Monday, November 01, 2010

Weekend Video 2

The voiceover is, I find, as spooky as the technology previewed here. It brings to mind the adverts I used to see in US magazines of the fifties, in which the famous Charles Atlas promised that bodybuilding could put an end to one's ignominious existence as a "ninety-eight pound weakling" who was, of course, ignored by girls!

On the site where the video was originally posted there were the inevitable comments predicting a future in which mammary enhancements will be both virtual and ubiquitous.

Oh dear!

"Hollywood actors may no longer need to worry about getting in shape for their next big screen roles, thanks to a new image-manipulation program that can magically chisel their physiques in post-production.

The software, called MovieReshape, was developed by Christian Theobalt, of the Max Planck Institute for Informatics. After generating 3-D scans of 120 men and women of various body shapes and sizes, Theobalt and his team merged the distinct scans into one model that can be manually adjusted and inserted within existing video footage. Programmers can then use existing software to track an actor's silhouette throughout a sequence of frames, and map the silhouette onto the malleable 3-D model. Editors can use the software to simultaneously adjust an actor's height, weight and muscle tone, without having to make the painstaking modifications one frame at a time. 

At this point, the software can only be used in scenes with a clear, unobstructed background, which may discourage some cinematographers from adopting it in major motion pictures. As New Scientist points out, though, it may offer a convenient alternative for advertisers looking to put together a quick commercial with svelte, demigod actors."

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