UltraViolet Face Effect — Instagram Filter Review

Published on Mar 24, 2019 | Filter name: "UltraViolet"

Filter creator: Christian Venables (@csavenables)

Well, I guess I found yet another amazing Instagram filter. This one blew my mind and it's called "UltraViolet", made by Christian Venables, the same Spark AR creator who made the Inner Radiance Instagram effect that I liked so much.

This one blew my mind for many reasons and I'll do my best to talk about the things that made this filter such a brilliant one in my opinion.

First of all, you probably already understood by the name of the filter, UltraViolet, that you get to see an Ultraviolet (UV) effect, and this is indeed the case. When you start using the filter, you get the neon face-paint like splatter on your face.

The effect is ingenious because it materialized well on your face rather than look like a separated virtual layer. The scene itself is turned dark blue/purple to mimic the UV light effect and of course to make the color effect pop. The colors designed to perfectly match the overall bluish lighting and also allow facial expressions to pass through, which is important (I'll soon discuss that).

Tapping the screen yields four other paint-looking neon bright shapes, including a large green palm ("facepalm" lol) the entire face, another pink one but with the fingers less spread, another one that looks like neo cyan paint tears (like a clown one) and another one that resembles the first one, but with two yellow lines over your nose and below your eyes.

My favorite one is the first one. I like it because this effect dramatized my facial expressions, aside from having a high-contrast dramatic look due to the colors.  The eyes become darker, especially once the bright colors surround them—I looked like an alien!

Ultraviolet AR face mask, amplifying facial expressions

In fact, the effect got even better when I put the camera closer to my face, so the face gets to look more abstract, the beauty of its fine details are better revealed and this is where you get a good focus on the face and not easily being able to recognize the person behind it. This makes the selfie picture or video more mysterious looking and freaky—and I liked that.

I think this is the Instagram filter that I spend the most time with since I start using IG effects in general, let alone those which I reviewed on WOW! filters. It also pops better when browsing through filters on Instagram because of its dark set and saturated colors—it's very easy to spot and it does stand out from the rest.

One of the things that made me enjoy it a lot is as I mentioned, its capability of amplifying facial expressions, especially when you make closeup selfie videos and pictures. The other reason is that the shapes and size of the eyes can easily be seen. These are used for us to quickly perceive the sentiment that is being conveyed from that face figure in front of us. It reminds me of those Japanese masks that I've seen in stores in Tokyo and also wooden ones in the museum.

Japanese face masks in a showcase

Now I wouldn't mind trying some of those Japanese face masks on Instagram, but I am just referring to the dramatic facial expressions that the AR mask UltraViolet was able to create.

If you look closely at the first image, you can see that the mouth area isn't that clear because it blends and become less visible because that part is dark and doesn't receive enough visible cues to make facial expressoins around that mouth area clear. I am talking about the first mask, not the one with the hands. However, because the focus is on the eye part, and it's very clear to see the shape of that eye, the eyebrows and some of the forehead wrinkles, it's easy to understand the face expressions even like that.

The same can be said to the other masks, but it's less clear. Still, the creator put the paint tear effect in a straight line, so it's easy to see it curved and the two hands are covering part of the mouth, so when you open it's easier to spot the difference, especially during a video. It also makes the effect more interesting compared to if those shapes were positioned in a way that they don't look like their shape is changed (e.g. a small circle on the chin area or a line on the forehead).

Even with Instagram filters, you need to make sure to compose your design right with the understanding of the canvas which is placed on, which in this case, it's a user's face, and it's dynamic, not static.

Overall, it's a brilliantly executed design that delivers a unique materialized look, it's vibrant, encouraged movement and touch and it's visually impressive. This Instagram face mask definitely enters my top 5 most favorite IG masks as of the time of writing this review. Well done Christian Venables—a fantastic work!

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