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Can you add 'digital makeup' or a 'tattoo' without Mocha?

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John Jones
Can you add 'digital makeup' or a 'tattoo' without Mocha?
on Sep 13, 2019 at 7:10:44 pm

Hi, this is my first post here (though I've been finding help in the threads here for years) ☺

What I'm trying to do is make an image/tattoo look "drawn on" to a person's face - perfectly following the contours and movement as he moves his head.

I know you can do this kind of thing in Autodesk Flame, and I assume you can do it in Mocha Pro - but is it possible in AE?


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Martin Brennand
Re: Can you add 'digital makeup' or a 'tattoo' without Mocha?
on Sep 17, 2019 at 1:11:59 am

You could potentially do it tracked with Mocha AE and a corner pin, but you'd need to do some compositing to make sure the tattoo matched the lighting and contour of the face. With a simple coloured tattoo this may be easy to fake with a simple overlay, but might need a few passes to be believably depending on how close the face is to the camera and how much it turns.

Martin Brennand | Product Manager | Mocha - Boris FX (Imagineer Systems)


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John Jones
Re: Can you add 'digital makeup' or a 'tattoo' without Mocha?
on Sep 18, 2019 at 10:34:10 am

Hi Martin and thanks for your help.

It's going to be seen fairly close-up and unfortunately it's not a simple tattoo, more of a full-face makeup kind of thing.

I've only been using AE for a couple of years. I've done a few simple tracking effects, but nothing of this scale. I'm really just curious to know if it might be possible in AE. I'm thinking I'd probably have to go to Mocha Pro.


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Martin Brennand
Re: Can you add 'digital makeup' or a 'tattoo' without Mocha?
on Sep 19, 2019 at 12:29:03 am

You would probably need to do it in patches. since the face is made of of tiny planes (forehead, cheeks, cheekbones, chin, nose side, nose bridge etc) you'll get unnatural motion if you try to splay a tattoo over too many different moving parts, esepcially where the cheeks and under the eyes move.

Martin Brennand | Product Manager | Mocha - Boris FX (Imagineer Systems)


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John Williams
Re: Can you add 'digital makeup' or a 'tattoo' without Mocha?
on Sep 19, 2019 at 10:29:39 am

Hi Martin, you might also consider Cinema 4D.

Much like the After Effects camera tracker, you can run an Object tracker in Cinema 4D to track an object to a face. Using a large number of tracking points could generate a point cloud to give you the contours of the face that the tattoo's should map along while the object tracker results will give you the movement. Obviously this depends on the type and quality of the shot you are working with but will be more powerful than After Effect and Mocha alone and infinitely more user friendly than Flame or some other CGI application.

The full version of Cinema 4D is available for 14 trial on their web site.

John Williams

Soho Editors


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John Jones
Re: Can you add 'digital makeup' or a 'tattoo' without Mocha?
on Sep 26, 2019 at 12:17:35 pm

Thanks guys! :)


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