Today's Obsession: Big Head Mode

If you’re a gamer of a certain age, this should freak you out: for Halloween of 2009, artist Eric Testroete wore … his own head. Only big. And lo-rez.

A bit of backstory is necessary here. It used to be fairly common for games to have an Easter egg that would let you turn your characters into big-head mode and basically run around shooting things up but with giant comic heads. (Don’t ask. It’s funny.)

What Eric’s done, then, is create himself as an avatar of himself, but an avatar in a very specific mode. It’s a meta meltdown!

To make this, Eric modeled his head into a low-polygon model in 3Ds Max based on photography of his own face. He then used Photoshop to create a standard-issue texture map, and adjusted to fit. After all of that, he exported the 3D model to a Japanese paper folding program (of course) called Pepakura Designer, which generates folding documents, with tabs, of 3D models (which, by the way, I am freaking out about right now). Then, much cutting, folding, and gluing, which is documented on his site.

The thing that makes it really work, however, is his blasé attitude in photos. I can’t imagine this working as well on someone who’s acting like a video game character. You expect the dude with the big head to act weird; it’s more haunting if he’s just shopping for magazines at a 7-11. This is such a gorgeous concept; to re-cast yourself as something impossible and based in play.

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