Character mugshots

Writers often visualize not only the scenes they are writing, but also what their characters look like. Sometimes we even go looking on the internet to find pictures of people who look like our characters. Often we find just the right picture and we might copy and use it for a reference. At the very least, writers are notorious procrastinators, and this is a task that sounds important and avoids writing!

However, procrastination aside, it’s still a valuable tool. What to do, however, if you can’t find a picture that looks like your character. Try averaging two images together. There are several websites out there to help you, but here is one that I used: http://www.faceresearch.org/demos/average
To use it in the most simple way possible…
1. Click Register
2. Read and click on the consent agreement
3. Log in as a guest so you don’t have to give all the information.
4. Either fill out the fields or log in as guest.
5. Now click on: Make your own average faces with our interactive demos
6. Click on Upload your own faces
7. Now you are at a page where you upload your image. After this you will be comparing it to the face of the girl and matching points on the face you upload to the points indicated on the girl’s face.
8. After this, then upload another face and do the same thing.
9. After that you have the opportunity to average your two faces by clicking on them both.
10. It gives you a composite face you can copy and save.

Here is an example. My character looked somewhat like the model on the left and somewhat like Jennifer Connelly the actress (on the right). This is how it came out.

Give it try. You’ll come up with a unique face, one that no one has ever seen before. I looked at this averaged face and realized I’d found the character I’d seen in my mind. It’s quite an intriging experience.

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