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Mission Impossible style face masks


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#1 Nick Mulder

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 01:10 AM

Hi,

I've made plaster casts before where I simply petroleum jellied my facial hair down and applied gauze strips dunked in plaster to my face (breathing out of straws in my nose) - When it had cured I pulled it off and I then had a negative of my face in which I could again apply petroleum jelly and fill with plaster to create a positive ...

What I would like to know is the specifics of the technique where a double mask is made with my profile in negative on the back and someone elses face in positive on the front in latex(?) - just like the Mission Impossible ones ...

I can imagine a way to do it which is basically a convoluted variant of the plaster version but with latex (which I've worked with before as moulds for resin) ...

But any instructions from people who have done it before sure would be interesting !

I dont want to choke, poison or glue anyone to themselves

yes yes ? no ?

Cheers,
Nick
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 02:16 AM

I'm reasonably sure that those are sculpted. Any purely-cast method would point out the differences in faces rather than seamlessly fit one face over another.
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#3 Nick Mulder

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 07:46 AM

I'm reasonably sure that those are sculpted. Any purely-cast method would point out the differences in faces rather than seamlessly fit one face over another.


I'm aware that a person with a larger face would have issues with wearing a mask of someone with a smaller face. Kinda like the look of the women in the back of the Aphex Twins Limo in the Window Licker vid (Chris Cunningham) ...

I'm not quite sure what you mean though by "point out the differences" ... I would have thought you'd just make sure that the point at which there is the most difference in the 'bad' direction (for example, the big nose of the inside face compared to the small nose of the outside face) the thinnist part of your mask ... It'll work up to a point and obviously the closer the match in facial structure the better - but not impossible.

"Sculpted" - as in ? I'm interested in finding out how this helps compared to a real mould
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 10:34 AM

I'm aware that a person with a larger face would have issues with wearing a mask of someone with a smaller face. Kinda like the look of the women in the back of the Aphex Twins Limo in the Window Licker vid (Chris Cunningham) ...

I'm not quite sure what you mean though by "point out the differences" ... I would have thought you'd just make sure that the point at which there is the most difference in the 'bad' direction (for example, the big nose of the inside face compared to the small nose of the outside face) the thinnist part of your mask ... It'll work up to a point and obviously the closer the match in facial structure the better - but not impossible.

"Sculpted" - as in ? I'm interested in finding out how this helps compared to a real mould


Well, there are things like epoxy putty that could be used to sculpt a face on a cast of the actor's face. That way the mask is as close as possible to the actor's face and it fits perfectly. Then, since epoxy putty is flexible, it coul be peeled from the cast of the actor and used to make a mould to cast the real mask. I'm not sure if this is the usual way to do it but it makes the most sense to me. The downside is that it takes a seriously skilled professional and can't be "winged" by an amateur.

If you wanted to try an all-cast method, you would have to make the mask's face from someone with an obviously larger face than the actor. Second, you would somehow have to figure out a way to make the mouth, nostrils, cheekbones, eyes, and eyebrows line up with the actors. I don't know how you would do that since the shape and proportion of faces are very, very unique to the person they belong to. Personally, I think the only prayer you would have doing it this way is to choose an actor and a face-donor with very similar faces and bone structure.
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#5 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 10:57 AM

You should surf the net for some make up fx forums and they'll talk to you about life casting. Basically use alginate, a dental impression material, to create a mould of the persons face and cast it in plaster. Obviously the MI shots you're talking about are a blend of prosthetic makes and cg.
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#6 Nick Mulder

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 03:00 PM

Well, there are things like epoxy putty that could be used to sculpt a face on a cast of the actor's face. That way the mask is as close as possible to the actor's face and it fits perfectly


Sorry, thats what I meant to do when I said "basically a convoluted variant of the plaster version" ... I should have elaborated ;)

I meant make a positve of the inside face and a negative of the outside face and then sandwhich latex between these two as a mould to create the mask ... facial mismathces would become obvious at this point as the two sides to the mould wouldnt meld so well together ... but latex being as it is at least something with the profile of the inside face would result.

I've had a quick sniff around the net and have found some books and vids to purchase - maybe I'll do that, but would rather avoid the snake oil merchants...

I understand the safety aspect - years ago when doing the plaster versions I ended up ripping out most of the eye lashes of one eye which then ended up being embedded in the mould, interesting part was they transfered to the first positive in about the right place <_< Youch, almost was a hospital visit.
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#7 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 03:33 PM

I understand the safety aspect - years ago when doing the plaster versions I ended up ripping out most of the eye lashes of one eye which then ended up being embedded in the mould, interesting part was they transfered to the first positive in about the right place <_< Youch, almost was a hospital visit.


Theres an art to getting a really good lifecast - it would be best if you could hook up with someone who had done it before to help you out - its best done as a two man team anyway. Not all alginates are the same, some set quicker and some give finer details, the temperature of the water used to mix the alginate can also slow the setting process. If my memory serves you've usually only got about 4 - 7 minutes before its set. Use good plaster bandage for the jacket. Then you need to mix and pour the plaster very carefully to avoid trapping air bubbles in the mould.
The book that used to be industry reference was Vincent Kehoes 3D make up techniques - its an old book but the process hasnt changed much and it will give you the basics.
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#8 johan

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 06:57 AM

Sorry, thats what I meant to do when I said "basically a convoluted variant of the plaster version" ... I should have elaborated ;)

I meant make a positve of the inside face and a negative of the outside face and then sandwhich latex between these two as a mould to create the mask ... facial mismathces would become obvious at this point as the two sides to the mould wouldnt meld so well together ... but latex being as it is at least something with the profile of the inside face would result.

I've had a quick sniff around the net and have found some books and vids to purchase - maybe I'll do that, but would rather avoid the snake oil merchants...

I understand the safety aspect - years ago when doing the plaster versions I ended up ripping out most of the eye lashes of one eye which then ended up being embedded in the mould, interesting part was they transfered to the first positive in about the right place <_< Youch, almost was a hospital visit.


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#9 johan

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 07:10 AM

Quote;
"I understand the safety aspect - years ago when doing the plaster versions I ended up ripping out most of the eye lashes of one eye which then ended up being embedded in the mould"

You should use a lot of butter, for a good release of the skin and hair when using plaster.

Quote;
"I meant make a positve of the inside face and a negative of the outside face and then sandwhich latex between these two as a mould to create the mask"

When you have a plaster negative of a face, and fill it with a thin layer of coloured and thickened latex rubber, on the backside a negative of the front will appear. If this wouldn't be sharp enough for your taste, you could repeat the recipe over the front of the other face. Blend the two together and you've got your mask, with faces on both sides, one in positive and the other in negative.

Johan.
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#10 Nick Mulder

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 08:10 AM

You should use a lot of butter, for a good release of the skin and hair when using plaster.

I was using petroleum Jelly, it doesn't smell as much ! Not enough tho :ph34r: both of these substances melt/liquify at body temp also, not to mention the little extra heat from the plaster curing

If this wouldn't be sharp enough for your taste, you could repeat the recipe over the front of the other face. Blend the two together and you've got your mask, with faces on both sides, one in positive and the other in negative.


Yep, well that was my plan - but I'd do it all at once like how I outlined ...


I'm getting the picture so far that I have got the concept right ?
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#11 johan

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 10:08 AM

Well, you got the concept right, but doing it all at once using latex rubber creates a lot of problems. If you have to ask, you probably won't get it done. The thing is, latex rubber cures by drying. If the layers are too thick it doesn't dry well. Two seperate layers can be easily put together using the same latex. Doing it all at once only makes sence when your making only the one face, using the inside (wich will automatically be a negative of the same face) as the second face.

Trust me, I've done this a lot.
By the way, are you sure latex was used in MI?

Johan.
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#12 Algis Kemezys

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 12:04 PM

these kind of face masks always excite me ....thanks for sharing these techniques.
http://exposure.cbc....s-movie-trailer
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#13 Nick Mulder

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 04:14 PM

Well, you got the concept right, but doing it all at once using latex rubber creates a lot of problems. If you have to ask, you probably won't get it done. The thing is, latex rubber cures by drying. If the layers are too thick it doesn't dry well. Two seperate layers can be easily put together using the same latex. Doing it all at once only makes sence when your making only the one face, using the inside (wich will automatically be a negative of the same face) as the second face.

Trust me, I've done this a lot.
By the way, are you sure latex was used in MI?

Johan.

Latex in MI - no idea, that was just a guess

You've done this a lot ? great, you're just the person - ok, I'm listening.

I find at forums people will chuck in info as gospel, like they have done it before but in reality they haven't - its just what they think is logical or what some other similarly inexperienced person said over at the other thread/forum ...

I know this as I am guilty of it myself and now try to employ a 'bullshit filter' before posting, not always successful - sometimes there is a very compelling drive to be the first to answer someones question...

Anyhoo, I digress - righto, so as it happens I have about 2.5 weeks of solid work cut out for me starting tomorrow, so I'm not going to be experimenting with butter in the evenings until that time is up, but I'll certainly be doing so afterwards...

I'll be in touch with burning how to remove cured/dried latex from ones nostrils questions then !

In the meantime have you ever found any online sources of full instructions/tutorials or discussion ?
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Visual Products

Wooden Camera

CineTape

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

Glidecam

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

CineLab

Willys Widgets

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Opal

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

The Slider

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

Aerial Filmworks