Los Angeles Times
There was an onslaught of diverse visual effects in “Stranger Things” Season 4. Not only did the team expand the eerily creepy Upside Down and conjure an entirely new mind-numbing villain Vecna, but to pull off its most difficult challenge required the team to de-age a then 16-yearold Millie Bobby Brown to appear as a younger, pre-Season 1 Eleven.
“We looked into deep-fake technology, but we couldn’t rely on how fast it could iterate, especially at 4K,” says VFX supervisor Michael Maher Jr. The photorealistic imagery was a result of a meticulous process that required casting child actress Martie Marie Blair to play Young Eleven where VFX replaced her face and head with a younger version of Brown. Using VFX vendor Lola’s specialized lighting rig known as the Egg, they captured dozens of facial expressions from Brown to be applied on her younger digital self. “It’s a lot of projection, 3-D modeling, 2-D work and shooting Bobby Brown present day and then grafting her head on the body of Martie. It’s a tricky process, and each shot required its own placement to get the right balance.”