Face Thinning

Hi Everyone
HNY to you all. I soon have to do a lot of de ageing on a load of shots. This process will involve thinning the persons face. I’m thinking of the best way to do this as they move about obviously.

Is this a place i don’t want to go in Flame or are there some super tips i havent thought of.

Thanks as always.


not in flame, nuke, whatever. The work is pain.

That said, the work is generally done in flame. Distort nodes, bicubics with the magnet tool, those will be your friends. Also lots of roto, color correction, blur, etc.

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Always look and see if you can stabilize the head before you start. Even just a 1 point stab on an eyebrow can turn “thinning the face” into a simple extended bicubic.


I have had to do face/body thinning on some TVCs in the past. I used Pixel spread to do it with excellent results. Obviously a contraction but I can’t remember what mode but I’m pretty sure it was the default. I was actually amazed at how forgiving this technique would be. It was a few years ago but I seem to remember having much looser roto than the body was what really helped it. I’d have a tighter matte as well that I would also apply to the pixel spread, then comp that onto an unaltered bg so that didn’t warp. You had to play with the edges and mid point. I seem to remember that my mid point I was keeping at half the value of my edges. All from blurry memory but I’m sure you could have a play to test the technique.

I’m not sure that would work for all body movement. For instance, twirling would be a bit iffy. I don’t remember any crazy head turns either. Worth a try though.

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Thanks Andy.
It’s a shame with all the the clever ML tools that this has to be such a manual process. I’m just acting spoilt so I guess it’s time i get to work.

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This is a really clever approach and I can defo see the logic and work flow on getting this working. Thank you.

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I’m thinking the ML node to get a face extraction matte into pixel spread set to stretch to make it a fat matte feeding another Pixel spread to contract the face. I shall try in the morning.

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