Disney’s research team has created a new AI tool that can easily make actors on TV or movies look younger or older.

We’ve seen movies where the character looks younger or older than what the actor actually is. This de-aging process usually involves practical effects using prosthetics or visual effects that involve complex facial mapping, 3D rendering, and more.


Now, with Disney Research’s Face Re-aging Network (FRAN), this process will be automated with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). Disney is hailing it as “the first practical, fully automatic, and production-ready method for re-aging faces in video images.”

To do this, the Disney researchers randomly generated thousands of synthetically aged faces between 18- and 85-year-olds using a tool called StyleGAN2. That training data allowed FRAN to learn general principles on how a human’s appearance changes as he/she ages.

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With this, FRAN can apply a de-aging effect on a real actor instantly frame by frame, even with different facial expressions, angles, and lighting conditions.

“Production-ready method” as Disney calls it, means that FRAN can create a high-quality output that’s enough to be used on movies or TV shows.

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