Okay, I admit I'm slow, but somebody explain to me why this is the end of the long quest:
The Holy Grail of Animation: Lifelike Humans
With a big assist from Silicon Valley technology, a movie superstar like Angelina Jolie could keep starring as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider sequels — forever.
Aided by increasingly powerful microprocessors and incredibly sophisticated software, moviemakers and video-game developers are getting closer to achieving the holy grail of animation: creating computer-generated actors that are visually indistinguishable from real people.
... [P]roducers have generally avoided even trying to make digital characters that look like actual people. And when they have, they’ve often blundered into what those in the industry call the “uncanny valley.” That’s where animated faces seem so devoid of normal human expressiveness they appear zombielike ...
Image Metrics ... used a device developed by the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies, which can digitally capture enormous amounts of visual detail about human actors, including their faces.
... [A]n actor in his 30s ... recently asked [the company] to capture the man’s image with LightStage so the actor can star in future animated films without ever looking a day older than he does now ...
I've been around long enough to remember when the purpose of animation was to create characters that didn't look like forever-young Brad Pitts and Jennifer Anistons. When the purpose was to, you know, create a movie-going experience that didn't slavishly replicate live-action.
But I can't think of anything better than to have animation technology keep a 28-year-old screen hottie forever hot. Even when they're seventy. They can creak around in their 28-year-old digital skin and pretend to be young. Should be a trip.
But the whole idea of it creeps me out. You want a twenty-something actor, go get a twenty-something actor. Because seeing Harrison Ford young again will not, I don't think, cause audiences to flock to theatres. It will instead creep them out too, for they will know it's a gimmick. And Harrison, as hard as he tries, will not be able to move like a twentyish version of himself.
No doubt I'm wrong about all this. No doubt the above will become all the rage, and sweep the country. In the meantime, I'll hold fast to my delusion that animation is better and far more useful doing other things.