While many writers and actors are opposing the use of Artificial Intelligence, there are some in the industry who are embracing the technology. In the recently released Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the creators, with the help of Industrial Light and Magic visual effect company, de-aged the lead actor Harrison Ford.
The Power of FaceSwap Technology
With a team of 100 artists, ILM used its FaceSwap technology to make the 80-year-actor look young in the film. ILM used tools like CGI, machine learning and “geometry derived from photography” for the 25-minute flashback sequence in the film. ILM senior publicist Ian Kintzle told Inverse, “We knew that we were gonna be using every single technique we had produced to date and whatever else we could develop for this production and to use in the future.”
AI’s Role in the Process
The creators used extra cameras along with the main camera to capture all the necessary data including lighting and even details of Ford’s face. ILM’s VFX supervisor Robert Weaver revealed that AI played a major role in this process. ILM used a computer to scour through old Indiana Jones films which gave them enough reference images to match each shot in Dial of Destiny.
Making Ford Look Younger
Once the film was fully shot, creators went shot-by-shot and used FaceSwap technology to make Ford look younger. Weaver revealed that machine learning helped them get a 2D replica of what they needed but they also needed a little help from 3D scans of the actor’s face. For this, the franchise’s protagonist- Harrison Ford had to go through the process of recording his facial expressions in different scenes which were then combined to get the final performance. Notably, The Dial of Destiny took three long years in the making before it hit the theaters.
ILM has used similar techniques in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and The Mandalorian. In addition to these, Marvel Cinematic Universe and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman have also utilized similar techniques.