We’re often asked to project onto people and have a growing list of celebs but Nobumichi Asai has recently gone one step further with projection mapping and motion tracking of a face!

Award winning Asai has produced some stunning projection mapping works in the past and has gained much praise for both his creativity and technical production.


“Face-mapping technology already exists, often used in marketing initiatives.  But I wanted to focus on the expression of beauty and make-up art instead of technological gimmicks and impacts.  But this demands a higher level of technological precision.  A subtle mismatch in projection would ruin the effect”.

The animation itself took its inspiration form Japanese “omote” masks. Performers use the masks in Nogaku, Japan’s classical plays, to express various emotions and throughout the project, Asai’s team exploited these similarities. Japanise Manga animation was also referenced to convey what is so important about the face: the power of communication.

The overall system was created and developed by Paul Lacroix and Nobumichi Asai. Technically, it’ s very difficult to project with real-time tracking.

“Nobody has done it before, so we had to start from scratch. The process was complicated, capturing with sensors, processing the data, creating CG renderings, and using projectors. Getting the timing right was also challenging, fixing delays and making sure the projection technology had the maximum precision to get the face and visuals matched.”

The team used OptiTrack sensors and developed their own single custom program in C++ to reduce latency all adding to the amazing final effect.