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'Holy Grail' Digital Effects Rewinding the Clock for Actors


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Actor Joe Pesci appears younger in "The Irishman," thanks to digital visual effects.

Recent movies have made extensive use of digital visual effects to make performers appear younger.

Credit: Netflix via AP

Recent movies have made extensive use of digital visual effects to make performers appear younger.

"The Irishman," for example, is notable for avoiding use of tracking markers, the dots painted on actors' faces to let computers to track and replicate their facial movements.

Pablo Helman at Industrial Light and Magic enabled this innovation using a rig with a central director camera and two lateral witness cameras to capture infrared footage. This allowed the elimination of shadows, which could interfere with the geometric facial shapes constructed by de-aging software, from on-set lighting.

Said Helman, “You're not interrupting the director's thread of thinking. You're not changing the light on set, but the computer can see in a different spectrum.”

From Associated Press
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