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Mission Impossible Mask...

Posted: Mon, 9th Dec 2002, 1:17am

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Seven

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Anyone here see "Mission:Impossible"? Remember when Tom Cruise takes off his "mask" in the begining of the film? I can see how this may not be a plugin, but has anyone ever tried doing this effect? If so, please explain how. I would like this effect for an upcoming short film.
Posted: Mon, 9th Dec 2002, 3:16am

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BackOfTheHearse

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Well... if you are really artistically inclined and have the time, money and effort, you could go about making an actual mask...

1. Get your "before" person (the one who is what the mask is representing.) Make a plaster mold of their whole head. Then make a cast of it as well. Pour liquid latex into the mold and place the cast in the mold, thereby properly shaping the latex the same as the cast.

2. After the latex dries completely, remove it from the cast and mold. Powder it all over (baby powder works) or else it will stick to itself and ruin it. What you effectively should now have is a thin rubber version of your actor's head. Paint it according to your actor's flesh color, and apply fake hair in the color and style of your actor. This can be either punched in individually (Time consuming) or buy crepe hair from a halloween online store and glue it on the head (cheap and easy biggrin).

3. Now, since it is a mask, you can put it on your "after" actor's head. Since it will be an obvious mask on camera, make the cut right as the actor reaches to rip it off. He can probably literally rip it off easily since it is very thin rubber. If not, he can just pull the mask off quickly.

An alternative, if your actors have very similar hair, then you can just make a cast, mold, and mask of the face alone. This makes it a hell of a lot easier and faster. Then you use adhesive to glue it to the other actor's face. Depending on your skills, you may actually be able to make it realistic enough to wear for longer than cutting just as it's ripped off. Also, other, more flexible materials may be available to you for use. Instead of latex, foam works (but it must be baked) and prosthetic gelatin (which may just be the best stuff out there, aside from the fact that hot lights melt it. Oops.) With all of these materials, it will actually move with your actor's face, making it more realistic. Just look around. Mask-making is a fun thing to get into. Try it out.


P.S. I realize that this effect probably could easily (and quickly) be done in After Effects or a 3D app. I just did this because:
1. I don't know much about 3D or AE.
2. I am a big fan of doing live effects whenever possible.
3. I also like mask-making and realize that there are others like me out there too.
Posted: Mon, 9th Dec 2002, 7:30am

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moebius

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Yep, Nitroviper is right: the best way would be to create your own cool foam latex appliance. If you want to find out more about lifecasting and mold-making, check out the following links for a start:

http://www.artmolds.com/

http://www.scc.net/~chanson/monsterlab/faq.html

And here's a pretty cool tutorial on how to fabricate full-body suits!

http://www.bioweapons.com/Costuming.htm
Posted: Mon, 9th Dec 2002, 9:10am

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Xfurball

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awesome tutorial viper! +1...
Posted: Tue, 10th Dec 2002, 11:20am

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moebius

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Here's another great link for all you latex sniffers! lol

http://www.fxwarehouseinc.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=SDSC&Category_Code=WORKSHOP
Posted: Wed, 11th Dec 2002, 6:25am

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Axeman

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An easy (and cheap) way to do it would be with liquid latex. www.getspfx.com You would need two different actors, the 'mask' actor, and the 'unmasked' actor. When you put a layer of liquid latex on your face, you can peel it off in big chuks, especially if it isn't too thin. So cover your 'mask' actor's face with it, and have him grab it and start pulling it off. Then, in the middle of the unmasking, and using judicious camera angles, cut to your 'unmasked' actor removing a layer of latex from his face. Should cost under $10 US, and it is really pretty easy.
Posted: Wed, 11th Dec 2002, 10:04pm

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BackOfTheHearse

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Couple quick little notes about Axeman's idea:

This absolutely will work if you get the angles right and such. But, be very careful. One, the dried latex will rip out any hair it comes in contact with. So, before you do it, shave-a-plenty and make sure it doesn't touch your hairline. Also, there is ammonia in liquid latex. If your actor is wimpy, then I wouldn't use it. The ammonia -- even when it is only slightly in proximity with your eyes -- burns like absolute hell until it fully dries. And finally, I'd use a makeup powder on top of the latex after it dries. Otherwise, you'll look like you're made of shiny plastic (remember those Duracell commercials, with the plastic family lol )
Posted: Thu, 12th Dec 2002, 4:42am

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moebius

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Hey Nitro, will applying petroleum jelly (e.g. Vaseline) on the person's facial hair and hairline prevent the liquid latex from adhering?
Posted: Thu, 12th Dec 2002, 4:13pm

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BackOfTheHearse

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Probably. But if the person has facial hair like I do (full beard) then all you'll get is a gooey mess. Plus, trying to put latex on gooey hair won't get good results. If you were even able to get the latex to adhere to the vaseline (so it is on the vaseline, not directly on your hair) it would look like you have leprosy or something lol . As for your hairline, a thin layer of vaseline should work fine. But latex is a nasty substance. I know women who use it as an alternative to waxing. BE careful biggrin .
Posted: Thu, 12th Dec 2002, 4:33pm

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moebius

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Ouch.

lol