Surreal Selfie Reflections Face Mask — Instagram Filter Review
Published on May 17, 2019
| Filter name: "ELIXIR"
It always happens to me when I think about taking a break when I come across yet another amazing Instagram face mask and I say to myself "Just one more". That's what happened to me today when I came across an Instagram filter by Úna Blue called "ELIXIR". According to Úna, a lot of her artwork is centered around distorted vision, dissociation, and surrealism.
I visited her Instagram page and indeed I found so many amazing artworks that I enjoyed losing myself in them. It's great seeing Úna Blue bringing those great concepts to augmented reality (AR).
This is a fantastic filter that looks like you have a melting metal face. However, one of the things that I liked about it the most is the beautiful face reflections that actually inherits the camera's view. This is, of course, you face and part of the surrounding area around it. Your face is replicated several times which gives that reflection texture a surreal reflection design. Kind of ghostly, melted, fluid animated look.
It's mesmerizing and fascinating to look at. Your eyes are trying to follow the most prominent part of the mask and these are mostly the many eyes in the reflection. The reflection is animated, smearing the face over the face 3D structure. The moment you thought you've seen a face, it smeared out and new faces emerge. Sometimes you encounter many eyes. you try to blink to see the effect on the mask, realizing a second later that blinking means not seeing what's in front of you. It confuses you, captivating you in that surreal abstract loop animation. You eventually let go, stop trying to be in control just observe and let yourself become a part of the AR facial artwork.
I use it many times and came up with some very interesting images. Look at the top right image. I press the camera shutter button the moment I saw that face popping out at the tip of the nose—looking like it's smelling the flower. One image, two faces of people smelling the flower. I like that photo.
The one on the left I liked as well. It confused me because when I look at an image, I try to understand the emotional state of the person in the image. Seeing many eyes confused me. I've decided to stay with the face on the left cheek. When you see that animated, it's even more confusing because of the smearing effect, although showing the same face, distorted the faces and either removed parts of it like the mouth or change it so it portrayed a different emotion.
The funny thing is that when I used it on myself, although knowing my current state of mind, it still managed to confuse me. I also got a feeling of looking at myself in the third-person perspectives, like a side observer. It happens when you have a mirror rotated in an angle and you get to see you from the side rather than the front. This is why I like these type of filters that built around a distorted vision. They confuse you, make you think differently. your brain is trying to solve the perplexity, you first try to understand the complexity, make sense out of it—then eventually you let go and enjoy observing this surreal disposition.
If you are following my Instagram filter reviews, you know that I love filters and effects that I can reuse and become creative with them myself. I like using them and experiment with them the same as I enjoy with filters in Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. These augmented reality filters and camera effects are tools that allow me to expand on my creative freedom in unique ways that I wasn't able to do before. I love when they are animated, as timing becomes essential and I feel like a photographer out there in the wild, trying to perfectly time the shot to get it right.
Of course, Spark AR creators can produce a slower effect or one that can be gradually controlled, but I like it this way. Yet, I like the moment of observing a dynamic scene and being able to snap a great shot at a specific moment in time, it's kind of addicting to me.
ELIXIR is a fantastic face mask that is a lot of fun using and playing with. At the top right image, you can see that because the reflection inherits the original image of the camera, and because the background was a solid color, it appears like the left side of the face is cropped. Still, the nose part is colored and takes the contour of a nose. Again, like the other images, your eyes are racing across all the multiple distorted faces in the image—it's fun and interesting to look at.
It's definitely a unique AR face mask, one of the most unusual that I've seen and fantastic presentation as reflections on the face. I definitely going to play with it more see what unique images I am going to come up with. I wish I could mark it as favorite or categorize it so I can easily get back to it in the future.
Overall, I highly recommend following Una Blue and trying out this filter.
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