'MovieReshape' Can Make Actors Look Even Better Onscreen
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. (See a video demo here.)
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. And, if MovieReshape ever makes its way to the consumer market, you could even wipe away those videotaped memories of your awkward, adolescent 'fat years.'