Life-casting or Body Casting (also 3D Casting) - is the process of creating a three-dimensional copy of a living human body, through the use of moulding and casting techniques. In rare cases lifecasting is also practiced on living animals. The most common lifecasts are of torsoes, pregnant bellies, hands and faces, and it is possible for an experienced lifecasting practitioner to copy any part of the body. Lifecasting is usually limited to a section of the body at a time, but full-body lifecasts are achievable too. Compared with other three-dimensional representations of humans, the standout feature of lifecasts is their high level of realism and detail. Lifecasts can replicate details as small as fingerprints and pores. Lifecasting is a process which can be as versatile as the user. Once you understand the principles of the materials and how they work nothing is impossible. For every occasion in life we have something to offer, important milestones such as birth, engagements, weddings, anniversaries and pregnancy, right through to fun and quirky castings that can make the most personal and fabulous gifts. How do? We use 2 main materials for this process. Alginate: Skin Safe, Chromatic (colour changing) Alginate is a non-toxic, non-allergenic moulding material (seaweed plant extract), which is safe to use on all areas of the body. This forms a gel-like skin over the master or model. Plaster: Primarily used as a casting material; we use this to make our master copy of the live subject. Life casting processes are regularly used to create prosthetics and special effects prop’s for movie’s. Many life casting materials are single-use moulds of a body part (called, waste mould making). These materials are also very restrictive in terms of the materials we may use as casting agents. Life casting is a process which can be as versatile as the user. Once you understand the principles of the materials and how they work nothing is impossible. Life casting is one of the easiest, yet involved skill to learn. Practise plays a huge role when attempting to master these techniques. Alginate - Best for most life mould making and casting applications. - Sets quickly, minimizing stress on the model - Good for prosthetic work - Is a water-based gel, made primarily from seaweed - Ultimate texture capture, usable on almost any surface - Good for shrinking objects Plaster - Good for almost all casting applications - Sets quickly - Readily available and very low cost - Good for re-enforcing supporting jackets and multi-part moulds especially when used with plasters scrim - Is a water-based material, making it safe and easy to work with - Good for sculpting - Comes in a wide variety of types - Good for making dipped latex skin
If you want to do a face cast using alginate, never try it for the first time without professional guidance. There can be a real danger of inexperienced user’s accidentally blocking the model’s airways.