I am not sure that a silhouette is the best word. I am doing a cinematic scene in which the "Mystery character" is sitting in a chair, and I want his face to look blacked out/"silhouetted" so you can't see his facial features.

I do have adobe After Effects, in case I can do it in the editing process.

  • What are you talking about? Animation? Is this something you will film with an actor or have filmed already? In the latter case, can you post a screenshot of what your scene looks like? In case you want advice on how to film this, can you give an example of what you want your scene to look like? (A screenshot from another movie or something similar) – MoritzLost Nov 21 '16 at 20:09

A silhouette is often created by having a person with zero lighting on him/her, positioned in front of a brightly-lit background. However, you'd need to do camera tests to confirm that the contrast is high enough so you don't see the person's face.

You can emphasize this in Adobe After Effects by creating an oval (face-shaped) mask that is black and partially/mostly opaque, with fuzzy edges. Position this over the mystery person's face and animate it to follow their movements.

There are many other options for hiding a mystery person's face.

  • Have the person's back to the camera.
  • Only shoot the person from the shoulders down, so their face is not in the shot.
  • Only show the shadow of the person's face, on a flat surface that is lightly colored (white, yellow, etc.).
  • Similar to the previous idea, the mystery person could be behind a white sheet, with a bright light even farther behind the person, so a silhouette of the person appears on the white sheet. Make sure to reduce or eliminate light on the same side of the sheet as the camera; if there's too much, the shadow will be washed out.
  • Position the person behind a sheet of shower glass or something similar so they are visible but indistinguishable.
  • Just put a bag over their head.

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