This New AI Tool De-Ages Actors’ Faces for Movies, in Seconds

Disney Research Studios have created a new artificial intelligence (AI) technology that can either age or reverse the aging of persons in video footage. This software, known as the face re-aging network (FRAN), will be able to make actors appear older or younger for movie scenes set in the past or the future with little post-production editing.

This New AI Tool De-Ages Actors’ Faces for Movies, in Seconds

AI Is the Future of Filmmaking

As Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher was digitally remade to resemble herself in the original Star Wars trilogy when she was in her twenties, as shown at the end of the 2016 film Rogue One. According to John Knoll, who oversaw the visual effects for the movie, it was a very labor-intensive and highly-tech version of doing makeup.

This AI tool can complete this task in a small fraction of the time. In a scientific paper outlining FRAN, the crew describes how the system makes use of a neural network that has been trained to use a vast number of face photos. Using this data, it will then project how a person’s face will probably change over time, including the development of wrinkles, facial drooping, and changes in skin tone.

FRAN Keeps All the Details Intact

It’s not difficult to de-age a person’s face in a single frame. There are many software tools and filters that can do this quite well that have emerged in recent years. However, with the AI tool FRAN, it’s possible to smoothly edit video footage while preserving crucial visual elements like facial expressions, lighting, and camera angles.

The researchers made a few films showcasing the AI tool and released them. They even demonstrate how an actor’s face can age in front of your eyes, changing from young to old in a matter of seconds. Amazing, right?