What takes a month to develop but lasts for a lifetime? A face

Tuesday, 10 July, 2012

An animation, based on in utero scans of developing embryos, depicting the formation of a baby’s face, something that mostly takes place during the first two to three months of pregnancy.

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Hot or not, does facial symmetry boost our appeal?

Tuesday, 22 February, 2011

Echoism, by Julian Wolkenstein, creates symmetrical portraits of people by flipping one side of their face onto the other… so which image looks the more attractive? The original, or the facially symmetric?

There is a myth, some say a science, suggesting people who have more symmetrical faces are considered more “attractive”.

Via Australian INfront.

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Artists can’t see what you see when they look at the world

Tuesday, 15 February, 2011

US artist Ryan Finnerty sets out how artists see what is around them… yes, it most likely differs from how others see the same things.

Since drawing and painting are about shifting perception, it makes sense that artists will literally look at the world differently. Thousands of hours spent drawing rewires the brain, training it to seek different kinds of information from the visual world. Even when I’m not painting, my mind is finding relationships, colors, shapes and proportions. During a conversation, I’ll be making broad generalizations about patterns and structures in your face. Hopefully, I’ll also be listening to you.

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We all become one, our faces are the face of tomorrow

Monday, 14 February, 2011

Face of Tomorrow, the faces of Sydney

The Face of Tomorrow – a project created by South African photographer Mike Mike – seeks to determine the look of the “average face” of cities across the globe by blending 100 photos of people living in a particular centre to produce a single male and female image that is representative of each city’s ethnic and cultural make-up.

The above images represent the average faces of Sydney, which Mike says has one of the most multicultural populations in the world:

The city’s population is primarily of European extraction (British, Irish, Italian, Greek and Maltese) with about 15% being of Asian origin (Chinese, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Thai and Indian). There are also sizeable communities of Pacific Islanders, New Zealanders, Lebanese, Turks and South Africans. The official language is English but the government, as part of its proactively multicultural approach, recognizes some 30 “community languages” and government services are also available in these. 35% of Sydney’s population were born outside Australia and in downtown Sydney this number rises to 70%.

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Much of your identity is in your eyebrows

Monday, 28 September, 2009

Eyebrows play a surprisingly big part in helping people identify each other, and any change in their appearance – or even their removal – can cause identity confusion.

The lesson: eyebrows are crucial to your identity – they’re at least as important as your eyes, if not more so. If you put colored contacts in your eyes, pumped collagen into your lips, or put on a pair of funky sunglasses, people would probably still recognize you easily. But try shaving off your eyebrows. Chances are that everyone will say they didn’t recognize you at first glance.

This possibly goes someway to explaining why Clark Kent was able to effectively differentiate his private identity from that of his alter-ego Superman by merely wearing a pair of glasses… so long as the frames of his glasses concealed his eyebrows he would be fine with such a flimsy disguise.

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The years have been kind to… half of you

Wednesday, 12 August, 2009

Two face or what? Portraits of people where a photo of one half of their face taken recently has been matched to a much older photo of themselves.

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What’s in a face and why do we sometimes stare?

Thursday, 28 May, 2009

Our tendency to sometimes over-gape at people with unusual, deformed, or very distinct, facial features has biological and evolutionary triggers, rather than being a desire to simply stare.

When someone unfamiliar approaches you in the aisle of a grocery store, a glance at his face and its expression helps your brain to sort that person into one of two broad categories: safe or potentially unsafe. The amygdala (the brain area associated with judgment) depends upon the emotion conveyed by the person’s facial features to make that crucial call. Is he happy? Angry? Irritated? To decide, your eyes sweep over the person’s face, retrieving only parts, mainly just his nose and eyes. Your brain will then try to assemble those pieces into a configuration that you know something about.

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You must remember me, we shared a lift ride seven years ago

Friday, 22 May, 2009

A “super-recogniser” is someone with the ability to remember people they met, sometimes only very briefly, often years before. In some cases said encounter may also have taken place in a distant city or even another country… now that’s memory recall.

Super-recognizers recognize other people far more often than they are recognized. So they often compensate by pretending not to recognize someone they met in passing, so as to avoid appearing to attribute undue importance to a fleeting encounter, Russell said. “Super-recognizers have these extreme stories of recognizing people,” says Russell. “They recognize a person who was shopping in the same store with them two months ago, for example, even if they didn’t speak to the person. It doesn’t have to be a significant interaction; they really stand out in terms of their ability to remember the people who were actually less significant.”

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The Potato Portraits of Ginou Choueiri

Thursday, 21 May, 2009

Humans and potatoes have more in common than many of us think… that’s why Ginou Choueiri uses the food staple to craft portraits of people’s faces.

I chose the potato to portray human faces because of the many striking parallels. Not only is their skin porous like ours, but their skin texture and color is very similar, and like us, they come in different sizes, shapes and forms. Potatoes grow, live, and then decay, mirroring the ephemeral existence and fragility of our own human nature.

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You’re more than a pretty face; no airbrushing needed

Thursday, 21 August, 2008

Look at the first set of photos on this page, chances are you will find the faces on the right hand side more attractive. Now take a closer look at the differences between the left and right hand side images, in particular the eyes and months of the subjects.

It’s called “Data-Driven Enhancement of Facial Attractiveness”…

The key component in our approach is an automatic facial attractiveness engine trained on datasets of faces with accompanying facial attractiveness ratings collected from groups of human raters. Given a new face, we extract a set of distances between a variety of facial feature locations, which define a point in a high-dimensional “face space”. We then search the face space for a nearby point with a higher predicted attractiveness rating. Once such a point is found, the corresponding facial distances are embedded in the plane and serve as a target to define a 2D warp field which maps the original facial features to their adjusted locations.

Notice also the apparent absence of any major airbrushing, “improvements” have mostly been made by only slightly adjusting one or two facial features.

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