This is one of those posts that we normally do not do on STH, but NVIDIA asked nicely. The company this week boasted that its Quadro RTX line powered titles such as the Disney/ Marvel Avengers: Endgame and The Irishman from Netflix. We had the opportunity to talk to NVIDIA about how they are enabling studios with products such as the NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000 we reviewed.
NVIDIA Quadro RTX at the Oscars
On a call with NVIDIA, the company said that in The Irishman actors were de-aged via CGI. Instead of simply swapping in old footage, an AI model was trained to be able to de-age the actors. During filming, actors did not need to wear dots which are common practice in Hollywood. Dots capture facial features and allow digitally altered surfaces to be added later. By not requiring dots or special facial capture, actors are free to give their performances unencumbered.
Impact Beyond this Year
The fact that movies such as The Irishman can use these effects, without requiring on-actor capture and have the end footage look real is a big deal. This technology can be used in the future to prolong an actor’s career. If you look to the future, this is another step in being able to create digital representations of real actors or creating a fully fictitious actor. We are still years away, but that is where the industry is heading.
We had the opportunity to ask NVIDIA about when we would start seeing this for the masses. Usually, techniques like these are developed for bigger budget films and then the technology eventually makes its way down to lower production budget shops. An easy example of this is green screens which one can do background replacement on using a $800 laptop versus requiring a large production team as it would have taken decades ago. NVIDIA responded that we will see more vendors take advantage of AI assists in the next year and that their Quadro cards will lead the acceleration of these new features. A feature such as de-aging is likely years away from running on desktop Quadro’s in prosumer tools. It simply takes that much time for desktop hardware and software to catch up to what the big studios are doing.