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Omote: Real-Time Face Tracking & Projection Mapping

Omote is a collaboration between Japanese media artist Nobumichi Asai and makeup artist Hiroto Kuwahara. The project combines projection mapping and motion tracking to stunning effect.

The team first laser-scanned their model Yuka Sekimizu’s face to create a 3D mesh, which formed the basis of the projection map. During filming discreet dots placed on Sekimizu’s face allowed for motion tracking, enabling Sekimizu to be transformed in real time as she moved her head. 1

“I wanted to focus on the expression of beauty and make-up art instead of technological gimmicks and impacts. But this demands a higher level of technological precision. A subtle mismatch in projection would ruin the effect.” – Nobuchi Asai, Producer/Director/Technical Producer 2


Art Director Hiroto Kuwahara on some of the inspiration behind the digital “makeup:”

“When imagining global definition of Japanese aesthetics, philosophy, and virtue onto a face, I thought about the cosmetics commercial featuring Sayako Yamaguchi, which I saw in my childhood. In my mind, Japanese women have bewitching, ethereal, and sophisticated qualities that are unique . . . When I look around nowadays, it is quite rare to see women with traditional Japanese aesthetics. My intention is not to communicate make-up as influenced by other cultures, but to express kesho [Japanese word for makeup], Japan’s unique set of aesthetic ideals that have been passed on through generations. I feel that conveying this message is important for the traditional and cultural aesthetic ideals of kesho to thrive.” 3

This affinity for Japanese aesthetics also extended to some of the video’s more outlandish transformations, which referenced motifs from such anime & manga classics as Ghost in the Shell and Battle Angel Alita.





For additional information on the project including the full roster of people that worked on it, visit Nobumichi Asai’s website.

If you like this you may also like: Ruby: Stop-Motion Face-Painting by Emma Allen

1 Source: Omote ‘Living Makeup’ Offers a Dazzling Digital Makeover | CNET
2, 3 Source: Omote | Nobumichi Asai


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