International science magazine New Scientist has reported that scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken, Germany, have developed a new software program that will obviate the need for actors to gain or lose weight quickly for roles. The new software gives filmmakers the ability to make an actor look heavier or thinner, taller or shorter, using 3-D scans and morphing technology to create an altered silhouette that can then be inserted into a scene.
The New Scientist points out that Robert De Niro's weight gain for 'Raging Bull' (about 60 pounds in two months) wouldn't have been necessary with this technology. Other actors are famous for these sorts of transformations; Christian Bale springs to mind immediately (for 'The Machinist'), of course, and more recently, Ben Stiller for 'Greenberg,' both losing weight. On the flip side of the coin, other actors have to quickly put on weight (or put weight back on, in the case of Bale) for roles, like Renée Zellweger for the 'Bridget Jones' movies, Charlize Theron for 'Monster' and George Clooney for 'Syriana' -- and then quickly peel it back off for the next role. Whether or not you're under the guidance of a doctor, a nutritionist and a personal trainer, it doesn't really matter in the long term: Drastic weight loss and gain in a short period of time is just not healthy. It also gives regular people the idea that it's so easy (read how in the latest lady mag!), and that's not true either.