BRINGING HAIRCUTS TO LIFE
Akos Bodi shows us how CGI has helped him transform head blocks to inspirational hair imagery.
Live hairdressing education on models has become virtually impossible over the last year and, like many, the TIGI Creative Team had to adapt to new ways of progressing their work and continuing education to hairdressers across the Globe. While the use of mannequin head blocks has been invaluable for virtual education classes, Akos Bodi, TIGI European Creative Director, found working with them had become a little dull.
More used to working on TIGI seminars and shows, as well as teaching TIGI Education, Akos quickly became frustrated with the visual results he was achieving using head blocks. Taking photographs of mannequins just wasn’t quite the same as the real thing. If you know Akos, you probably know he loves technology and experimenting with new ways of image production. As well as working on stage or in front of the camera on al l major TIGI shoots and shows, he is also found making short behind the scenes videos that he films and edits himself.
Earlier this year, he took his knowledge and creativity a step further when he entered the world of CGI creation. We had a chat with Akos to see how he’s developed and progressed his new skills to enhance his creative work.
FUSE: How did you find a new found love of bringing head blocks to life?
AKOS: I am not an expert at retouching, but for some time it’s been a hobby that I’ve really enjoyed. The COVID pandemic accelerated this hobby further, as it threw a curveball in unleashing my creativity!
FUSE: We love the CGI images you have been creating and posting on your Instagram feed. How long does the process take to create them?
AKOS: I would say that it takes roughly 1-2 hours to create each image from start to finish. It takes approximately an hour to merge the faces and edit the image, however the added time comes from searching for the correct face. I have become quite obsessed with creating them now.
FUSE: So where did you find the inspiration to start creating your CGI images?
AKOS: I saw an item on a TV programme about how companies are increasingly using algorithms to create faces that mimic real people for illustration and marketing purposes. That began my fascination and made me curious about how I could use it for my work.
The faces are all generated from many real facial features, but of course, the faces shown do not actually exist in reality. They’re all a mix of multiple people but look so real! This made me think that I could generate faces onto the head blocks that I have been cutting, while we can’t work on live models. Once I had the idea that I could do this myself, I went on Pinterest and found all the generated images were copyrighted or watermarked.
Eventually, after a bit of research, I found the website I needed to create the faces. The ones I’m using are all hybrids made by CGI algorithms and look like hyper real drawings or paintings.
FUSE: So, are the haircuts CGI too?
AKOS: No, not at all! I use the genuine cuts and colours that I’ve created on the head block and then generate a face that the haircut and colour would naturally suit. You can add different effects to the faces, like the face shape, adding a slight smile, and you can even choose the angle of the face, whether it’s looking straight ahead or slightly to the side.
FUSE: How do you bring the CGI face and head block together?
AKOS: When I move the generated face over the photo of the head block, I then morph them to fit together. This may mean stretching the face slightly, or resizing some features such as the ears, in order to make a realistic fit.