Japanese company offers disturbingly-lifelike masks of clients' own faces
By Pawel Piejko
October 12, 2011
It appears that there's a number of customers willing to pay a lot to be in possession of a lifelike replica of their face or even their whole head ... or at least, REAL-f hopes so. The Japanese company offers extremely realistic 3D models of human faces and heads made using vinyl chloride resin, based on its own technique called 3DPFs (3 Dimension Photo Forms).
In order to create the mask, REAL-f takes a number of pictures of the person's face (or head) from various angles and imprints them on a vinyl chloride resin spread over a mold. The modeling technique reportedly allows for a very high level of realism, including detailed mapping of irises, blood vessels and pores, while the lifelike mask is also water-resistant and colorfast. It's possible to order just a mask, or a 3D mannequin-like human head.
These lifelike replicas are quite expensive, however. A 3D mask is priced at US$3,920 for the first one and US$780 for each additional copy, while the pricing of heads starts at US$5,875 for one, with US$1,960 for additional copies. Orders are now being taken by REAL-f. It takes around two weeks to become the proud owner of one's facial replica in 3D, or three weeks to obtain the head model.
The idea is actually not as unique as it might seem. America's ThatsMyFace.com lets clients order 3D sculptures of faces based on uploaded or mailed pictures. The so-called "LifeMasks" are way cheaper, but also appear to be less realistic than REAL-f's offerings.