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Watch This Woman Slowly Transform From Toddler to Elderly Woman

The idea behind Danielle, who is based on a real person, is "that something is happening but you can't see it but you can feel it, like aging itself"

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We’re constantly aging. But pinpointing the elusive moment that first wrinkle appears or that halo of baby fat melts away is impossible. Filmmaker Anthony Cerniello captured this subtle process in a beautiful but disturbing video of a toddler lapsing into old age. The idea behind Danielle, who is based on a real person, is ”that something is happening but you can’t see it but you can feel it, like aging itself.”

It’s worth watching the five minute clip from beginning to end. As PetalPixel notes, “Even the music was originally supposed to “tell this woman’s life,” starting off slower and getting faster and more frantic as the video went on.”

To make the video, PetalPixel reports,  Cerniello took photos of his friend Danielle and all of her relatives at a Thanksgiving family reunion. 

They took photos of just about everybody there with Sirchio’s Hasselblad, and then parsed through them to find the family members with the most similar bone structure.

Those final photos were then edited to look even more like the same person at different ages, after which animators Nathan Meier and Edmund Earle and Nuke artist George Cuddy animated the still photos to “morph” them from youngest to oldest in a way that looked as lifelike as possible.

Some of those life-like changes include a gradual breakdown of our muscle and skin. Muscles shrink and lose mass, the Washington Post says, while skin’s collagen and elastin deteriorates, creating wrinkles.

Despite these ravaging natural processes, Cerniello’s Danielle features a content Mona Lisa smile and twinkle in her eye, even as the music of her life fades and the screen abruptly goes dark.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Solving the Aging Puzzle 
Ten Ways Tech Makes Old Age Easier 

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