ACM - Computers in Entertainment

A Façade of Flawless Perfection: Makeup Metamorphosis Project

By Newton Lee, Ashley Yeo

On May 16, 2013 in Los Angeles, the Joe Blasco Makeup Metamorphosis Project did a stunning demonstration morphing guests into work of art, like those seen in the movies.

From Frodo’s elf-like appearances in “Lord of the Rings” to Lord Voldemort’s snake-like face in “Harry Potter,” computer technology has worked a long way with make-up artists just to create the right kind of look for huge Hollywood movies. The actor behind Lord Voldemort, Ralph Finnes, had his make-up applied professionally the normal way before stepping onto the set, and with a little hocus-pocus from computer software, his nose was digitally altered to appear flat in the final movie product of the “Harry Potter” films.

Make-up artists working on movie casts no longer have to apply foundation across the whole body. Make-up applied from the top of the head to the bottom of the breastbone, fingertips to wrists and from toes to ankles is all that is required to turn actor, Edward Norton, into The Incredible Hulk. Movies like the latter that require special effects, such as “Hell Boy” and “The Nutty Professor,” will see actors wearing foam prosthetic pieces and even water balloons, to make the digitally altered, final computer-generated image look convincing.

More than ever, we have our doubts on what is real and where to draw the line between actual, physically applied make-up and a digitally altered model.

But the advancements in technology no longer require a professionally skilled make-up artist to create a great look on the face of a Plain Jane. Presently, there are computer software programs that allow users to digitally capture a 3-D image of their face, the program then measures “complexion, shadows, and lines” to provide the best make-up solution to any type of occasion. The ability of the software to make one’s face to the stored database of 60 pre-programmed models is astonishing, and it goes on to automatically detect freckles and moles before advising the user on the best make-up pattern. Of course, the strokes on places on her face may not be as perfect as the work a professional make-up artist on a movie set would do, but this new-age technology does place many others one step closer to perfection.

Here are some of the stunning makeup demonstrations by Joe Blasco’s makeup studio.




(All photos by Newton Lee.)