I recently came across That’s My Face, and it’s been sitting in a tab ever since. They’re a US company who make things from your face, and their website is the stuff of dreams. All kinds of dreams.
The concept is simple enough: you upload front/side images of your face and they generate a 3d model. You can then play with this, messing around with your features and changing your apparent age, race, gender etc.. But they can also print this model onto real-world products. And at this point things get weird.
Firstly, and most brilliantly, there are the action figures. These look surprisingly good, with high resolution faces that seem to genuinely resemble the person (this is not always the case). If I were bought one I would be all ‘heh, yes, what an interesting novelty gift’, while secretly wondering how much all the Justice League figures cost, which shelf I would arrange them on, and how awesome ‘I’ would look as their leader. Shut up. I have just this second discovered the option for a Superman costume, and I am going to move on before I get too excited.
Then there are the 3D crystals – glass cubes with laser-etched see-through heads embedded in their centres. These are quite pretty, and oddly pleasing. There’s also a papercraft model of your face, which is cheap, cheerful and could be fun.
Next, though, are the model heads, a product clearly dreamt up by somebody straddling the sinewy gap between genius and psychotic. As you may have guessed, these are 3D resin models of your head, with a face that, from their product shots, looks impressively high quality. The default option is just this: a head, in sizes ranging from fingertip-bobble up to £1220 life size. A life-size head! Sitting on your shelf! It’s also the ideal wedding present.
Now, this may seem a little creepy, and it is. But the important thing to remember is that the practical joke potential is off the charts. Leave the head in the washing machine, hide it under the in-laws’ bed, or just bury the thing to confuse the crap out of future archaeologists / the local police if anyone sees you do it. This alone makes it worthwhile, and I suppose film/tv prop departments might find a use for it too. But that’s not the limit of the head-based products: there are options.
There’s the hollowed out head with a ‘cranial lid’ – lift this off and you have a handy storage container. Or there’s Cup Head, which angles the hole, and I’d personally like to see a plastic insert so you could genuinely use it as a demented drinking vessel. There’s also Pin Head, which covers the head with cylindrical holes suitable for pencils, lollipops, acupuncture needles, or whatever (I quite like this one).
But the best option, I think, is the cranial lid with fake brain. I’m presuming you can’t send in pictures of your own brain so it’s cortexially-accurate, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. In a further disappointment, the brain is neither squishy nor edible, so anyone hoping to re-enact the nom nom nom scene from Hannibal is out of luck.
Now, the fake heads are pretty odd, but there’s one product range left, and it’s by far the weirdest. The ’3D Portraits’ are genuinely frightening as hell.
Imagine the model heads, but without the head. So you just have a resin mask: a hollow version of your own face. Want one? You’re in luck! These are available too, again up to life-size. And, if you want, you can get two faces and mount them onto a metal heart, producing an Edgar Allen Poe nightmare – I mean, holy mother of god.
Then there’s the wearable facemask, which hollows out the eyes and provides air-holes. I can’t decide if wearing one of these to a party would be funny or totally messed up. Wait, yes I can. But what if it was of your own face? Aaaaggghhhhh.
But by far the most disturbing is the 3D Portrait Tile, which takes a resin face, affixes it to a square backing mount, and frames it. Imagine: instead of hanging a photo, painting or poster on your wall, you can have a fully 3D version of, say, your best friend’s face, staring at you. All day. *shudder*. Daniel Craig is on the right, but the example on the website uses a baby, and I can’t look at it. I just can’t.
That’s My Face seem to have some impressive software, and some decent products. I’m all for this kind of tech, and it’s cool that custom made action figures and such are becoming available. But please, nobody buy me a framed copy of my own face. That would be bad.