Computer Animation/Film/VFX

Anerkennung - Honorary Mentions

Omote / Real-Time Face Tracking & Projection Mapping

Nobumichi Asai (JP), Hiroto Kuwahara (JP), Paul Lacroix (FR)


Omote is a Japanese word for the face or a mask. The face is considered to be a mirror that reflects the human soul, a separation between omote (exterior) and ura (interior), and in Nogaku, Japan’s classical musical plays, performers use masks (omote) to express a multitude of dramatic emotions.

As we spent more time on the project, we became more aware of its similarities with Nogaku masks (omote), and explored further possibilities by integrating the latest technology and classical Japanese art.

I have always considered the face to be the most delicate yet powerful medium for art. The face has evolved in order to convey emotions, and it is the only body part that effectively communicates and reacts to the most subtle changes and conditions. I became interested in the possibility of face mapping and its potential in expressing something extraordinary.

The team also wanted to express Japanese beauty to the world. Japanese women have bewitching, ethereal and sophisticated qualities that are unique. Additionally, Japanimation is also an art form, a subculture that is unique to Japan. I personally like manga and animation and looked for particular motifs from it.

For this project, we used OptiTrack sensors for a swift response, and developed an original C++ program. To reduce minimal latency (delay), we devised ways of integrating the whole process into one program. This created amazing effects.


Nobumichi Asai

Nobumichi Asai (JP), graduated from Tohoku University, Department of Science. He belongs to WOW( and works on music videos, CM, and projection mapping as a planner and producer and technical director. He is noted for combining his science background and artistic skills to create original and innovative works. He has also been active in mapping projects since creating Seikei 3D Projection Mapping, the first large-scale projection-mapping project in Japan. His work has been awarded many prizes and has been shown worldwide.

Hiroto Kuwahara

Hiroto Kuwahara (JP): After graduating from the Harada Gen Make-up Academy, worked as a makeup artist at the Harada Gen Make-up Center. Produced color recipe for the “Custom Blend Foundation” (Japanese Shade) for Estée Lauder Companies, Inc. “PRESCRIPTIVE” artists.
In 2003, formed an art unit "Kaya" to express Japanese aesthetics globally and began his career as an Art Director.
His work expresses emotional nuances that one feels from the expression and skin tone of models, which cannot be put into words. Knowing his models by touch, Hiroto Kuwahara’s makeup is a way of producing a person’s spirit and the way of life. He continues to search ways to penetrate deep into the audience’s psyche.
Hiroto creates beautiful world of uniquely Japanese spirituality.

Paul Lacroix (FR)

Paul Lacroix (FR): After graduating from University Paul Sabatier of Toulouse in France with a Master's Degree in Digital Image Engineering, he came to Japan where he has been living for the last 10 years.
He works as a Technical Director and System Architect at Transit Digital Works Inc.
Specialized in image processing, computer vision and real-time rendering, he brings his expertise to 3D movies (Ghost in the Shell 2.0), TV series (Tron: Uprising), projection mappings, interactive contents and also develops original systems (clothes AR-fitting, live stage 3D character).
More recently, he created the Real-time Face Tracking and Projection Mapping software that has been used in "Omote" and "Face Hacking".

Omote is a collaboration between the Japanese media artist Nobumichi Asai, make-up artist Hiroto Kuwahara and the French digital image engineer Paul Lacroix.
Producer, director, technical producer: Nobumichi Asai [WOW]
Art director and make-up artist: Hiroto Kuwahara
Technical director, programmer: Paul Lacroix [Transit Digital Works]
CG designer: Jin Hasegawa [Spade]
CG designer: Takashi Ishibashi [Spade]