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    The Most Seamless Timelapse of an Aging Human Face

    Written by

    Brian Anderson

    Features Editor

    The problem with aging isn't that it's completely awful. Growing old kind of rules. The thought of slow-arcing into your twilight years is poignant enough that it bears a certain and profound beauty. The problem with the aging process is that it can be really difficult, almost incomprehensibly so, to actually see it going down year to year.

    Danielle by Anthony Cerniello is far and away one of the most breathtaking stabs at condensing the feature warpage of time. Visual meditations on growing old and wisened typically come in the form of taking a photo a day for years on end. Cerniello did not do this; instead, he shortened the process down to a single day of headshots and a little studio magic. 

    It all started last Thanksgiving, when Cerniello and still photographer Keith Sirchio made their way to the family reunion of Danielle, a friend of theirs. The pair shot portraits of Danielle's extended family, from her youngest cousins to her elders, in medium format. Per Colossal:

    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.

    What we get in the end is the seamless march of time. Pause at any moment in the video, which you should watch in full and at considerable volume, and it's a mere portrait. Let the thing roll, and the stitching is virtually indecipherable—you know it's too good to be true, though it's never too uncanny. And that kind of rules.

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