Character Design -Makeup

A lot of the people have physical problems when they immigrate, especially when it’s illegally. This is caused by hunger, creating loss of weight; bruises and cuts from quick escapes, places they are sleeping staying, fights, war zone injuries and other reasons. They also can be covered in dirt because the lack of sanitary cleaning places, water and where they stay. I wanted to reflect this in my film. The only way of doing this is by looking into how to create this effect with special effects. A lot of film productions have to do this as they don’t want to use real dirt or make them use lots of weight.


To research the looks I wanted to use, I looked on Pinterest. I made a board to look at the physical effects of immigration. (

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Firstly, I looked at photos of real life immigrants/asylum seekers. I thought is was important to look at real photos before I started looking at techniques. I wanted it to be as real as possible, so getting a technique as close to the real thing is important to me. I looked into families mainly.


After I looked into people creating fake effects and photographing or filming them. I looked into close ups of bruises, cuts and body parts that had been injured. This is important because in one of my shots the characters are badly injured, so I need to be able to get the effect right. I also looked into looking at pictures of underweight people, to see at bone definition.

Then, I looked into how I could make these effects. With this I would have to think more creatively. There isn’t much detail online how to create the perfect look, so I would have to collect lots of ideas then layer them up. It also comes down to practice, which I will do a lot of.


How to create the effects

I found a video on how to make different levels of bruises. This video is useful because my film is over a month+. That means bruises would develop and change.



I looked at these 3 videos to look at how to create a skinny effect. Even though they are made for halloween, I think that I can take aspects of these makeup tutorials and create a more minimal effect.



My Ideas

Idea generation

For my film I will need to create effects that mirror the physical changes of immigrants. I wanted to design some layouts to what I could do. This isn’t a specific character design, just a general idea.



Test shoots

I decided to practice some of the techniques I researched. Firstly I practiced some hand bruises. I think these look good, but I won’t be doing close ups of hands. However, it was good to practice the bruises.


I then record while I test bruises and cuts on peoples faces. I tried on different people so I could practice for all face shapes.

Test one – Chantelle 

I think this test was successful. I tried a fake bruise and a bust lip on Chantelle. However, she was wearing foundation and powder, so this made it quite hard to create a more vibrant bruise. Also, it was harder to blend in the colours, so close up it didn’t look as good.


Test two – Ash

I think this was another successful test. On Ash I tried a more subtle bruise with cuts. It was much easier to blend the colours on Ash as he wasn’t wearing any makeup already. I think I need to make sure my actors aren’t wearing makeup.


Test three – Wilson

On Wilson, I tried a faded bruise. I think the problem with this one was that it barely showed up on the camera. i think I would have to make it more intense if I chose to do this look in my final film.


Test four – Kitty

On Kitty I tried creating a ‘skinny’ effect. I think this looks really good as she does look much skinnier. I decided to do another skinny look, but the whole face and chest.


Test 5 – Kayla

For Kayla, I did a skinny effect on her body and face. I think this looks really effective. I made sure that all her bones were highlighted so it would look realistic.


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2 Responses to Character Design -Makeup

  1. kendalcollegefilm says:

    Absolutely fantastic work, Izzy—this shows extraordinary commitment an engagement to your project. Once again, you have demonstrated an exemplary workflow, segmenting a key part of your film, showing extensive research backed up with screenshots and analysis, exploring ways to create and recreate your findings, then applying your learning in a series of practical tests that clearly show the development of your ideas and skills. Terrific work, Izzy. Can’t wait to see this applied to your final film!


  2. Pingback: Evaluation | Izzy Pye

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