Zombie Makeup Artist

Zombie Makeup Artist
Sheffield Softworks
As I was working on Make Up Artist, it occured to me, “if I can beautify... why not horrify?”, and thus was born Zombie
Makeup Artist. I don’t pretend that this is anything but simple fun - I doubt you’ll be replacing your prosthetics and grease
paint anytime soon, but maybe you’ll just have a good time watching your interview subjects saying normal things, but
looking as though they’d just crawled out of the grave...
special thanks to the marvelous Rachel Bloom for the use of her image througout
Because ZMA’s controls can be complicated and decidedly non-linear, I’ve included a number of presets to get you started.
Zombie Makeup Artist is based on FxFactory’s plugin engine which makes use of the power of your GFX card to do its
rendering, thus does not load down your CPU. It is compatible with the hosts that FxFactory supports, currently FCP
6 through Final Cut X, Motion 3 upto Motion 5, and After Effects. It requires at least 10.5 (Leopard) of the operating
How to use the Zombie Makeup Artist plugin
I’ll be the first to admit - Zombie Makeup Artist does not have a straightforward control system. For that reason, I’ll
explain the working theory of how ZMA works, how to use the keyer, and some tips and leave it up to you to learn
by playing - that’s how I got the presets I have in there.
First ZMA creates a “detail map” based on edge detection routines. This is adjusted by the Flesh Detail and Detail
Contrast sliders. Its color is set to Flesh Color 1. ZMA then uses a chroma keyer to build a mask based on the skin tone
selected. This mask is used as the new “skin” and is set to Flesh Color 2. The detail map and the skintone mask are then
composited using the Flesh Blend 1 to the level of Flesh Intensity 1. This is blended back to the skin using Flesh Blend
2 and Flesh Intensity 2. ZMA generates a texture based on skin details and blends this using Texture Blend and Texture
Intensity. Finally the entire built up “appliance” is passed through controls for Saturation, Brightness, and Contrast
before being composited over the original skin using the Strength slider.
Zombie Makeup Artist plugin Control layout
© Copyright 2012 Sheffield Softworks
ZMA basically has two sections. The Flesh Settings which control
your final look, and the Skin Selection which controls where the look
is applied. The Show What can be set to Final, Flesh, Mask, or Original.
Original is used to select your skintone, Mask shows where the look
will be applied, Flesh is a look at just the “appliance”, and Final is your
final result.
In use, you would set Show What to Original, then select the skintone color, then set Show What to Mask and adjust, then set to Final
and choose one of the presets and modify to suit.
Adjusting Zombie Makeup Artist’s keyer
To adjust ZMA’s skintone keyer, you are given Threshold and Tolerance controls for Hue, Saturation, and Luma. Threshold controls how
far a color may fall outside the selected Skin color and still be included in the repair. Tolerance controls the fall off at the edge of the
region selected. Raising Tolerance takes away from the mask, raising
Threshold gives back.
Begin by setting Show to Original, then using the Skin Color eyedropper to choose a color most representative of the overall skin tone.
Change Show to Mask and set all Threshold and Tolerance sliders to
zero. This should turn your entire image white to indicate that “zombification” will take place over the entire image.
Begin bringing the Hue Threshold slider up until it just starts eating into areas you’d like to be
Then bring up the Hue Tolerance slider until it
adds back most of the edges that were eaten
away where you want zombification.
Do the same for the Sat Threshold - bringing it
up until it starts eating away at areas you’d like
to keep.
Again, bring them back by sliding up the Sat Tolerance...
© Copyright 2012 Sheffield Softworks
Then raise the Luma Threshold - bringing it up
until it starts eating away at areas you’d like to
Finally, bring them back by sliding up the Luma
Flesh Detail, Detail Contrast, Flesh Color 1, Flesh
Blend 1, and Flesh Intensity 1 all control the detail map.
Flesh Color 2, Flesh Blend 2, and Flesh Intensity
2 all control the skintone mask.
© Copyright 2012 Sheffield Softworks
Texture Color, Texture Size, Texture Blend and
Texture Intensity all control the Texture map’s influence on your image.
Saturation, Brightness, Contrast are all perfomed
post processing prior to compositing using the
Strength slider to govern the amount the “mask”
affects the original image.
Tips for best results
Because the “zombification” takes place whereever the skintone selection is, it is more critical to
ZMA that a good key is obtained, otherwise you
may end up zombifying areas you don’t want to.
You can sometimes work around this problem by
carefully altering the Skin Color slightly to fimprove the outcome.
With Show What: set to Mask, click on the Skin
Color box to bring up the color selector and switch
to HSB Sliders.
© Copyright 2012 Sheffield Softworks
Then try adjusting the Hue/Saturation/Brightness
to see if you can reduce the selection on the the
areas you wish to remain clean, but maintain sufficient coverage of the face.