Alien Driving your Body Avatar — Instagram Filter Review
Published on May 6, 2019
| Filter name: "Alien Headcraft"
If I couldn't get more excited enough this week from all the amazing filters I've tried, then Kym Fiala introduced a new filter called "Alien Headcraft" with the character done by Neil Shem, Nelson Rebolo, Dylon Fiala Pixel Chef (information via Spark AR Facebook Community).
In this filter, once you tap on the screen, your face opens up and reveal a cute little alien driving your own body avatar. It reminded me of the same great concept done in the filter Love Machine created by Mark Wakefield. However, instead of a robot face inside a human body, you have this alien driving your own body machine.
"Let me just tap that touch button behind my hear so you can see how I really look like. I hope that after you see who I really am, you'll want to be with me. I am not who you think I am. I am an Android."
This immediately reminded me of the amazing scene in the movie Man in Black (MIB) and we can clearly see from where this filter was probably inspired by. In that scene, the royal Arkillian prince describes the location of "The Galaxy" which holds the fate of planet Earth.
There are so many great things going for this filter and I want to talk about them one by one.
First of all, the doors that open up have your real face projected on them. This, of course, is necessary to deliver an effect of the face being open up. Not just that, your facial expressions continue to be instanced on the doors which makes the effect even more plausible. The bottom door hides the mouth area. This is important because it creates a separation between the video stream on the left door and the alien character within your head. This way, I felt like I am not longer in control and things paused, and all I can see is that crazy guy in the video screen awkwardly interacting with the alien lifeform. Kind of reminds me of the scene from the Matrix, especially considering all the weird faces I've done to the camera at that point.
It's nice having that video stream projected on the door, as it allows the user's face to still be visible and thus facial expressions can still be seen in the experience.
"The problem riding inside human vehicles is that it's hard for us to take selfies, but we found a way to do it, like you humans, always innovating!".
The hatch itself has an animated alien sitting and driving your body, looking around like it was inside your body like forever. On the left door, you can see a video stream of the phone's camera, showing the user of course.
The face hatch can be opened and closed interchangeably by just tapping on the screen.
The inside of the hatch is in 3D. This means that you get the illusion that that hatch does exist inside your own body. It's also important to better perceive the 3D effect and depth as users move their head from side to side. Add the facial expression, those that can still be portrayed from the doors and you can see what this filter is so mesmerizing and so fun to watch. There are literally three faces in that filter. Now add the cool light effects and the animated monitor displays and you can see that a lot of things are going on on the screen. It's one of those Instagram filters that are designed to be shared as videos.
In this image, you can see the different stages of the opening of the virtual hatch in the face using augmented reality technology (created using Spark AR Studio).
Two things were missing for me though. First, it's a cool "psssss" hydraulic opening and metallic door sound effect, alongside some smoke coming out when the doors are opened. Second, when the hatch is closed, the transition of the face from the instanced effect to the time it is hidden isn't that smooth.
Now imagine how cool it would be if when you speak after the hatch is opened, the experience uses voice changer and lipsynch so you can control what the alien is saying.
"I know we are not from this planet, but we also want to love and be loved. At least we found a way to be at the same size as yours. That's makes it easier for us to communicate with you, face to face, literally."
When I used this amazing IG mask, I couldn't ignore some thoughts that went through my head. For example, how it would be like if alien species will discover our planet if AI will have "consciousness", will it be able to love us the same we can love other humans. Will it able to show affection, will we do the same. If so, how it would be like, how it will affect our society. Being the creators of a new AI Android species, what responsibilities will we have towards them, how it will affect people's relationship with each other, will they have the same rights?
"We aliens, we also enjoy the warmth of the sun and relax and we love to enjoy nature, but we also know when it's time to stand strong when needed and fight for our rights."
This "Alien Headcraft" filter was a fantastic experience. It was in some ways different compared to Mark Wakefield's Robotic Love IG Mask. The use of depth and having the alien there did sight some thoughts about Android and Humanoids living among us. It was designed so well that I was toying with it for more than half an hour straight—and that's a lot!
It also made me want to watch the Movie "Man in Black" again and of course, share some cool videos with my friends and family. It's a very entertaining IG mask that combined different visual elements to make it very compelling to watch. The downside though is that this Instagram mask doesn't leave a lot of space for your own expression and the instanced face expression on the doors aren't the main focus. Still, it's nice to have it, it makes the experience more genuine and interesting.
The mask can result in some awkward and creepy looking faces, especially during the opening and closing transition phase. Oh, speaking about transitions, you can tap on the screen to revert the closing or opening animation at any time, even during the animation. For example, if the hatch is in the process of closing, tapping it at that moment will make it open up.
Well, what can I say, love that filter so much? Love creating with it, love the thoughts and emotions it triggered and all in all, it's a very well made Instagram mask that I'm sure many of you will enjoy using and sharing. Thanks for reading my review. I hope you enjoyed it. Please don't forget to share it with your friends, this helps a lot—Cheers.
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