kagami / Real-Time Face Generator 2016/10/11

kagami / Real-Time Face Generator

‘kagami’ means a mirror in Japanese. ‘kagami / Real-Time Face Generator’ is an installation, which features ‘3D mirror,’ capable of replicating a person’s face in three dimensions.
The installation’s face scanner scans a participant’s face, and a computer converts the scan into 3D modeling data. On the basis of this data, around 5,000 rods are moved forward by a motor, creating a 3D face in real time. The face then becomes a canvass for the theme of ‘Kacho Fugetsu’, which means beauties of nature in Japanese, as electric makeup art featuring morning glory, bamboo, butterflies, kingfishers, ibis, sunsets, cherry blossoms, moon etc. is projected onto its surface.
This work is the result of a collaboration between WOW and a project team from Kao Corporation, who drew their inspiration from the ‘OMOTE’ project. It took one year to produce, from planning through to completion. It has been established as an exhibit at Kao’s COCOLAB museum, founded in September this year.
Nobumichi Asai (WOW) acted as creative and technical director for ‘kagami’ and ‘Kacho Fugetsu,’ overseeing the planning and development of the project. Noboru Tomizawa, who also collaborated on ‘Connected Colors’, oversaw the makeup art. Beautiful makeup art provides a base over which WOW’s CG animation is projected to evoke the vivacity and motion of nature. Music was provided by hatis noit, using a tonal palette exclusively composed of sounds from nature. Using sounds from her native Hokkaido, the sound of the wind over the plains, running water, bird song etc., hatis noit creates a sound-scape drawn from her own memories.


Digital fabrication has been predominant around the world as the popularity of 3D printers represents. This work can be included in the trend. The definitions of ‘thing’ and ‘information’ are basically opposite, but they are equivalent in our mind in the age of digital fabrication. In a way, we can say our ‘existence’ is composed of ‘collection of meaningful information (= code)’. In the human body, a spherule called a ribosome reads the sequence of DNA and transfers 20 different amino acids to produce protein. In the past, we thought that human lives were analogue and organic, which was different to the idea of digital computing. But human lives are supported by the idea like 3D printing in its essence. Cloning is done by copying DNA. And this idea expands to ethical issues with artificial cloning of organisms, which are still controversial. Experiencing this installation, you may be shocked. You should be one of a kind, but your ‘existence’ is reproduced with this. So, the title ‘kagami’ includes the meaning ‘you face your “existence”’.

related works

kacho-fugetsu / real-time face tracking and projection mapping

connected colors

人間の顔を立体的に生成する「立体鏡」インスタレーション「kagami / Real-Time Face Generator」。体験者の顔をフェイススキャナーでスキャンすると、コンピューター上で3Dモデルデータが生成。そのデータをもとに、約5000本のロッドがモーターにより押し出され、リアルタイムに立体的な「顔」が造り出されます。その「顔」に、「花鳥風月」をテーマにした朝顔、竹、蝶、カワセミ、トキ、夕焼け、桜、金(月)などをモチーフとしたエレクトリック・メイクアップアートがプロジェクションされます。本作は、「OMOTE」にインスピレーションを受けた花王株式会社のプロジェクトチームとWOWがコラボレーションして制作。企画から完成まで約1年を費やして完成し、本年9月に新設されたKao COCOLABミュージアムに設置されました。




【Project Member】
Media Artist : Nobumichi Asai [WOW]
Cg Artist : Shingo Abe [WOW]
Make-Up Artist : Noboru Tomizawa [CUBE Management Office]

Creative Director : Nobumichi Asai [WOW]
Director : Shingo Abe [WOW]
Cg Designer : Tsutomu Miyajima [WOW]
Cg Designer : Ryo Kitabatake [WOW]
Producer : Shinichi Saeki [WOW]
Project Manager : Ayaka Motoyoshi [WOW]

Technical Director : Nobumichi Asai [WOW]
Technical Director : Atsushi Yoshimura [WOW]
System Development : Fumihiko Saito [Solidray]
System Development : Ryusei Ito [Solidray]
System Development : Kimihiro Katayama [Solidray]
System Development : Yuya Takasu [Solidray]
System Development : Yoshihiro Watanabe [Kastam]

Videographer : Kimihiro Morikawa
Editor : Masanori Yamaguchi [REELVISION Co., Ltd.]
Colorist : Takatoshi Suzuki
Movie Retoucher : Masanori Obe [foton inc.]

Music & Vocalist : hatis noit

Model : Nanami [FLOS inc.]

【Special Thanks】
foton inc.
Spacevision, Inc.

Kao COCOLAB Project

Chihiro Saegusa
Misako Kishi
Keiji Seto
Kyoko Fukunaga
Mika Nomura