Electronic makeup: The next level of CG
The next level of computer graphics is taking to new heights. Electronic makeup is seeing the light of day, which enables the person to change their makeup within seconds. In future, when this technology is more practical and cheaper, the artist in front of the camera will not need to wear any makeup. Instead the artist will have to have a clean-shaved face and the makeup will be projected on the face, using it as a projection screen.
The electronic makeup makes use of a 3D scanner and series of projectors, all connected to a powerful computer. The face is marked with small dots, which are actually reflectors that help in 3D scanning. A 3D camera then traces these dots and its movements to make up a 3D image of the face, marking the eyes, nose, lips, facial curves, etc (indirectly, the entire facial structure). The computer gets the input data and feeds it to the software where the computer operator can tweak it, add colour or change the look with 3D rendered drawings for the final look of the face. This final image is then projected with the help of a few projectors, from different angles, on the artist’s face. The final look is changes and you can see it for yourself. The images can be manipulated within seconds and one can make vast virtual changes to the facial structure within seconds. This eliminates the artist sitting through painful hours of makeup, each day, before the final shot.
3D rendering to change the look of a human face will take on new levels with it moving towards the entire body. The future of movies and computer graphics is here, and is arriving sooner than we think. Gone will be the days when CG-based movies take time to be produced and movies will be released faster than usual.
The technology is already in use and one can see the electronic makeup in action. Cars are launched in a similar fashion with the entire body of the vehicle covered with a thin white sheet used as the projection screen. A series of projectors then project the image on the car to make it look real. However, since the car is stationary, it is easier to execute the task. In case of humans, the subject (projection screen) is constantly moving and 3D cameras and the projectors need to be faster to track changes and project the image accordingly.