In the 1981 film Looker, Albert Finney plays a Hollywood plastic surgeon. He becomes troubled when four beautiful young models come in to his office and demand tiny, almost imperceptible changes to their looks. When the models start turning up dead, Finney investigates further, and finds out that they were all linked to a market research firm called Digital Matrix. As it turns out, Digital Matrix has developed a technology that scans the girls and makes perfect digital copies of them that can be used in commercials and movies. The models are initially all for it, thinking that they can get a paycheck for doing nothing once they’re scanned. Digital Matrix, however, has figured out that the models need not exist at all once they’re scanned. So Digital Matrix just kills them and keeps them money for itself.
Looker was a neat sci-fi film in its day. It didn’t have aliens, starships or guys in glorified gorilla costumes. The plot seemed almost feasible at the time. Of course, computers in 1981 weren’t nearly powerful enough to pull off lifelike 3-D modeling. But computers today are. Behold:
This is a computer generated version of actress Emily O’Brien created by facial animation studio Image Metrics. And here’s a video of the CG O’Brien talking about her creation:
It’s not completely lifelike yet… but man, is it ever close!