Posted on Friday, October 8th, 2010 by Germain Lussier
Some of the greatest performances of all time are when an actor so totally commits to the role that they’re willing to destroy their body for it. Robert De Niro as Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull is the ultimate example. More recently, Christian Bale lost a sickly amount of weight for The Machinist, Matt Damon put on the pounds for Courage Under Fire and The Informant!, Renee Zellweger gained weight for Bridget Jones’s Diary and Charlize Theron did it for Monster. And then there are an innumerable amount of films where actors got into really great shape for a role too. Now, a company in Germany has developed a new software called MovieReshape which totally negates the need for any of that. It can make any actor look obese or incredibly ripped just by modifying their body in the computer. Check out a video demonstration after the jump.
Developed by researchers at Germany’s Max Planck Institute, MovieReshape can not only modify body weight, it can modify age too.
“You could use it to do something similar to what they did to Brad Pitt on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, making him younger or older but much faster and with less computing power,” Christian Theobalt, one of the scientists behind the software, told The Hollywood Reporter. “What would take days using conventional SFX software our model can do in a matter of hours.”
Don’t worry about this software changing any movies that are currently in production, though. It’s still a while away from being commercially available and won’t make its first public presentation until December. But you can bet film producers are chomping at the bit to get their hands on this technology.
While the software is certainly a positive for the health of actors who have emaciated – or blown up – their bodies, when does CG go too far? If Robert De Niro is portraying an overweight man, actually being overweight certainly helps the performance, but is his health worth our entertainment? Then there’s the flip side. Do you really want someone like Kevin James running around onscreen looking like a body builder? It’s certainly a debate that’s worth having. What do you all think?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter