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In his 1994 movie The Shadow uses his psychic abilities to somehow alter his face to look like another person as part of his disguise. I've often wondered how this was actually done in the movie.

It is only shown rather scarcely and often only behind the rest of his mask/scarf. Though, I think at the end there's a scene where he transforms live between the faces using some blending effect. It might just have been make-up, but it always looked like a completely different person to me, with much more prominent features, yet on IMDb there is no other actor credited for playing The Shadow. Or maybe it was CGI, but while not entirely unknown in 1994, I'm not sure how capable or widely used CGI was for such stuff back then.

So is there any official information (or at least well-reasoned speculation) how they achieved The Shadow's "alternate face"?

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1 Answer 1

They didn't have the technology to do facial substitution with CGI in 1994.

One of the first box office attempts at facial substitutions was in the surf movie, The Blue Crush, in 2002, to paste Kate Bosworth's face on a stuntwoman doing the surfing. The results were still quite poor in 2002.

So, the special effects in The Shadow were done with prosthetics and makeup.

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Jurassic Park (1993) did a facial substitution. Ariana Richards' face was superimposed onto that of a stunt woman. To quote the actress: 'That was actually a landmark moment for film special effects. It was the first time that something like that had been done.' –  Oliver_C Aug 6 at 9:16
    
I'm surprised to hear that given the results in Blue Crush were not particularly good, and that was 9 years after Jurassic Park. Do you know which scene had facial substitution? –  Jeff-Inventor ChromeOS Aug 6 at 9:36
    
Titanic did facial substitution in 1997, the bit where there's running through corridors with water chasing them. –  Chopper3 Aug 6 at 10:04
    
@Jeff-InventorChromeOS - Klick on the second link I provided. In the interview Ariana Richards describes the scene. –  Oliver_C Sep 5 at 18:45

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