Parasyte: Creating the alien
“They arrive in silence and darkness. They descend from the skies. They have a hunger for human flesh. They are everywhere. They are parasites, alien creatures who must invade- and take control of- a human host to survive. And once they have infected their victims, they can assume any deadly form they choose: monsters with giant teeth, winged demons, creatures with blades for hands. But most have chosen to conceal their lethal purpose behind ordinary human faces. So no one knows their secret- except for an ordinary high school student. Shinichi is battling for control of his own body against an alien parasite, but can he find a way to warn humanity of the horrors to come?” – Parasyte Wikia
Figuring out how to bring the Parasyte creature design to life was an interesting one. Parasyte was a manga that was adapted into a movie and an anime series, which gives two sources for references. The anime, as a very stylized medium, uses textures and colours very simply but effectively to communicate how an object or creature looks like. In the case of Parasyte, pinks and reds are used to show flesh and muscle, while white is for teeth, and blacks are used to show depth and create contrast. The movie, on the other hand, has more detail to the Parasyte’s inner workings. Blood is used as a storytelling device, signalling something has been injured or killed but when Parasytes burst out from their hosts, blood is not used.
Colouring is always an interesting part of the design – it helps bring the entire creation together and it can also help create a lot of texture and detail. I decided to go very bright in colouring because it is always easier to dull colours down if it is too bright than to have the colours start out too dull to begin with. Also, having the base colour bright to contrast against duller colours that will be added in for detail. Because we were taking inspiration from anime more compared to the live action movie in terms of the stronger colours, the middle areas of the prosthetic was painted a darker colour. The teeth were made with polymorph plastic, and stained with red.
Application took a total of four hours and was blended with liquid latex. In order to conceal the right eye, I bandaged up the eye and used a sheet of liquid latex to cover up the eye area. It was then blended into the skin. More polymorph teeth were attached around the mouth, and the mouth area was painted black. Then each of the white teeth was stained red. After all the makeup was applied and set, blood was added to complete the look.
Touch ups were required throughout the day, making sure that the latex pieces were not visible. Sweat and heat throughout the day will cause the prosthetics to separate from the face. However, the blended edges had a bit of a lifespan – particularly because the cream makeup I used slowly breaks down the latex. (More on this another day!) By the end, the latex was showing signs of disintegration. Though, I truthfully did not plan for this prosthetic to last beyond the day.
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