Zombie Skin

Hey guys!
A friend of mine asked me if I could help him out in a small school project!
He want's "realistic" zombies and can't really afford make-up.
Is there some way to like paint your face green and then add CG effects or so?
And if that works, what would be the best approach?
Cheers guys!


  • And when I say realistic of course I mean reasonably, I'm well aware I won't be able to do any Walking Dead or so! :)
  • Actually you could very well produce something much better than you think practically rather than cgi, and it's very inexpensive.
    All you need is plain tissue paper with no pattern to it, pva glue and then some fake blood and (mums?) make up for blending.
    It's a simple process of placing the tissue onto the face/area and covering it with pva glue, add a few layers of tissue at a time before drying it out with a hairdryer, then repeat the process a few more times. I tried this one halloween and did about 4 layers. Layering it up then allows you to take a pin and just pick it open to make it look like an open wound. Colour and blend the whole thing as close as possible to the skin tone - which will be easier if you're recolouring the whole face - and then fill the opening with fake blood.
    It may take up to an hour to get as many layers as needed to give it enough depth to look right but it comes out looking great. I used the technique as a last minute idea on my arms at halloween 2 years ago, shredded an old t-shirt and covered that with blood for the sake of it and everyone was obsessed with the wounds. I did it in 45 mins with 2 kids jumping all over me begging to open the fake blood so I'm sure you'll manage just fine. Mine looked better in person than on the photo below as the colour differences stand out more, but it did look good on the night.
    The only thing I will point out is that it can tend to pull off at the edges over time so I'd prep to do it as close to filming as possible.
    As a side opinion, if you're going for realistic then consider more pale/grey colours for the skin over green, green makes zombies a bit cartoonish for my liking.
  • That's amazing! Thank you!
    I'll be sure to tell him, it looks really great!
    Yeah I agree regarding the Zombie-skin color! Grey-ish and perhaps just a little dark red/purple to give the feeling of rot.
    I was just thinking of painting the face green and then use that as a "green screen" so that I could change the green to a zombie-looking texture.
    Once again, great work Nutty!
  • Well, since the actual skin is solved - are there any possibilities to enhance the look through CG-effects, or perhaps just some sort of filter will suffice?
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,370 Enthusiast
    Something you might want to think about is enhancing the 'inner' portion of the wound, which is generally the area that's difficult to do practically. So maybe have some actual muscles/tendons at work in there, moving around and looking all gloopy, giving the wound some real depth. This could then be tracked onto the hand (you might want to put easily trackable bright dots onto the inner part of the wound). This would be a *relatively* simple composite, depending on how exactly it is to be featured in the shots.
    If you have more advanced 3D skills then you can really go to town and do crazy things a bit like Spydurhank in his crushed head test:

    That kind thing does require far more advanced 3D modelling and compositing techniques, though.
  • Hey Simon!
    Thanks for tips! I'm afraid that I, for the time being, possess such skills in 3D artistry.
    I wish I did. Is this video entirely done in Hitfilm 2?
    If it is this was an even better software than I could have imagined.
    Ok, but would I have to make the muscles and suck by myself in a 3D program?
    Or is there some sort of good website that offers such things perhaps?
    Sorry, it became quite the mountain of questions!
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,370 Enthusiast
    That example video was created and rendered primarily in dedicated 3D modelling software, as it requires some quite advanced skin-related rendering techniques. I'm no expert on this stuff myself, so Spydurhank is the one to ask.
    The final compositing could certainly be accomplished in HitFilm, however, after the head wound piece has been rendered out.
  • Ok, I'll check in with Spydurhawk then!
    Thanks for the tip!