Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken, Germany have created computer modeling software that can adjust the shape of a person in a video recording from one frame and adapt the physical appearance of that person in the remaining frames. So an actor can appear thinner or fatter than s/he is in real life without changing physically:
Turning to the video sequence containing the actor whose shape they wish to manipulate, the team uses a mix of off-the-shelf and bespoke software to track the actor's silhouette through the scene. The software then maps the silhouette onto the morphable model, and tweaks it to generate the required height, weight, leg length or muscularity.
The technology has obvious applications in films like Raging Bull, for which Robert de Niro put on 27 kilograms in two months to portray his character. "The actor wouldn't need to go to all that trouble," says Theobalt.
At the link, you can watch a video demonstrating the process.
Link via Popular Science | Image: Max Planck Institute for Informatics