View Full Version : The Process of Lifecasting (many pics, me as model)

06-16-2006, 04:08 PM
Well...this might be a bit off topic, but since I'm in the fan-productions-section, I bet some special effects work would fit in here best! :)

Well guys,
as most of you might know, Iím really into maskmaking, special effects make-up and all that stuff. So I finally decided to do a lifecast of my own face to be able to model special effects appliances that will fit perfectly on my face.
And since Iíve wanted to make a lifecast for a long time, I thought...why not show the guys on here how it works?? ;) I thought some of you people might be interested in it. :)
So, letís get started!! This is what you will all need to make a lifecast.

From left to right:
plaster bandages (cut to pieces), Alginate, vaseline (aka petroleum jelly), a mixer and water (and of course someone to help you.)

Okay, now that you have all your materials ready, we can get started to prepare the head (in this case my head, lol).

NOTE: Itís best if you donít wear anything...well, pants of course, but no shirt. It will bother you during the process and will totally mess up so that you will have to throw it into the trash can afterwards.

This is how you all know me...

And now we gotta get all my hair away...first comes shaving! You need to shave really good because you donít want any hairs to get stuck in the Alginate...it will hurt as hell and you might even pull out your eyebrows or eyelashes. So...shave!! And to cover the hair on your head, you will have to wear a baldcap. I will not go into any further detail on how to make a baldcap as it is kinda complicated to glue it to your head professionally so that you donít see the passage (well, where the bald cap ends and where my actual skin begins!).
Before you glue on the baldcap and blend it to your skin professionally, you will want to reduce any volume from your hair so that the cap can lay on your head as snug as possible. The snugger, the more realistic it will look (you donít want a conehead-like head, do you??)! To achieve this, you put some soap into your hair and comb it.
It will look like this, really flat, which is perfect:


Now apply the bald cap. This procedure took me about an hour and a half to get it done correctly.


Now that youíve covered all your head-hair and shaved off all your facial hair, you need to lube yourself with vaseline (this is why I look all shiny in the following pic). You should be really generous and cover your whole face. Pay attention to your eyebrows and eyelashes...they need an extra thick layer of vaseline!!

After youíve smeared the grease all over you, you should get some straws to put them into your nose. This is very (!!!) important as the Alginate will cover your whole face and will not allow you to breathe.

Now lay down with the straws in your nose and all lubed up. I got some nice music playing in the background as I wonít be allowed (or even able) to move for the next 20 minutes. So, music really helps to keep you calm as it can get really nightmarish with this stuff all over your face.

NOTE: Donít hesitate to ruin your work and pull the stuff off your ďvictimísĒ face if he or she doesnít feel comfortable under the Alginate. Health is more important than the money spent on the materials!!

Now, while you are laying down, you should get somebody to mix the alginate. Alginate is a powder made from alga, so it is nontoxic. You just gotta mix it with water until you get a nice even slime.
Now that you have the Alginate mixed, you gotta work REALLY fast as the rubber-like slobber cures extremely fast! Within seconds it becomes hard. Furthermore Alginate is really expensive, so you donít want to throw cured Alginate away and start all over again.
So, start applying it quickly...



After some seconds, the Alginate will be completely cured. As it is very instabil even in its cured state, you will have to put several layers of plaster bandages over it...I had about four layers on my face which worked well. Cover the whole face and let it rest for about 15 minutes until it becomes rock hard.


06-16-2006, 04:08 PM




Now that the plaster has cured on your face (after 15 minutes), you gotta lean forward for the plaster and Alginate to release from your face...pull some faces and it will come off easily.




Now you have a perfect imprint of your face. All you gotta do now is fill this with plaster. Do that quickly, though, as the Alginate dries out fast and shrinks.

Here are some pics of the finished lifecast of my face...even little wrinkles are visible. The alginate cast even the tiniest feature of my face.



06-16-2006, 04:09 PM




So, there ya go!! I hope some of you guys found this little tutorial helpful. :)
I might put up another tutorial about how to cast teeth and make fake teeth as used by professional special effects guys from them in the future.

Hope ya’ll enjoyed it!!


06-21-2006, 07:10 AM
that is incredible nils and I wish i had the ways to do it. I wouldn't trust many of the ones I know here to do it but would love to have a mask or mold made of my face. maybe someday I will get to. I look forward to seeing your other works and tutorials.

06-21-2006, 08:06 AM
Nils..that was so cool. I am very impressed. Awesome pics! Great job explaining everything. Wow......very cool. :)

06-21-2006, 10:31 AM
Thanks people! Glad you like it. Now I just gotta explain how you make special effects applications from it....in 2 weeks, after I get back home from holiday. :)

06-21-2006, 04:09 PM
Well.........I think we just found the new Halloween mask...i'm calling Zombie:nodsmile:

hahaha....very cool Nils, you look good bald!

06-21-2006, 06:41 PM
Absolutely AWESOME! Loved the way you explained everything, so even someone like me who knows NOTHING of this kind of thing can understand it!


06-22-2006, 12:18 AM
Thanks guys and girls...;)

06-22-2006, 05:25 AM
yeah bald is great just ask me since I've been doing it for over 10+ years now. thankfully by choice though lol

06-24-2006, 09:09 AM
Nils, that is absolutely PHENOMENAL! Awesome pictures and lifecast. That is very impressive. :)

06-24-2006, 10:42 AM
Thanks BRAD!!! :):):)

06-24-2006, 10:49 AM
That is cool. Thanks for sharing this.

06-24-2006, 10:54 AM
Awesome job Nils, that makes you....


;) :p :) :D

06-24-2006, 11:35 AM
Wo bist du?

Anyhow, "You know the Grup Tekkan?!?' and all that aside, here's how LIFECASTING: HOW NOT TO DO IT, starring a board member in 1999.

Yeesh, that brings back memories of beer, partying, and weed. :drool:

I'm just glad I wasn't the guinnea pig. :D

"I don't like ya, and I'm gonna hit ya"! :nodsmile:

06-24-2006, 12:01 PM
Wow Nils, that is completely awesome. So cool, I wish I could do that.

Good job.

06-24-2006, 05:49 PM
lol, Steve and Stef, you guys are crazy....lol :p
Who was the guinea pig in the pics?? lol!

And thanks Sean. :)

PS: Stef, I just noticed....you put GRUP TEKKAN as your CUSTOM TITLE!! AAAHH!! Freak! :D

07-15-2006, 07:08 PM
wow, that was awesome Nils, really cool, nice pics.