Looksery bringing face beautification (and zombification!) tech to Android, iPhone videos
posted Monday, June 9, 2014 at 6:49 PM EDT
Ever since the launch of Reallusion's FaceFilter a little more than a decade ago -- followed by a raft of quickly-spawned rivals, not to mention in-camera tech that did much the same thing -- it's been easy to retouch portraits, no matter your skill level. It's also been something of a minefield.
With a few clicks of a mouse, you risked offending friends, family or clients by tacitly admitting that you felt they needed retouching in the first place. Sure, there's a bit of a double-standard at play there, because altering your subjects' look with makeup and lighting tricks is mostly seen as acceptable, but life is full of double standards.
Until now, all of this has largely been limited to still photography or post-capture filtering. (Some webcams have offered similar effects, but they've been decidedly less sophisticated.) But from August, videographers will be presented with the very same dilemma, courtesy of new startup Looksery and a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. The company's upcoming app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices promises to divide opinions in much the same way as the earlier tech did for still photography.
Looksery will work in real-time on iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c devices, while post-capture filtering will be possible on the earlier iPhone 4 and 4s. Once the iPhone app hits retail, development will begin on corresponding versions for iPad and Android, with delivery on those devices by year's end.
Each will provide the ability to soften skin and hide blemishes, as well as to change face shape and width, chin / neck shape, nose size and eye color of your subjects. The apps will also allow some intentionally-quirkier effects, much as Reallusion did all those years ago, including zombie, skull, scary face, x-ray and 3D animated bear effects.
Unusually for a Kickstarter campaign, Looksery's app is described as being free. Kickstarter backers seem instead to be donating for access to filters, a higher clip length limit, and increased cloud storage for their creations. Pledges for videographers wanting to step into the minefield of face retouching start from US$5, and more details can be found on the Looksery project page.