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IPFS News Link • Technology: Software

'Holy Grail' digital effects rewinding the clock for actors


"The Irishman" unfolds over decades, with the 76-year-old Robert De Niro and his co-stars playing their characters from their 30s into retirement age, a feat that's made the film one of 2019's most acclaimed movies.

It's all possible through new digital de-aging techniques that in the past year in cinemas have shaved decades from Samuel L. Jackson's face and turned back the clock to the 1990s for Will Smith. When Monday's Academy Award nominations are announced, "Captain Marvel" and "Gemini Man" could see their names called along with "The Irishman" in the visual effects category.

Each film has arrived at its reverse aging trick through a different technique, leading some to call 2019 a monumental year for de-aging in film.

To many, "The Irishman" stands out from the field, thanks to its complete avoidance of "tracking markers" — dots painted onto actors faces which allow computers to mathematically replicate facial movements and manipulate them as the director sees fit.

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