Screenshots] from the video to give you a taste of the visual magic involved. See the shape of the woman’s eyebrow change from a rounded arch shape to a sharp straight line and her lipstick change color from a light, pinkish-red to a dark almost blackish red. It’s almost like she’s putting on a robotic mask with a cyborg-like look.The pearly appearance of her face is beautiful — she really does look like a life-form from another world.

We’re sure there are many ways this technology could be developed and used. It should certainly have exciting possibilities in theater, where for example, you would be able to transform a person into a cyborg right on stage, without any tricks or backstage costume/make-up changes. Or, using it in something like a Lady Gaga concert should result in some absolutely amazing entertainment.

There may even come a day when you can be working at your desk at the office without wearing any make-up and still be projection mapped to look like you’re expertly made-up. Now, wouldn’t that be convenient? Yes, the possibilities certainly seem endless!


Reference and information contributed by:  Nobumichi Asai
Original article by:  FelixSayaka © Pouch
Read in Japanese

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