The secret of VFX effects that turned a 54-year-old Jet Li back to his 20s

By 2016.08.31 January 13th, 2021 No Comments

A visual effects (VFX) technology developed in Korea that enables actors to film lively action scenes without ever setting a foot outside an enclosed studio is now being exported to various overseas markets.
On August 25, VFX service provider Dexter Studio unveiled the “Human Facial Scanner,” a technology developed in-house by Dexter Studio itself, on a filming set in Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do. With 40 DSLR cameras installed in all directions, Dexter Studio filmed the model’s face from all angles to generate a 3D rendering. The Human Facial Scanner can reproduce an actor’s face for a variety of movie scenes by recording over 50 different facial expressions, including bright smiles, frowns, and expressionless faces made by the actor.
Supervisor Yoo Tae-gyeong at Dexter Studio explained, “The most important thing is to create an environment where the actor can feel comfortable enough to make the faces and expressions they want to. To get the faces the director or film crew needs, actors have yell or make sounds while thinking or imagining a specific scene.”
The 3D data of the actor’s face filmed with the DSLR cameras is often used in action genre motion pictures, where it may be difficult for actors to execute action scenes themselves. 3D data is also frequently used in fantasy films or period productions with settings that do not exist in the real world. For instance, superimposing an actor’s face obtained with 3D data in an action scene played by a stuntman can create the illusion that the actor, not the stunt double, is doing all the action work.
Recently, Dexter Studio was given the lead on VFX elements used in the “League of Gods,” a major Chinese motion picture starring Jet Li. Its work on the “League of Gods” made Dexter Studio the first Korean VFX company to export its VFX technology overseas. Dexter Studio used its Human Facial Scanner to generate a perfect 3D rendering of a much younger Jet Li, then superimposed Jet Li’s younger face onto the face of the stuntman who took care of the fighting scenes. With “League of Gods” rising to the top of China’s box office leader board in just a week, Dexter Studio was able to prove just how competitive Korean VFX can be on the global market.
“The images we take with our Human Facial Scanner are shot in 5K, which is incredibly high in terms of resolution. That’s why we can see every individual eyelash and even dead skin cells on the surface of the actor’s skin when we blow the images up. Sometimes actors might want to edit a certain face they made in a scene or slim their figures down to create a more appealing image. And just like how people would do with Photoshop, it’s really easy to make a person look fitter using 3D data,” said Supervisor Yoo Tae-gyeong.

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