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What If: Marilyn Monroe, Bruce Lee & Hitler had lived?
June 1, 2008 3:13 PM   Subscribe


 
If Marilyn Monroe were alive today, I would think she would have given up turquoise eye shadow and cleavage shots. Unless she was destined to go blind in her old age.
posted by troybob at 3:16 PM on June 1, 2008


The Marilyn Monroe one is pretty passable if you grayscale it. Though it doesn't really seem to capture the thinning of hair much.
posted by mr. creosote at 3:18 PM on June 1, 2008


capture the thinning of hair

I think Hitler would have less on top and more coming out of his ears.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:19 PM on June 1, 2008


Those oldies aren't goodies!
posted by mrnutty at 3:20 PM on June 1, 2008


Marilyn would have had cosmetic surgery to deal with the wrinkles and age spots and as was mentioned, her makeup would have evolved.
posted by hojoki at 3:23 PM on June 1, 2008


Well, she would at least have plenty of gay friends to set her straight.
posted by troybob at 3:26 PM on June 1, 2008


I buy that, nearing 70, Bruce Lee would still be capable of kicking my ass.
posted by Popular Ethics at 3:31 PM on June 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


... Hitler would look like if they ...

Sorry, old copy editor.

posted by mrgrimm at 3:42 PM on June 1, 2008


What If: Marilyn Monroe, Bruce Lee & Hitler had lived?

Answer: If these images are to be believed, the answer appears to be "they would look older."
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 3:44 PM on June 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


i was confused as well...i wondered how they learned photoshop and why it brought them back to life
posted by troybob at 3:44 PM on June 1, 2008


Why is Hitler wearing a Swastika? Surely he'd be a member of the Bush Administration?
posted by fire&wings at 3:59 PM on June 1, 2008 [9 favorites]


I think Hitler would have less on top and more coming out of his ears

And his ears would have grown.
posted by raygirvan at 4:08 PM on June 1, 2008


That's a bit more advanced then photoshopping. They're either CG or hand-painted. (I'm assuming CG)
posted by delmoi at 4:12 PM on June 1, 2008


Hitler would be like 120... so I think he'd look a bit more decrepit than that.

And Marilyn and no doubt Bruce would have a few nips and tucks...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:17 PM on June 1, 2008


Old Bruce Lee looks like Bob Dylan's head grafted onto Iggy Pop's torso.
Hmmm...
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:30 PM on June 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's a bit more advanced then photoshopping. They're either CG or hand-painted. (I'm assuming CG)

Argh. No. You assume wrong.

I could do that in Photoshop, and I'm not particularly skilled when compared to expert Photoshop editors. It's just a lot of layerering, blending and cloning work and a lot of time. You get "wrinkle" textures from other sources and tune the colors and shape for compositing. These other sources could be photos, or even digitally created elements. There are hundreds or thousands of different procedural ways to composite and blend textures in Photoshop. You can mask out elements and dodge or burn then in to your working image in so many ways that "shadowed" wrinkles could be flipped around and used as highlights instead. Or a variety of sampled wrinkes can be totally reworked and composited to become a complicated web of them for some convincing crow's feet, or a forehead or whatever.

As they are stills, it would be much more likely that they're digital photo manipulations. Getting that kind of photographic detail with hand painting, even with an airbrush, takes much more time and skill. You also usually have to work at very large scales to get good photorealism on paper or cloth. It's very expensive to do and requires very good tools.

Doing truly photorealistic work in 3D is equally difficult. A program like Maya is essentially something like a 3D modelling and photographic editor all in one - there's a lot of arcane, Photoshop-like techniques you can use, but you're doing an exponentially greater amount of work and editing to get a 2D still that would be easier and faster to do in Photoshop - and you never seem to get it to simply look just like a photo unless you take your rendered still into photoshop and go hand tweak all the aliased edges, and, well, at that point you should have started in Photoshop.

Besides, I can see the edges of cloning and compositing regions all over Marilyn. It's Photoshop. If you opened that image in Photoshop* and sharpened the hell out of it and screwed with the curves all the composited areas would light right up for you.

I know, having seen a Photoshops in my time.

*Or it could be Painter, or a number of other image editing programs.

posted by loquacious at 5:00 PM on June 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


An excellent piece of art, but they look like not quite real, although Marilyn looks the most real of the three. What raygiran said. I was going to post the exact same comment about Hitler's ears, and also Bruce Lee's hands.

There are many randomized modifications that aging makes to the human body, and if you could stop time and age the same person over and over they'd look different each time: here is an excellent paper on the subject. Figure 7, specifically.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:02 PM on June 1, 2008


haha loquacious, I spotted you at "Argh."
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:02 PM on June 1, 2008


Having only skimmed the posts above, hmmm, I'm always surprised at how people who have aged look dissimilar to their younger selves. So, this seems unlikely. I should, however, consult one of those people who ages kids who have been kidnapped, etc., to confirm. In the absence of that expert opinion, it appears that someone just added wrinkles to extant photos of these luminaries.
posted by frumious bandersnatch at 5:10 PM on June 1, 2008


For comparison's sake, here's Keith Richards at 64.
posted by mosk at 5:24 PM on June 1, 2008


No Elvis?
posted by empath at 5:43 PM on June 1, 2008


3 photoshop images does not make a good FPP, I call weaksauce.
posted by Vindaloo at 5:47 PM on June 1, 2008


If Marilyn Monroe were alive today, the guy in the mafia who had been ordered to kill her and make it look like a suicide would be dead. Her life woulda gone similarly to that of Elizabeth Taylor or Liza Minelli. However, unlike Florence Henderson or Tina Turner, most people would not claim she's still hot. That photoshopped attempt at depicting her was kind. Before senility would set in, she would marry and divorce at least twice as many times as she had before age 36. She would have been unsuccessful easily adapting from sex goddess to middle aged matronly roles in film. The movie Sunset Boulevard comes to mind, but Monroe wouldn't go in that direction. Instead, she'd revert to her southern roots, and find a barn and stable where she spent her spare time as she worked with marketing people and public relations confidence tricksters who she'd hope could rekindle her past majesty twenty years after the sun had set on her kingdom. In the end she'd get critical acclaim in a successful television sitcom as the stooge to a brighter and younger actress. Yes, Marilyn Monroe's alternate past would today mirror that of William Shatner's. She'd probably look more like him than that photo - but she'd be able to ride horses in circles around Shatner - who'd probably be her seventh or eighth ex.

...236.

Had Bruce Lee lived until today, he'd be revered similarly to how Muhammad Ali is revered now. Despite Bruce Lee's life long pursuit of exercise and health, some annoying life debilitating disease would cause his body to decay before his mind, and he'd shake and drool and everyone would fawn over him in public but privately they'd be like damn he looks like shit. Before Lee's actual death, it would be reported that Jackie Chan spent several months where his people talked with Lee's people in an attempt to get Lee's okay for Chan to play Lee in a full length motion picture biopic. Lee's final word on the subject, on his deathbed, after rough translation would essentially be "get bent Chan - I want Foxx."

...133.

Were Adolf Hitler alive today, I'd be forced to rethink my policy against violence. However, had the bloodthirsty coward not killed himself when all military hope was lost (the snivelling wuss), Hitler woulda been tried in an international court for war crimes, and sentenced to death. His end would have been similar to that of Saddam Hussein, probably with a similar interchange of words just before he was hung. Only, there wouldn't be any cellphones to capture the moment for posterity. All this would have happened over twenty years before I'd be born. I see no alternate history in which even Hitler's brain could survive to today. Imagining what the despicable bastard would look like at 120 years old is moot.

...125.

Some say one picture is worth one thousand words: not in this case. The three pictures together barely get five hundred outta me, and I'm quite the vociferous bastard.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:03 PM on June 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


What's the deal with Bruce Lee's scars? Is the artist positing that if he had lived long enough, Bruce Lee would eventually have had to fight Wolverine or Vega?
posted by mhum at 6:14 PM on June 1, 2008


That elderly Hitler needs some mega-jowls, in my opinion.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 6:26 PM on June 1, 2008


What's the deal with Bruce Lee's scars? Is the artist positing that if he had lived long enough, Bruce Lee would eventually have had to fight Wolverine or Vega?

Um, you're not really familiar with Bruce Lee, are you?

In Enter The Dragon, Bruce fights a guy wearing a claw-hand weapon, which gave him the parallel cuts. The picture used in the link is a still from that film, and is the most iconic image of Lee.
posted by DecemberBoy at 7:22 PM on June 1, 2008


I've gotta agree with the assessment of meh. These would need a lot more work to look remotely plausible. That these were done with such famous images (which, in the case of Lee & Monroe are theatrical images, at that) just highlights the unnaturalness. Plus, no weight gain or thinning hair?

For example, we can see how contemporaries of Ms. Monroe have aged. Wikipedia has current photo of Tony Curtis. Here's a "classic" photo of him. Elizabeth Taylor. A photo published in the NY Post of Ms. Taylor. A more flattering shot from her Larry King Live appearance here.
posted by desuetude at 9:23 PM on June 1, 2008


Well for that matter, you could also compare Marilyn's aging to that of her former roommate, Shelley Winters.

Jesus... getting old sucks.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:29 PM on June 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Does Roger Daltry still sing that line from My Generation or does he skip it?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:56 PM on June 1, 2008


I welcome our new Zombie Hitler overlord.
posted by bpm140 at 1:45 AM on June 2, 2008


However, had the bloodthirsty coward not killed himself when all military hope was lost (the snivelling wuss), Hitler woulda been tried in an international court for war crimes, and sentenced to death.

I think the idea was that Hitler would've survived the war but gone into hiding, where he was smuggled into Argentina and lived out his life on some remote villa. This isn't too far-fetched, considering the actual history involved.
posted by graymouser at 3:39 AM on June 2, 2008


Why does Bruce look like Yoda?
posted by dasheekeejones at 3:42 AM on June 2, 2008


I bet Bruce would have aged gracefully. He'd be wearing some nice sifu garb and just aging with grace and honor. He knew what was up. His students would be the martial arts stars in every genre.
posted by Flex1970 at 12:18 PM on June 2, 2008


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