Introduction: Floating Head of Aphrodite Halloween Zoom Costume
You might dress up as a floating head. Perhaps as the floating head of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, suspended in front of and to one side of her headless, marble-statue body.
You can't use this costume at a party you plan to attend "in person." But it's easy to put together for an online costume party on the Zoom platform.
- Personal computer (PC) or Mac.
- Internet connection.
- PowerPoint or similar software that allows you to manipulate and export photos in a format suitable for use as a virtual background on Zoom or another video-conferencing platform.
- Two ”green screens” (at least one must be a foldable-sheet type).
- Image of a headless statue.
- Silver face paint.
- Free, personal "Zoom" account (to allow you to see how everything will look and make adjustments as needed before the party).
Step 1: Download an Image for Your Virtual Background
I found a suitable image of a "headless Aphrodite" statue on the website of the Rhode Island School of Design (risdmuseum.org).The accompanying text indicates that the image is in the public domain; this is an important consideration if you and your virtual costume will be broadcast over the internet. A higher-resolution copy of the image is available from RISD than the one published on the website, and they provide an online form to make the request for a high-resolution copy easy to do.
A Google search using the words "headless statute" will deliver more image possibilities if you wish to try something other than Aphrodite.
Step 2: Create Your Virtual Background
Once you have the image you wish to use and have determined there are no restrictions preventing you from (legally) using it, the "background removal" tool in PowerPoint software will allow you to take out the original photo's background. You can then place the statue image on a slide with a black background. You'll want to reduce the image a bit so it looks smaller and more distant than your face does in the foreground once you are using it as your background on Zoom. Move the image to one side of the frame so your face won't overlap.
I exported the slide with the statue image on a black background as a JPEG file to a folder on my computer. You might prefer to experiment with using TIFF to preserve greater detail in the image; I don't know if the larger file required by TIFF will be a problem on Zoom, but I was concerned about that.
Next, save the JPEG file to the set of virtual backgrounds you have stored on your Zoom account to see how well it works when you host a "practice" Zoom session without other attendees.
It may take several tries, and adjustments, before you get the size and placement of the statue on the Zoom screen just the way you want it.
Step 3: Green Screens and Face Paint
Your computer software may offer a "virtual green screen," but the professionals ( and lots of the rest of us who have been in meetings on Zoom) recommend using a physical green screen behind you and your computer for the best results.
In addition to the green screen behind you, you will need a "green screen" that doesn't have any hardware, rods or fasteners attached to it — just a simple, green, cloth. It doesn't need to be very large, but large enough that you can wrap it around your neck and cover your shoulders and upper torso.
On the day/evening of your virtual party, you will also need some face paint. Silver face paint works well if your background statue has gray tones in it, like the Aphrodite statue featured in this Instructable. If your background statue or other artwork has a different color to it, another color of face paint may work better for you.
Step 4: Apply Makeup, Adjust the Green Screens, and It's Time to Party!
Apply the silver face paint, followed by lipstick, eye liner and eye shadow. For the hairstyle, I slicked my hair back with a generous dollop of maximum-hold hair gel.
If you have a black makeup stick, consider blacking out a tooth or two as the final touch.
You are now ready to surprise and alarm others at a Zoom costume party.
Enjoy the party!
Participated in the