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Watch a girl age decades, almost imperceptibly, in minutes

At once eerie and beautiful, this time-lapse aging video was made from medium-format film images.

Tim Hornyak
Crave freelancer Tim Hornyak is the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots." He has been writing about Japanese culture and technology for a decade. E-mail Tim.
Tim Hornyak
2 min read
No spring chicken? Danielle hardly blinks as she ages rapidly. Screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET

Yesterday I saw a photo of myself from 16 years ago. I was struck by how the years -- and all that hair -- seem to have slipped away so quickly. It feels like I'll wake up tomorrow and it'll be 2030.

By then, of course, we'll be uploading our minds to our immortal robot clones. But for now, age keeps coming back to haunt us like an annoying Adobe Flash update.

That's why a new video from filmmaker Anthony Cerniello is so striking. It shows a girl slowly and almost imperceptibly aging decades in about four minutes.

"Danielle," embedded below, was produced with a team of animators and a still photographer, Keith Sirchio.

Set to a somewhat eerie soundtrack by Mark Reveley, it shows a young Asian girl gazing into the camera, only blinking occasionally, as she slowly matures and gets older.

Her face becomes longer, her bone structure more defined, and then her skin and hair show signs of age as she seems to enter the middle years of her life.

Last year, Cerniello attended his friend Danielle's family reunion. He and Sirchio took portraits of her relatives of all ages with a Hasselblad medium-format camera. After scanning the negatives, they chose those relatives with similar bone structure to create a rough aging continuity.

Animators Nathan Meier and Edmund Earle then knitted the images together seamlessly, with 3D visual-effects artist George Cuddy putting the finishing touches on the remarkable transformation.

"I attempted to create a person in order to emulate the aging process," Cerniello, a music video and commercial editor, writes on his Vimeo page. "The idea was that something is happening but you can't see it but you can feel it, like aging itself."

Check out the results in the video below, and watch it all the way through to get the full effect.

(Via This is Colossal)