This girl ages into an old woman before your eyes without you noticing. This is Danielle – a five-minute video by filmmaker Anthony Cerniello, who set out to emulate the aging process by “creating a person”.
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Watch the whole thing with sound and don’t skip around. Just let it play, or else you’re missing out. It’s important to see her age, yet not see any visible changes to her appearance as it happens.
Anthony Cerniello’s aging simulation video (above) is enthralling minds across the Internet for the poignant effect and for the extremely difficult technical process which was used to achieve it.
“I attempted to create a person in order to emulate the aging process,” Cerniello wrote on his Vimeo page. “The idea was that something is happening but you can’t see it but you can feel it, like aging itself.”
Danielle wasn’t shot over the course of a lifetime, or even multiple years. The person Cerniello “created” is in fact a composite-person, a very detailed combined sequence of related, family members spanning multiple generations who were all photographed at more or less the same time.
Last Thanksgiving, Cerniello traveled to his friend Danielle’s family reunion and with still photographer Keith Sirchio shot portraits of her youngest cousins through to her oldest relatives with a Hasselblad medium format camera. Then began the process of scanning each photo with a drum scanner at the U.N. in New York, at which point he carefully edited the photos to select the family members that had the most similar bone structure. Next he brought on animators Nathan Meier and Edmund Earle who worked in After Effects and 3D Studio Max to morph and animate the still photos to make them lifelike as possible. Finally, Nuke (a kind of 3D visual effects software) artist George Cuddy was brought on to smooth out some small details like the eyes and hair. COLOSSAL’s Chris Jobson reported
The end product is like nothing we’ve ever seen. You’ll want to watch this short film in full HD, full screen, with headphones. Watch it and be amazed!