“We're Live” – Blair Neal's TV Face Substitution

This is a long very overdue post on the work of Blair Neal, who after interning with us many many years ago has gone on to be a lead developer at the award winning fakelove creative agency where he makes totally sick interactive installations for some of the worlds top brands. Along with this he somehow still manages to find time to make music videos, live show visuals and share his tools for other artists in the field; no doubt many of you have already probably used his Canon To Syphon app or read his invaluable in depth Guide to Projectors for Interactive Installations or one of his other projects shared online.

Today Blair published a new project he's developing called “We're Live” which involves using real-time face replacement algorithms available in OpenFrameworks to insert his (or any other face) into a live television feed that he's watching at home. It's a crazy amount of fun.


Along with photos of himself “guest staring” on a variety of popular shows, the blog post includes the technical details and his open sourced, Syphon-enabled face replacing app for download should you want to try this at home with your VJ software of choice.

His blog post also goes into the inspiration and background of the project:

We’re Live allows a user to composite their face (or any face they choose) onto a live television stream. Essentially, anyone you watch on TV can finally look like you….or anyone you want. You could make everyone on TV look like Bill Murray if you really wanted to.

One of television’s greatest powers is in its ability to display very structured and edited views of reality. By watching the fabricated streams of the shows, viewers begin to wish for the interesting, exciting and impossible lives of the characters. They can subconsciously desire the smiles and trouble free lives enabled by buying the products in the advertisements. With this software, viewers can come one step closer to truly seeing themselves on screen.

We’re Live is a project involving live HD cable TV and face substitution software. It is a hardware and software method for doing a real time facial composite/replacement on live television. The original face substitution implementation and cloning shader was created by Kyle McDonald and Arturo Castro in 2012. The face tracking algorithm that enables this kind of high quality facial substitution was developed by Jason Saragih.


Premiered at Mutek Montreal 2 weeks ago, SEISMIK was one from HERMAN KOLGEN we had to get some more details about..

Performance or installation about the vertical layering dislocations

inspired by geodetic phenomenoms, frictionnal slidings, fossil earthquakes and the geologycal modelings, seismik use stress fields to provoque tension between vertical layering dislocations.
using the siesmic data of our planet territories, herman kolgen create, with this new work, nervous stratigraphic audiovisual motifs.

How was it made? Herman Kolgen sent us these images and description of their setup,

We created different app in OpenFrameworks to connect in realtime with the seismik data

and by OSC I control audio+video and my Modular analogue kit
by Syphon the audience can see the net connection and mix with my other clips

If you think this looks cool in your web browser, check the vimeo page for more videos and the Herman Kolgen website for upcoming live shows that might be coming to you later this year!