DailyDirt: Digital Beauty Is Everywhere

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Before Photoshop, there were real airbrushes and paintings that were just a bit more flattering than a mirror. Movie magic is improving all the time with computer generated effects, and it’s getting harder and harder to tell what’s been altered (just assume everything is). You might not want to meet your favorite actors in real life after seeing how they’ve been modified. Here are a few links on digital touch-ups.

If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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Comments on “DailyDirt: Digital Beauty Is Everywhere”

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Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

The Logical Conclusion

Let’s carry this to its logical conclusion. A talent scout goes around American college campuses, finding girls who will accept, say five hundred dollars, to spend an hour or so in a medical scanner, and give a full release for the information the scanner generates. The scans become a kind of digital full-body leotard-mask “worn” by an Indian actress, who is sixty years old, looks forty au natural, and who, with the aid of the mask, is able to pass for fifteen. Needless to say, she has forgotten more about acting technique than any twenty-year-old ever knew. Think of someone at the kind of level that Katherine Hepburn eventually reached, only not confined to “magnificent old woman” roles like Queen Hecuba in _The Trojan Women_ or Eleanor of Aquitaine in _The Lion in Winter_. Like one of the old repertory actors in Shakespeare or Molliere’s companies, the sixty-year-old Indian actress can play just about any kind of part on short notice. The movie industry will become much more enclosed. It won’t go out looking for near-amateurs with the right kind of face. It will focus down on people it knows are good craftsmen.

The British mystery writer, Margery Allingham, in _The Estate of the Beckoning Lady_ (1955, towards the end of ch. 4), postulated a kind of rubber mask (“The Old Original Skin Deep”), which would fit tightly against the skin, more or less the way a pair of pantyhose fits a pair of legs. The idea was that the mask, instead of the skin, would receive a make-up job, and the make-up job could be in permanent colors. The face would be part of the stage costume, the same as the wig. Things like wigs work on the stage, as distinct from film, because the audience doesn’t get close enough to get a really good look at the actors. Allingham also postulated that copies of the masks would be on sale in chain stores, and little girls would be dressing up in them…

We have seen some approaches to this conclusion, notably the curious case of the Everywhere Girl. An aspiring actress/model got a job for a one-day photo-shoot for a fixed fee. The photographer was able to take enough pictures that he effectively captured her entire career potential, selling her image to advertise an extraordinary range of products, and making her so “type-cast,” (as “your daughter going off to college, for whom you want to by stuff”) that the aspiring actress/model could never work again.


John85851 (profile) says:

Re: The Logical Conclusion

Something similar to this was already done digitally for Jeff Bridges in “Tron Legacy”: the visual effects team used clips of him from earlier movies to create a younger version of him.
Of course, plenty of people complained his face looked like play-doh, but since the scenes were supposed to be set in a virtual world, we should cut them a little slack. 😉

So the question becomes whether it’s cheaper to digitally alter a character or make your “body mask”.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

The funny thing is

For me, the funny thing is that the standard of beauty that all this effort is being put into attaining is counterproductive. The most “beautiful” people in the movies and on magazine covers aren’t that beautiful to me. I see a dozen women in the real world every day who are an order of magnitude more beautiful than any of them.

Ray (profile) says:

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