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On Remoulding Faces....

  • May. 7th, 2005 at 5:10 AM
Over Stand
Okai, here's a tiny little post I've been meaning to put up since mid-2002.
I finally decided to sit down today and make the composites for the animation, and here it is, finally!

Copyright © 2005, Angirasa Acharya
//update: This is a really low resolution version.
The originals edits are at 445x403 with 16,777,216 colors.
Maybe I'll put up a hi-res version of this sometime, I dunno.
For now though, I'm protective of my copyright. :)
Even images can be ripped. lol!

The first image is a crop from the original 640x480 image taken with my digicam at Qwiky's, Saket, New Delhi.
If you look closely, you'll notice the name of the Cafe in reverse on the window behind our model.
The girl in this picture happens to be the girlfriend of a close friend of mine. She'd seen some of my other work, mostly renovation of old pictures, she asked me if I could make her look good. I told her it was well worth a try, and well.... This is what came of it all.

The images after the first frame were edited pixel by painful pixel from the frames before them using Microsoft Paint on a Windows98 box.

You'll probably be wondering why it does'nt appear to have been edited in a smooth pattern, The answer is simple. Saving tiny changes would take up too much HDD-space. morphing was out of the question (it's too lame!), ! It took me a good 6 and-a-half odd hours to create the final image that closes the animated loop here. Each successive image in between is a saved backup of the image as and how I felt I had completed particular element during my editing.

In India, it is not uncommon to find that you're working on something like an insane idiot for sorts, kinda like the world depended on it, and the power suddenly ceases to flow through the electrical conduits of your building, and say another forty blocks worth of urban landscape. Therefore, from time to time, it is absolutely necessary to save your work. It prevents maniacal breakdowns. :o)

I save my work whenever I remember (usually between editing sections or elements of the image) and at times, divine intervention urges these sudden "panic-save" situations in my mind and I quickly rap mah favourite keyboard-shortcut (aka key-combo):
"Ctrl-F » a » blah-blah » ↵"

For those among you who think pixel-editing is easy, try it sometime, It's not exactly a popular variety of fun, It's backbreakingly painful, working at an 8x zoom, that's magnifying the image 800 times! Then, I change one pixel (that's one dot on your screen! Your screen most likely displays between 786,432 and 2,097,152 such dots to make up your desktop!) and see wether you've made the right change. Wether it will look alright to the unaided human eye without magnification involved.

You have to understand dynamic lighting physics, you have to understand how 2D space can project an apparent 3D image. You have to know how color blending is done on a pixel-by-pixel basis, you have to be able to make mental calculations with hue, brightness, reflectiveness of specific surfaces, you have to be able to play around with all this and not make mistakes or you'll have to start all over!

Once you've made a change to a few pixels, you gotta zoom back out to 100% of the image size and scrutinize your work to see you have'nt made perceptual errors. Things look waaaaay different at such high magnification. The eyes see differently, depth and distance brings in a whole new world, a whole new meaning! You have to take note of that biological discrepancy as well while you're playing around.

Most people these days, using Photoshop and Gimp are of the opinion that it's all just a waste of time. They fail to realize that it's beautiful and interesting. It takes my mind of other painful aspects of my life, it lets me be with myself for a while. It's harder, way harder than anything they can do, (or are willing to do), but heck, it's something that's comforting in a sense I can't really describe. You've gotta do it and do it, and do it again, till you begin to enjoy it before you can see why it is that I take the longer route....

I'm proud and overdoing it!

//update: On popular request, I've also put up a larger "Before & After" version. (890x403, 48.23 KB)


vijucat wrote:
May. 7th, 2005 05:57 am (UTC)
"and the power suddenly ceases to flow through the electrical conduits of your building"

Interesting way to put it! :)
angiasaa wrote:
May. 7th, 2005 11:09 am (UTC)
Haha, I tried not to appear too biased in my reasoning. :)
pinak wrote:
May. 7th, 2005 06:23 am (UTC)
why why why? :)) haha!
i know how much patience u need to do that... wat r u jobless or something? :))
angiasaa wrote:
May. 7th, 2005 11:12 am (UTC)
Ummm.... Nope. I used to have a lot of time in those days. This kind of work is not stallable(IYKWIM), you gotta sit down and do the whole darned thing in one sitting or it'll never be done.

I used to skip my nightly attempts at sleeping and use that time more productively, editing images and hacking around with code.... That's what life is all about no? A little give, a little take, a lot os trading and a heck of a bitchy life. :o)

sanjubaba wrote:
May. 7th, 2005 08:23 am (UTC)
Made her look really good though...
angiasaa wrote:
May. 7th, 2005 11:17 am (UTC)

Thank you. :">

Earlier, one culd'nt look at her with ease.... But now, She looks a lot like the edited image. It's a wonder how much inspiration people can take from a mere image.

She saw the final version of my edit, and claimed she wanted to lose weight and look just like that, if not better.... She worked hard.... But I never saw her after I left Delhi. My friend though tells me that she's beginning to look more like the edited image and less like the original. :)

Sometime, these things make me feel good, but most of the time, I feel I've violated someones mental-privacy.
shandeegoddess wrote:
May. 7th, 2005 09:18 am (UTC)
Wow! That's something :-O
Shandee ♥
angiasaa wrote:
May. 7th, 2005 11:19 am (UTC)
Yeah, somethings really do make one feel good. It's not the change that makes one happy, it's the effort being put into making it so.

And you missed 'first post' cause you could'nt stay up two and a half minutes. :(
(no subject) - shandeegoddess - May. 12th, 2005 07:32 am (UTC)
(no subject) - angiasaa - May. 12th, 2005 01:53 pm (UTC)
thelightening wrote:
May. 7th, 2005 08:23 pm (UTC)
Thats amazing!

A friend of mine once (maybe a coupke of months ago) showed me a picture of hers with Troy (Brad Pitt). She told she downloaded the picture from the internet and using pixel editing and Photoshop, she replaced the actress's (posing with Brad Pitt) face by placing her own pic.
The outcome was amazing. I was impressed.

But I am more impressed now, I didn't know you could animate ...


Great work.
angiasaa wrote:
May. 7th, 2005 08:37 pm (UTC)
Re: wow
The animation is not done using any editing. :o) I made an animated GIF to make it easier for a viewer to see the changes occurring on the image as a whole.

If I'd placed each image side by side, you would'nt be able to notice the changing parts of the image.

I had to animate it for that reason.

In actual fact, pixel editing is done very rarely. It's called a lost art. That's mainly because people prefer to use easier methods to play around with images. Lots of stuff has been automated....

It's like changing the bulbs on a ten-thousand foot triode screen, one at a time. It's hard, it's painstakingly tedious, and very difficult to do.

For example, if you opened up MS Paint on your computer and tried drawing a picture of your face using only the mouse and the available colors, I'm sure you'd go nuts before giving up totally....

That's the magnitude of this effort. and to many, it's pointless. :o)
tejapratap wrote:
May. 7th, 2005 11:11 pm (UTC)
very productive
Oh my Gawd!!! U have lotsa patience.

though I donno much about these fundas....I could comprehend from the analogies you gave. 'Backbreaking' is the right word.

you got the best outcome too-initiate someone to change drastically as though morphing.

No doubt this is circuitous, but when it makes you feel better do it that way.
angiasaa wrote:
May. 8th, 2005 10:19 am (UTC)
Re: very productive
Yeah, patience is one thing I've learned in phenomenal abundance due to my initial profession (I was'nt compensated in cash though). :o)

But aside from patience, a hyperactive and careful mind is important.... The hyperactivity was inborn. The careful tendencies were evolved. :o)

I never dreamt she would look as much like the picture if she'd worked it out, but it's interesting to note that I did make some mistakes. I messed up with the chin, I failed to remould the fatty tissue on the fore-end of the chin. Then, there's the eyes.... Still too puffy over the lids.... The nose might do with a bit more lift and less stretching.... and perhaps, the outsides of the cheeks could perhaps be made to look a little less rounded. Too perfect? Maybe.... No one has skin that soft. :)

when it makes you feel better do it that way.

You're the man! that's so totally true, It's funny why I did'nt say it like that myself. :)
_aks_ wrote:
May. 8th, 2005 12:52 am (UTC)
whoa ... no words!
angiasaa wrote:
May. 8th, 2005 10:12 am (UTC)
:o) I did'nt mean that to happen when I created the picture.. :)
notanangel78 wrote:
May. 8th, 2005 10:45 am (UTC)
wow...this sure is interesting!:)
angiasaa wrote:
May. 8th, 2005 10:47 am (UTC)
Hehe, thank you. *beams proudly*

Check the "before & after" image too, I just made an update to the post.
(no subject) - notanangel78 - May. 8th, 2005 10:48 am (UTC)
(no subject) - angiasaa - May. 8th, 2005 10:49 am (UTC)
(no subject) - notanangel78 - May. 8th, 2005 10:52 am (UTC)
(no subject) - angiasaa - May. 8th, 2005 10:55 am (UTC)
mrsgollum wrote:
May. 8th, 2005 12:02 pm (UTC)
good job.now if only you could do that to the Kashmir map :)
angiasaa wrote:
May. 8th, 2005 06:15 pm (UTC)
Haha! I'm a gimpanzee! :)
datempest wrote:
May. 9th, 2005 03:54 pm (UTC)
Interesting. Pixel art is almost extinct. Nice to see someone taking an interest.
angiasaa wrote:
May. 9th, 2005 06:53 pm (UTC)
Took an interest rather. I have'nt done much pixel-editing in the ages since this one.

I've done a bit here and there, but always parts of smaller projects.... This was pure, dedicated work.... I need more time to spend on my good habits. :)

Thanks for the one-up, I appreciate it.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - May. 9th, 2005 06:54 pm (UTC)
angiasaa wrote:
May. 9th, 2005 06:55 pm (UTC)
Thankyou. :) I'm flattered! :">

(no subject) - (Anonymous) - May. 9th, 2005 06:58 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - angiasaa - May. 9th, 2005 07:22 pm (UTC)
chocnnuts wrote:
May. 11th, 2005 05:58 pm (UTC)
really cool...............!!!!!!
angiasaa wrote:
May. 11th, 2005 06:02 pm (UTC)
Thankyou, and welcome to my journal. :) It's been ages....