Instructables
Picture of Make Your Face
Here is the idea: It is lame when people go to a Halloween party 'as themselves', but what if you had a mask of yourself. Now, that would be awesome.

For a while I've wanted to do this, but I was hesitant to make a mold of my face. it seemed like it would be a big mess. After playing around with 123D Catch I thought, "this will work!". Now we don't have to mess around making a mold of our face, but we can do it digitally with entirely free software.

This flow of this project is as follows:

Pictures -> 123D Catch -> .obj file -> 3D modeling software -> editted .stl file
-> Freemill -> g-code -> Notepad -> CNC Router - > Foam negative mold
-> Plaster Positive mold -> Plastic vacuum forming -> Painting -> Awesomeness.

So as you can see there is a lot to this. We are going to duct tape a lot of software together and get this to work. Lets do it!

 
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Step 1: 123D Catch - Making the Model of Your Face

123D Catch is an amazing piece of software. All you need to generate a 3D representation of most anything is to take a bunch of pictures around it and 123D Catch will create a 3D model.

123D Catch prefers that the lighting is even and it requires that nothing moves. We took a series of photos around ourselves in order to resolve our faces. Angular spacing of 5 to 10 degrees is best. 20 or 30 pictures worked here. You'll have to experiment as things like hair and beards will affect the model.

Simply load the pictures into 123D Catch and generate the model. They are loaded into the cloud to do its work.

Once you have a model that looks like it is going to work (this might take a few tries), you'll want to generate a high res version of it and then export that as an .obj file. Don't worry about all the extra stuff, just make sure that the face looks ok. 

Now that we have the 3D file we can work on modifying it in order to remove the extra parts and smooth out any bumps. We will use some other free software to accomplish this.

LaceyD11 months ago
So cool!
supersb1 year ago
Amazing !
sallyab2 years ago
I'm not very techy, though I'm not incompetent and do manage all my needs myself (in the end!), but what you describe is very, very long and intricate and it seems much - MUCH - easier to just MAKE A MASK by the (a) traditional, old-fashioned, hand method.
Eric Jacob (author)  sallyab2 years ago
Where's the fun in that?
Obviously you've never made your own masks.

Not only can you make a hard mask the old way, but you can make silicon "soft" masks too.
And they still cost less.
I don't want to appear picky, but I think you mean 'silicone soft masks'. Silicon is like glass, so not flexible! Do you pour the rubber over your face? I suppose you could use PVA , but don't forget to grease up first.
Why in the world would you pour it -directly- on your face?!
You'd make a mold first and pour the compound into the mold.
And of course I'm talking about the rubberized silicon.
*Face palm*
Eric Jacob (author)  smalcolm2 years ago
I guess I should have put a smiley face behind that comment as you did not get my humor. This site is about creating, having fun, innovating. My instructable wasn't about cost. It was about a neat way to do something. This is one specific idea, but if you can do this, then you can do a lot. It's about looking at things in a new way.
mnpazan sallyab2 years ago
Was thinking the same thing. It's an interesting as a tech demo, but for anyone wanting to make a mask of themselves for any reason other than that it's very much doing things the longer, harder, more expensive way.
Eric Jacob (author)  mnpazan2 years ago
First, where is the love? Second, if you have access to a CNC or 3D printer this process is pretty cheap, and it allows for alteration of the model on the computer. Third, this will work for all sorts of objects, with no contact. Isn't it pretty cool that you can go from just pictures to a usable 3d model and then work with that?
People who have personal access to that stuff are still very much in the minority, so for most readers this project would cost hundreds of dollars. Alteration of the model, in the case of a mask, is no less easy when using "old fashioned" methods. You can also get more detail resolution that way than is available with most printers or CNC machines.

Yes, it's very cool that you can do these sort of things. It isn't currently practical/economical for mask making though, (that will change at some point probably within the decade, but not right now). I can think of a lot of things these technologies are very practical/economical for currently, so it is interesting, but as I sad, in this application it's (currently) only valuable as a tech demo. There are lots of instructables already existing that cover these techs/methods though, so saying the methods here can be adapted for other things doesn't salvage much extra value.

Please try to understand that mild, civil criticism is not a "lack of love". It's not my intention to insult you or your efforts, nor am I saying you shouldn't submit them, but it wouldn't be reasonable or rational for anyone to only expect (or accept) only flattery for their efforts either. Even best friends disagree and correct each other.
arrow1122 years ago
You could make a gear lever tip of your face
gtoal2 years ago
have you seen the commercial version of this at http://thatsmyface.com/ ? you did a good job of doing the same thing but they seem to have the color printing side of it down pat. Somewhat expensive though!

Interesting that they can render a 3d model from just 2 images.
Eric Jacob (author)  gtoal2 years ago
That looks neat. The painting is really the hard part so they have me beat there. I wonder if they have some model that they are using to generate the face structure, two pictures doesn't seem to be enough to build a 3D model from.
Actually a parametric model makes perfect sense - calibrate first from the frontal image, aligning eyes, nose, ears, chin, corner of the mouth etc, and then apply a Z depth to each of the alignment points from the side-on image. That must be what they're doing.

I would imagine that the 2-d front-on part of the calibration would be identical to what is done to calibarte the "Portrait professional" program that is used for automated retouching of portrait photographs. (first few seconds of the linked video) 

Now if you could only add a movable mouth, you'd have a great Mission Impossible mask.  But even without that, these will be great for halloween - especially for a severed head prank!
markplease2 years ago
This is awesome. The other people who are discounting this are "near sited" (so I follow the "be nice" policy). It's not about the mask making, it's about this innovative process. I wish someone like yourself was my neighbor. We'd build all sorts of neat stuff....Take care...
Eric Jacob (author)  markplease2 years ago
Thank you for the kind comment. I'd be glad to have you as a neighbor, building in a community is way more fun.
LucDaRocka12 years ago
just make a life mask like a death mask!!!!!!!!!!
Malccc2 years ago
Nice!
Im gonna try it out after my cnc machine is complete
eric366332 years ago
great instructable!
Eric Jacob (author)  eric366332 years ago
Thank you!
mjlynch7122 years ago
Fantastic!
Eric Jacob (author)  mjlynch7122 years ago
Thanks!
smalcolm2 years ago
Sorry Bro, but you just re-invented the wheel.
This is easier done with plaster and alginate and not as costly.

And you have the added benefit of having a mold on hand 24/7.
Eric Jacob (author)  smalcolm2 years ago
Of course you can do it that way. I certainly was not under the impression that I invented mask making.

Don't you think that it is a slick way to do it? That you can go from just pictures to a functioning mask or any object for that matter. BTW, I did make a mold which is on hand???
ganncamp2 years ago
Janet Jetson's Morning Mask!