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What Digital Makeup Actually Is And Why The Techniques Are Important

What Digital Makeup Actually Is And Why The Techniques Are Important

Have you noticed that movies have started to feel even more lifelike in recent years?  As well as improved technology such as cameras, editing software, sound and lightning techniques; there is one development that has helped this even more.  The important development we are going to discuss in this particular post is digital makeup.  What is digital makeup and how is it implemented in your favourite TV shows and movies to make what is happening more believable and realistic?  That is what we aim to explain below.

What Is Digital Makeup?

To help you understand how it comes in useful, it is probably a good idea to explain exactly what we mean when we use the term digital makeup.

Digital makeup is a technique of compositing that is used to alter on-screen actor’s appearances.  It is also used outside of the film, game and TV industry by the cosmetics sector to “try on” clothing, makeup designs or hairstyles without actually doing them for real.

What Is Involved In The Technique?

Within the film, TV and game industry, makeup artists can implement digital makeup when the actors who need alterations to their appearances wear special clothing or makeup that is compatible with green screen technology.  This means that any parts of an actors body that need to be altered, changed or even removed in anyway, have to be clothed or painted appropriately.  Scenes are then filmed as they normally are and in the editing stage, CG and digital makeup artists can add their specific work to the green-covered areas of the actors body.

Famous Examples Of Digital Makeup

This digital makeup technique has been used a number of times in the film industry including as a way of superimposing Brad Pitt’s face seamlessly onto the stand-in’s face in the movie were he played a character who was progressively regressing called The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button; and in Forrest Gump to convey that Lt. Dan had lost his legs in the war; even though the actor who played him, Gary Sinise had two perfectly functioning legs.

It has also been used in movies such as the most recent Terminator films such as Terminator 3: The Rise Of The Machines and Terminator: Salvation to show the actors, including Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 character’s cybernetic parts showing in his face when he is damaged in battle.

As people like Andy Serkis continue to help pioneer the world of digital makeup, there is real reason to take this side of makeup seriously and to want to learn it, because although practical, actual makeup will never stop being used; digital it seems will be used in conjunction with it more and more.

Only the second of its kind in North America and first of its kind in Canada, the Digital Makeup Effects Artists Program at CMU College of Makeup Art & Design is something that you should consider as a vital part of your career path to working in this highly competitive field.  It is fully designed to give students the base knowledge for working in the world of digital makeup.

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