In the movies and on television we have not long believed that everything we see on the screen is real. But there are challenges that are not easy to achieve for teams that are dedicated to inserting all kinds of tricks on the screen. One of them is rejuvenate an actor and make this seem convincing. And by the way don't be too much expensive.
This is just what an artificial intelligence system called Shapeshifter from the special effects company Gradient Effects. This software is based on filming an actor and modifying the appearance of his face without the need to manually model it using a computer, which is very laborious.
AI allows you to film an actor and modify the look of your face without modeling it manually by computer
This artificial intelligence has been applied for the first time to rejuvenate actor John Goodman in the series The Gemstones, produced by HBO. Looking at the promotional video that accompanies these lines, we must recognize that the work of this software is quite good.
Although, important, John Goodman's hair hasn't digitally rejuvenated. A wig has been used, because modeling something as complex as hair is still a huge technical challenge in 2019. As is often the case with artificial intelligence techniques, the process to obtain this result is cheaper. So the technique can not only be used in productions with a large budget.
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In the movie Rogue One of the Star Wars franchise we have seen how it is possible resurrect actors, like Peter Cushing, with a remarkable level of realism. Something that raises ethical doubts, because the career of an actor continues after his death seems somewhat debatable.
But there is also a huge debate with a technology like the one that has been applied to rejuvenate John Goodman. In the HBO series, the rejuvenation of the actor has been used so clearly, but it would not be surprising that we begin to see the use of this kind of digital makeup to simply improve the appearance of the actors we see on the screen.
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Actually this is already done with techniques that have nothing digital. The experience of makeup artists, hairdressers, illuminators and photography teams already know how to favor the appearance of an actor without using computers. But as we say if there is something that artificial intelligence stands out is because it saves costs.
So from now on it would not be strange if we see how actors and actresses take years off in audiovisual productions. Hopefully something like this will not thrive to the point where it has been reached in certain areas of photography, such as advertising or fashion. In which you have literally lived an authentic Photoshop drunkenness.
From now on, it would not be strange if we see how actors and actresses in audiovisual productions take years off
Already in 2011 in Britain it was banned from a L’oreal cosmetics brand campaign for a too exaggerated rejuvenation of actress Julia Roberts. Not a single wrinkle appeared on his face. But what is simple to achieve with a team of professional photo retouchers, is much more complex to get on video. At least until the arrival of artificial intelligence, which has warned of its potential to create shameless visual falsehoods with deepfakes.
Digitally rejuvenating someone through artificial intelligence in any case poses a huge challenge: we know, or suspect, what someone looked like a few years ago. And that is an important barrier that we must overcome to make the image credible. It is much easier to digitally age someone because we are projecting an unknown future.
It is much easier to digitally age someone because we are projecting an unknown future
Though There are other things that can complicate the challenge of altering a person's face: like there are complex lighting changes. It is not the same to supplant the face of someone who appears in a studio with controlled lighting to do the same if that person is walking down the street, with sudden and hardly controllable light changes.
For all that artificial intelligence applied in this series of HBO, is supported by the work done manually by specialists in three-dimensional modeling. Without them at the moment this technology would hardly be worth anything. Of course, we should not rule out that as it evolves we will see an application capable of rejuvenating faces in videos as the cameras of many phones already do with selfies.
It is not the same to supplant the face of someone who appears in a studio with controlled lighting to do the same if that person is walking down the street