Smoldering Demon AR Face Mask — Instagram Filter Review
Published on Mar 25, 2019
| Filter name: "Dark Friend"
I am telling you, today is the "Demon's day". After reviewing the amazing looking Red Devil face mask by Ross Wakefield, I came across this not less amazing Insta face mask called "Dark Friend" by Rustan.
This is a smoldering demon AR face mask that has some really great things going on for it. First of all, the one thing that stands out is the beautiful texture for the face mask, It's completely opaque, so it hides some of the distinctive facial characteristics but it helps create that mysterious and spooky fictitious look that works well in this case. The focus here is on the artistic face mask design. It, therefore, looks like a physical mask, rather than one that supposes to blend with the user's face. Of course, facial expressions are still visible as the 3D virtual mask dynamically take the shape of your facial expressions.
There are also these two blacks horns that also use the bright greenish accent colors that you can find on the bright sparks visual effects that appear from the bottom (soon about that) and the crystallized eyes. The horns are low-poly 3D models with a different texture. They do appear a bit disconnected with the face texture in terms of design. I would have liked to see some continuation, a more gradual blending so it appears as the horns come naturally from the head.;
I really like the crystallized eyes effect. The thing is that your real eyes can't really be seen through that texture. I tried to make some eye movement and act to the camera, but I couldn't see them. This somewhat forces me to make more prominent facial expressions, head movements and use voice in order to transmit a specific act I wanted to record on video. This is different than the AR mask design in the "Red Devil" AR mask or with the Ultraviolet face filter by Christian Venables. Because the 3D makeup is semi-transparent, it enables a clear view of the facial lines, face contour, eye, and facial muscle movements. It doesn't mean that any AR face mask should be like that, I just mention the differences, and there are advantages for each one of course.
One of the things that I really liked about Ultraviolet in comparison, is the focus on the eye area, especially with a high contrast design, and the ability to make the whole act around that specific area, especially when you do a closeup capture—which I did. Everyone is entitled to experience those filters in any way they desire. It is just me that thought that this would be really cool to create some closeup on the face to let the beautiful dotty texture shine through and emphasize on the face mimics the eye area.
The Visual Effect That Blew Me Away
Now to the thing that really blew me away and it is one of the most impressive and unique things about this mask. Aside from the beautiful engraved mask texture, there is this incredible black smoke effect, a smoldering effect (burning slowly with smoke but no fire).
When you start using this "Dark Friend" Instagram custom filter, the other parts of your body will appear as normal. By this, I mean your body, your ears, your forehead, and your head. You can still see the same skin color.
A second later, a beautiful black smoke particle system effect kicks in from the bottom. It starts coloring the entire skin with that animated black smoke effect. Now, that animated smoke effect doesn't go away. It's not coloring your other parts that aren't the mask in a solid static color, but that mystical black smoke animation remains on the body throughout. It feels up your ears, your hair and then that mask really start to bond with your body. Like you gradually being inhabited by this demonic dark spirit. After the effect encapsulated your entire body, I felt totally possessed by that dark entity.
It's just a figure of speech, but these are the types of effects that are being used in movies to showcase a demon figure possessing a human figure. Something amorphic, animated, something that appears forces itself into your body. Once that "demonic possession" effect is complete, that demonic figure becomes part of you and controls you. No worries, no demonical epileptic seizures noted when this dark spirit augmented itself into my body.
In my opinion, this is one of the features of this Instagram AR mask that makes it so unique and visually appealing. Watching that black smoke injecting itself into your body with the continuous animation that gives you that unique smoked-body form—I absolutely love it.
One of the caveats of this unique smoke effect is that because it's augmented on the entire body and there is no occlusion, hand movements cannot be seen clearly. That of course unless you move your hand in the area outside your body, or the area that is covered with smoke. Sometimes you can see a bit because it's a smoke and not a solid color, but even then, it's not that clear.
As I mentioned before, there is also those green bonfire like sparks that appear in the bottom area of the screen. There is also the green smoke that blends nicely as an accent color with the black to give the overall AR scene more interesting mysterious look and depth.
You can achieve some cool results with this filter!
Overall, I found this Instagram Spark AR custom filter to be unique, beautifully designed and I enjoy using it. After trying out some very cool face masks like Ultraviolet, Red Devil, Bodies Data, Robotica X, Creepy Clown, and so many others. I am blown away by the creativity of Spark AR creators and how beautifully they incorporate this amazing augmented reality technology to deliver profounding and unique experiences that I enjoy using every single day.
I can just thank the creator for making this superb AR face mask and share it with the world so others can enjoy it as well.
Don't forget to follow the filter creators to gain access to all of their filters.