Digital doubles: Bringing actors back to life


It’s a technological miracle of sorts — actors seemingly performing from beyond the grave. How do they do it? Call it a “double take,” as David Pogue of Yahoo Tech found out: 

The new “Star Wars” movie, “Rogue One,” was a big hit at the box office. Exciting story, thrilling effects, and gifted actors — including one who’s been dead for over 20 years.

That’s right: British actor Peter Cushing was there, reprising his role as Grand Moff Tarkin, even though he passed away in 1994.

How did they do that?

Actor Guy Henry performed the new scenes, and then the Oscar-nominated special effects engineers replaced his face with Peter Cushing’s.

And how did the computer know exactly what Peter Cushing’s face looked like, down to the tiniest detail? That’s where Paul Debevec comes in.

Debevec invented the Light Stage, which sits at his office at the Institute for Creative…


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