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Projection Mapping Can Hack and Rewrite Your Face

Nobumichi Asai has done it again. His latest short film showing the power of face hacking is astounding and mesmerizing.

Projection mapping, also called video mapping, is a technology that uses irregular, three dimensional objects as a surface for video projection. Specialized software can track a moving surface and alter the projection so the image is as crisp and perfect as though it were projected on a flat, even screen.

Asai is a Japanese CGI expert who uses projection mapping to digitally change his subjects’ faces. Along with a team of developers, Asai has created a real-time face tracking and projection technology that they imagine as the future of face hacking.

Two subjects sitting side by side with their eyes closed have tracking dots on their faces. Against the dark background, vibrant masks are projected onto their faces, masks that don’t waiver or get distorted as they move their heads. The images are anything from robotic masks to soft makeup to animal-print faces. But they aren’t static. The masks transition from one to the next, painting lines over the subject’s face or slowly taking shape as he moves his head. Projected eyes blink perfectly over the subject’s closed eyes, giving an eerie feeling that a constructed human is watching you.

Each “new face” seamlessly and completely transforms the subjects into something completely different. It’s a union of art and technology that virtually reinterprets humanity before our eyes in a stunning display, turning faces into virtual hacks. Your face could be rewritten and turned into something completely different whether you like it or not.

Feature image via Asai/YouTube

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