Originally a manga series released in 1989 in Japan, Ghost in the Shell was then reproduced in anime, and now in 2017, the movie is finally coming. The main struggle with Ghost in the Shell is that all the action takes place in the future, where the world is full of cyborgs and highly advanced technologies. Thanks to 3D printing, however, the Weta Workshop in New Zealand was able to make amazing geisha masks for the actors. Adam Savage from Mythbusters, along with his Tested team, was invited for behind the scenes look at the making of the film and shared the experience with the world.
How the Geishas were Born
Creating the cyborg geishas from Ghost in the Shell was no easy task: they had to be futuristic and look artificially like robots while at the same time also be flexible and graceful in their dance. So, the team decided to make costumes for actors, including masks. Rila Fukushima, the Japanese actress, became a model – her face was 3D scanned, head cast and digitalized. In every mask, there are square fans and slits in the “hair” portion to allow the actors to breathe, and the eyes are made as sunglasses. Masks were 3D printed, milled, and there was also some handcrafting involved. As for the hair part, it was 3D printed, molded and cast to achieve the final effect.
The “Hacked” Mask
One of the most impressive moments of the film is when the geishas are hacked, so they transform into scary cyborg creatures with wires coming out of their throats. There is a breathtaking animatronic mask for this scene, which opens and shows the inside mechanisms of cyborg with working gears. The panels are held by magnets to fit each other perfectly when the mask closes. It took the collaboration of engineers, artists, and craftsmen to make the final product using modern technologies. As Richard Taylor puts it: “We would have struggled to make this movie in the time we had to make it two years ago, because neither was the technology around nor was the chemistry within the technology around…the materials weren’t even in existence two years ago so that we couldn’t have built it, but we can build it today because technology is iterating and growing.”
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