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Jan 29 2014

Impressive digital sleight of hand

Via David Pescovitz I came across this video of Zach King seems to be a master of video trickery. The Independent newspaper has a profile of King.

5 comments

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  1. 1
    hyphenman

    Good afternoon Mano,

    In the bad-old days of the Soviet Union, whole photography labs of technicians specialized in performing Winston Smithesque disappearing acts on photos. In the digital age we can no longer trust any photographic or video evidence.

    For instance, we all saw the street videos of the Boston Bombers with their backpacks, but how reliable is such video? To what lengths might anyone in power go to fabricate a video narrative supporting their version of reality? If I were on a jury, I don’t know how I might react to video evidence unsupported by eye-witness testimony.

    We live in a scary world.

    Jeff Hess
    Have Coffee Will Write

  2. 2
    kyoseki

    Fabricating a video to fool members of the public is one thing, but fabricating a video to fool experts is something else.

    Face replacements in visual effects are pretty common, but they’re far from perfect and need the cooperation of both the body double and the owner of the face in question. Doing a digital face is possible but requires a lot of people and still doesn’t look completely convincing (in a lot of cases, it looks downright creepy, see: CLU in Tron:Legacy)

    The more believable you want to make a visual effect, the more people are required to do it (the discipline is complex enough that a single person can’t do all aspects of it), so the larger any given conspiracy becomes.

    That said, I do recall that the CIA were recruiting CG artists a few years ago :)

    Regarding the original video, he’s done some nice editing & comp work there, I’m assuming he shoots the video on a decent camera, edits/comps it on a workstation and then uploads the result to vine, because I can’t imagine the phone app has the control necessary to do a lot of this stuff (in particular, things like corner pinning the footage in the first clip with the easel).

  3. 3
    Brony

    This is fun and games now. It may not be fun and games for long.

  4. 4
    Brony

    Think about it. It was not too many years ago that most image macros (image + text) on the internet were mostly fun and games. Now when you go on Facebook finding politically oriented image macros containing false information is easy. What is worse is when you corner people that post these images with irrefutable evidence that what they posted is false, they often continue to defend the image with arguments like “even if Obama did not say that I think he really believes that” or “even if Obama did not say that it’s the kind of thing he would say”.

    Soon enough we may see lots of videos making people say and do all sorts of things and there are tons of people ready and willing to believe it.

  5. 5
    starskeptic

    hyphenman – it’s interesting that you would write “unsupported by eye-witness testimony.” – since such testimony is notoriously unreliable; caught between a rock and a hard place we are…

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