Disney has the perfect AI for aging actors

Disney has revealed its biggest secret, at least the one that keeps its actors looking forever young in movies. And, of course, the recipe for its success is a newly unveiled sophisticated artificial intelligence program that helps the company’s productions reduce post-production processes. Are we facing the future, or the present, of cinema?

Disney, with its various franchises, has tried everything when it comes to technology. The best known is that related to CGI technology. Mainly at Marvel – which we have already seen with a precarious result in She Hulk – and also in Star Wars, this novelty has even managed to resurrect characters who died before being able to complete certain titles of the company. However, this is a long and expensive process, so much so that, in an effort to save on productions, these teams have been the main victims of rushes and salaries. This is why Disney needs more efficient techniques to ensure the survival of all its sagas. Artificial intelligence could be the ultimate solution. Especially when extended over the years. And if the years do not pass for the characters of fiction, they pass for the actors who embody them. And this, with such long sagas, is a problem.

We have seen it in Ant-Man and the Wasp from Marvel: we could see a very young version of Michelle Pfeiffer and Michael Douglas. Now with the new movie coming out Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania we’ll probably get another rejuvenated dead character. Behind this, many designers erase, one by one, the wrinkles on the faces of the characters.

To avoid all this, Disney Research Studios is working on a tool that can help all these creators and that we could very well see in a short time in one of the titles of the house. At least to spare the design and post-production teams a job that can become monotonous. Of course, this revolves around artificial intelligence, which has been on trial for two years. And while it can be used to make actors look younger, it can also be used to age them if needed for different shots.

The key to this Disney-tested AI system is that it can adapt to moving images. And be, in fact, totally convincing and photorealistic. Eliminate the feeling of loss of quality between executive transition phases. In order to train the neural networks of the technology, an essential element for cinema has also been taken into account. Often the actors don’t look directly into the camera, which means the face position isn’t proportionately perfect. To this end, explain a database was created with millions of faces created with artificial intelligence systems and random creations. All, too, with alternating positions.

Then, with the tools of this program called Fran, they were aged and rejuvenated. It was a trial and error phase with non-human elements for the AI ​​to learn as much as possible. And then to bring it to actors or real people.

Why do they look more realistic than other attempts at artificial intelligence? The model does not age the whole face of the character, but studies the elements that can be affected by age according to the structure of the face. When it detects the image, the AI ​​creates an additional layer that overlays the original. As it moves, the layer moves with the actor; if the actor’s rictus changes, there will also be a change in the wrinkles. It also allows you not to lose the real identity of the actor without the effect being too artificial on the big screen.

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Disney has the perfect AI for aging actors

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