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Fixed-looking visual effects – The Hollywood Reporter


With the belief that Hollywood stars never need to age on screen, or at least can do so more gracefully, Canadian visual effects studio Monsters Aliens Robots Zombies (aka MARZ) is close to rolling out an AI-powered vanity AI that changes Cosmetically, it enhances an actor’s complexion and hair in real time or ages and ages actors for scenes set in the past or future.

The studio’s secret of eternal youth that was worked out using algorithms for state-of-the-art visual effects has been used on Marvel’s works Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Including a wig fix for Katherine Newton, who plays Cassie Lang, the young daughter of Paul Rudd’s character Scott Lang, aka the shrinking hero Ant-Man.

The de-aging technique has already been used on Hollywood actors starting with Robert De Niro in irish to Kurt Russell in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. MARZ with Vanity AI joins a growing field of AI-powered de-aging tools developed in VFX studios or by technology companies like Metaphysic – which are involved in de-aging Tom Hanks, Robin Wright and other team members from Robert Zemeckis’ upcoming Miramax movie. here.

On the ant Man As a sequel, there was no need for a major digital face-lift for teenage Cassie, but the Vanity AI allowed for a number of paint and beauty overhauls on the Marvel movie, recalls Christian Camaroche, visual effects supervisor at MARZ. In the absence of AI-driven technology, he says the process would have taken longer, with artists doing just that Computer improvements in-house or outsourced to another company.

“Sometimes you can wait a week for the snapshot to come back to you. Then you review it to see if it’s correct. If it’s not, you send it back,” Kamarooshi said. ant Man, MARZ used Vanity AI to complete cosmetic repairs for up to five takes of its own footage per day, depending on the length of the shot and the number of frames it held, he reported.

“This greatly increased the spinning speed of those shots,” Kamarooshi recalled.

MARZ Co-Founder Lon Molnar Recalls Previous Marvel Project Loaded With VFX Effects And Famous Stars His Studio Worked On, 2021 WandaVision, For Vanity AI assets.

Some footage of the TV series in post-production had Paul Bettany with tracking marks on his face and neck. Molnar said that the artists who drew the trace marks faced a lot of time and expense per take, so MARZ turned to an in-house machine learning team that used artificial intelligence to develop a way to remove the marks.

They had to come up with algorithms that could recognize, isolate, and remove artifacts and be able to do so continuously over a series of frames and snapshots. From this research and development came Vanity AI, software that performs a range of tasks from cosmetic touch-ups to aging and de-aging.

The goal is that, for example, Hollywood actors can say goodbye to concealer makeup to hide bags under the eyes. “The artist can sit and on a single mask frame the areas we want to fix. Say her under-eye bags. You can make that area look appropriate with that one frame and (Vanity AI) basically extrapolate that across not just the shot but the sequence of shots,” Molnar said of the increase. The amount of cosmetic repairs is huge.

AI-powered cosmetics work in sound effects for actors whose looks are part of their brand and want a computer touch-up or face-lift to look their best. Some of these may be contractual obligations. Some of it may just be the removal of a blemish, even on a teen. “We’re using it for different projects in film and television,” Molnar said, as previous versions of Vanity AI have been employed by artists in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Stranger Things 4, Gaslit, First Ladies And Ricardos being.

Besides fixing the wig on ant Man A sequel, the Cassie-focused MARZ artists have done a great job of connecting audiences with a minor character in the vast Quantum Realm. To portray a teenage hero who craves a fight and is in the middle of the action and needs to shrink and grow to do so, the MARZ artists turned to Marvel’s tried-and-true “disco track” effect.

With this photo-realistic effect, Newton’s character is seen nearly disregarding their former selves as they transition across the screen, allowing the audience to track their whereabouts in the Quantum Realm. But the Camaroschi remembers that his MARZ team had their work cut out for them not so much when a bug-sized Cassie crossed over in the screen profile shot but when she ran head first into the camera.

This was, for example, the key to the pivotal scene. At first, the disco track clumsily doubled down on Cassie’s character, creating potential visual noise for the audience.

Kamarushi recalls that telegraphing or tracking Cassie’s movements with optical echoes as she jumped to the camera had to be done digitally, as it could not be captured on camera. After all, the movie isn’t a comic book where Ant-Man can be reduced to a single cartoon panel.

Lucky for MARZ, the creative license to add what doesn’t work in photography digitally was well-appointed by Marvel. “It became a good collaborative process, partnering with them to find the best solutions that were visually pleasing, as well as cost-effective for them,” Camaroschi adds.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.