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Human canvas: behind the scenes at a festival of body painting

Nic Bothma / EPA

A model waits backstage prior to the Bodyspectra body painting event in Cape Town, South Africa, on October 26, 2012.

Nic Bothma / EPA

A general view of the backstage area prior to the Bodyspectra body painting event.

Nic Bothma / EPA

Models mingle at the bar prior to the Bodyspectra body painting event.

Students at Cape Town's City Varsity School of Media and Creative Arts take part in Bodyspectra, South Africa's premier body painting event.

Artists and models prepared for up to fourteen hours before showcasing their creations at a gala show. The event forms the final practical evaluation for motion picture make-up and production design students. The brief is simple: create a human canvas using body paint, prosthetics and props.

-- European Pressphoto Agency

Editor's note: Pictures taken in October but made available to NBC News on November 20.

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