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Disney’s new neural network can change an actor’s age with ease

An example of Disney's FRAN re-aging tech that shows the original image on the left and re-aged rows of older (top) and younger (lower) examples of the same person.

Enlarge / An example of Disney’s FRAN age-changing AI that shows the original image on the left and re-aged rows of older (top, at age 65) and younger (lower, at age 18) examples of the same person. (credit: Disney)

Disney researchers have created a new neural network that can alter the visual age of actors in TV or film, reports Gizmodo. The technology will allow TV or film producers to make actors appear older or younger using an automated process that will be less costly and time-consuming than previous methods.

Traditionally, when special effects staff on a video or film production need to make an actor look older or younger (a technique Disney calls “re-aging”), they typically either use a 3D scanning and 3D modeling process or a 2D frame-by-frame digital retouching of the actor’s face using tools similar to Photoshop. This process can take weeks or longer, depending on the length of the work.

In contrast, Disney’s new AI technique, called Face Re-aging Network (FRAN), automates the process. Disney calls it “the first practical, fully automatic, and production-ready method for re-aging faces in video images.”

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