“Danielle” turns an entire family’s photo portraits into a single, hypnotizing look at aging (VIDEO)


posted Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 6:03 PM EDT


Over the last few years, it's been pretty common to see videos of people who have taken a self-portrait every day over long stretches of time, tracking how their faces and lives change. But a new video called "Danielle" by Anthony Cerniello takes that concept and does something slightly different with it, creating a slow, and slightly haunting, look at the process of aging.

If you have five minutes, we thoroughly suggest watching this video. It's an extremely slow transition between ages, as the subject gradually and inevitably ages. It's so slow as to be almost unnoticable, but it's constantly happening.

Colossal explains how Cerniello managed to make this video. It's not the result of years of tracking a single person. Instead, it involves a lot of photographs, and a huge amount of editing.

"Last Thanksgiving, Cerniello traveled to his friend Danielle’s family reunion and with still photographer Keith Sirchio shot portraits of her youngest cousins through to her oldest relatives with a Hasselblad medium format camera. 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."

So these are all shots of a single family, across a variety of ages, which were edited together into a psuedo-timelapse. They were melded together to look like a single person slowly aging. The final product is impressive and uncanny, creating a seamless timeline of how a fictional person ages.