Identity gets fluid in Intel’s digital makeup project

Do you know why face painting is so fun for children? Because they get to play with the idea of being someone else. Painted up like a tiger, a cat or Spiderman, you slip into another identity. The same goes for Halloween. The same goes for superheroes.

Skin is thin, but people react to what they see on our faces. What if you could change not only the colour of your skin, but make it a shifting canvas of shapes and colours? Japanese artist Nobumichi Asai suggests one potential future with his latest digital makeup project, Connected Colors.

Asai, in collaboration with Intel, used facial tracking to map a model's facial contours and project a series of digital animations. He's worked with this setup a number of times, in the projectOmoteand with Lady Gaga's David Bowie tributeat this year's Grammy's.

This latest iteration, however, shows his increasing mastery of the new medium; the animations are smoother and more ambitious in how they use the face as a stage. Butterflies, smoke, rainbows and scales all ebb and flow over the model's cheeks and brow.

You can watch the full video below, and learn more about the project on Intel's blog or Asai's website