Angirasa Acharya (aka Jim....) (angiasaa) wrote,
Angirasa Acharya (aka Jim....)
angiasaa

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On Remoulding Faces....

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!
Kaydeeyoh!

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