Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hollywood stars: The next victims of the robot revolution?

Manufacturing and the service industry may be hardest hit during the robot boom happening in the job market.. But who knew that Hollywood stars would face the same peril..

Carolyn Giardina, reporter for the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, has a fascinating article running today about how Paul Walker was digitally created for FURIOUS 7.. Walker died in a tragic accident during filming of the movie, but that doesn't stop his starring role in the film.. HR reports,
Today, it's possible to create an actor entirely from digital composites. The Mill, for example, has completed a 90-second Johnny Walker ad featuring a CG Bruce Lee for agency BBH in China. "We created his entire face in CG and hand-animated that, using shots of the actor for reference," says Shenfield. He believes that a CG actor is an option, as long as artists can create his face convincingly. "The eyes require a lot of work," he says. "Keeping motion continuous in the musculature and the eyes is the key to making it look real."

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Some movies now even create 3D scans of actors as production begins, so that they can make CG doubles for complicated stunt scenes. It's not known if that occurred on Furious 7, but it was done on Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Explains VFX supervisor Scott Squires: "If there's any inkling that you might need a scan, they scan the actor at the start of production. I've also heard of certain studios having actors scanned just as an archival thing." That way, 20 years from now, filmmakers would still have access to the likeness of that actor — dead or alive.

That is a huge this, as well.. Just as labor unions in various other industries have had to respond to management phasing out employees for the systematic help of robotic machinery that never needs water breaks or paychecks, perhaps the Actors Union may face the same issue..

CGI is the future. You may not believe what you see.. what you already see isn't real. So why should be the players in the play?

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