If you want to hire me for this work, I do accept N.D.A. and C.D.A. contracts for the parties involved.
Digital Cosmetic Enhancement is exactly what it sounds like: digitally enhancing a shot for a cosmetic reason and/or other aesthetic purpose (no it need not always involve a human actor).
Sometimes, in movies, it is a necessity for makeup and/or prosthetic correction or concealment of some type. For example, an extreme close-up might show the netting or lace of a wig that must be blended to the skin, or the edges of a certain makeup prosthetic (nose, monster, old-age) begin to show because the actor is sweating, and the glue is becoming undone - revealing the seams to the real skin. Actors are human: they get ill, they party, and sometimes despite hair and makeup, do not look their best when doing a day’s shoot that cannot be redone. Therefore, this kind of work is oft-employed in post-production, but it tends to be a very well guarded secret, and for obvious reasons.
Anything can be “fixed” this way: hair color, eye color, highlights in the hair and/or eyes, brightening of the teeth and sclera (the white part of the eye to remove unsightly veins in close-ups), etc. Muscle definition can be added where there is none, such as ‘six-pack-abs’ on men. Additional warping and morphing is possible (see my “Humana” video), such as noses, eyes, lips, waist, hips, breasts, chest, bum, arms…there really is no limit.
Personally, I think this lady is beautiful. However, in the youth and beauty-obsessed culture of the West, anything that helps one appear younger is sought after with abandon.
It can mean that an #Oscar winning and/or popular actor that brings in money to the cinema, can have an 'extended shelf-life’ in the movies, by appearing younger without cosmetic surgery. There are no guarantees, but most 'big names’ are hired for that purpose, and no other. Consequently, the small amount of time and money, relatively speaking, to execute these effects, means an actor can make the studio more money for an extra 5 - 20 years. It is worth the investment for the studio releasing the project to do so.
#LolaVFX pioneered the “youthenization” or #DCE a.k.a, Digital Cosmetic Enhancement with the prologue to “X-Men 3,” making Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellan appear in their 40’s. You can see it here for now: http://youtu.be/rFnZg8xHF_I
Movie posters and music videos employ this illusion heavily. Below is a link to Mariah Carey’s “Obsessed” video. Look at any closeup, and you will notice that she has no pores. Although pores can be minimized, it is an impossibility to have none, as her skin would be unable to breathe.
Review same video at the 34s mark, when she is in the black dress, & it is my humble & expert OPINION that post-production ALLEGEDLY did the following:
a.) Her nose is re-shaped into more of a pixie tip (compare to any closeup)
b.) Her body has slight warping to accentuate her figure
c.) Executing b.) involves fixing the background, so it remains unaffected by the warping done to the foreground
d.) The dress has no lines on it, it’s perfectly smooth, another physical impossibility if one is moving (look at the clothes on everyone else around her)
The D.C.E. effect in this clip was a really quick example, I would normally take extra effort around the eyes, eyebrows, lips, and hair. Also, I might have asked for slightly darker, and slightly more pronounced makeup, as ones too close to skin tones do get lost a bit with this effect. One could always restore it, but if one can capture it in-camera, it’s best to just do it that way.
This clip included: skin-filtering; de-aging; matte skin; luminousness; colour & vibrancy adjustments; background bokeh enhanced from being over-compressed (look at original clip, it is all blocky, in the “after” it is smoother/softer).