Fake or Foto?
November 14, 2001 12:37 PM   Subscribe

Fake or Foto? Try to guess which are photographs, and which have been cleverly computer-generated. Sure it's a game, and it's interesting on that level, but I was wondering if anyone was seeing any patterns in the kind of objects they were able to recognize as one or the other. I know I did.
posted by Hildago (33 comments total)
That's definitely interesting, but I'd like to see more examples.
posted by trioperative at 12:42 PM on November 14, 2001

What made it difficult was that the real ones were artificial looking. I said all ten were cg - if they were capable of doing the others ones, these ones would be a doddle.
posted by Zootoon at 12:44 PM on November 14, 2001

8/10 correct.
posted by muckster at 12:47 PM on November 14, 2001

Need bigger, better quality pictures. I got 8/10 right but thought any of the photos could have been CG.
posted by straight at 12:48 PM on November 14, 2001



And I was certain I had the nails right.
posted by silusGROK at 12:50 PM on November 14, 2001


The real problem is that they use a blur/fade-out in the distance to distort perceptions and stick to a primary color range. All of those images could be done both in CG and IRL

Make me confuse a CG version of a clear, focused face or a real city skyline [downtown San Francisco on a clear day, where you can see into offices from the Bay Bridge] with the real thing. Then I'll be impressed. These are just muddy images.
posted by eyeballkid at 12:54 PM on November 14, 2001

What's the point if they don't tell you in what ways the "fake" images were altered? I didn't learn a thing (and I'm bitter because I only got 5/10)
posted by Shadowkeeper at 12:57 PM on November 14, 2001

The whole thing is a marketing stunt for Alias/Wavefront ... the "fakes" were all made with their rendering system :)
posted by bclark at 12:58 PM on November 14, 2001

Here's the bonus quiz for more examples.
(It doesn't mean I got 10/10, it just means I know where the bonus quiz is)
posted by starduck at 12:58 PM on November 14, 2001

Nine out of ten for me, and I wavered over the one I ultimately missed.

It's like pornography. I know it when I see it. Or something.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:00 PM on November 14, 2001

4/10. Which explains why I believed the twins, the tourist, and the sphere.

(Okay so not really the sphere and the tourist, but the twins thing got me.)
posted by jennyb at 1:00 PM on November 14, 2001

Did anybody think the picture of the face was real?
posted by Hildago at 1:07 PM on November 14, 2001

btw, 4/4 on the bonous. I've seen plenty of CG that look almost real, but not real. ...perhaps its the context that makes them look fake, or real.

I did poorly on the first quiz b/c the real pics were made to confuse you. The cg one look cg, the real ones looked cg as well.
posted by tomplus2 at 1:14 PM on November 14, 2001

mwah-ha! 10 out of 10 plus 4 out of 4 on the bonus round. Can you tell that a large part of my job is manipulating images? And no, I do not work for the Weekly World News. Or Time Magazine, for that matter.
posted by whatnot at 1:21 PM on November 14, 2001

I got them all right, but in the bonus round i missed one. I agree though that the photographs are made to look like 3D renderings. The funny part is the subject matter... I mean, in the world of 3D, people always make glasses and chess boards and spheres of all kinds - to show how photographic they can make something appear - but most photographers wouldn't be interested in making such pictures.
posted by edlundart at 1:22 PM on November 14, 2001

The pattern is that, if the image contains some complex noise about it, it's probably a photograph. The dust on the chess pieces, for instance, wouldn't be impossible to render in CG, but it would be enormously difficult, and probably no one would bother. Same with the little bubbles where the surface of the wine meets the glass.

And I don't agree that there's a cheat going on because some areas of some of the photos are blurry -- that's true of most real photos as well. The easiest way to spot early CG renderings were that they were unnaturally sharp in all areas.
posted by argybarg at 1:25 PM on November 14, 2001

10/10 (woo hoo!) on the main quiz. 2/4 (d'oh!) on the bonus. argybarg has it right. The hallmark of reality is imperfection. Even artificial chaos isn't random. There's a pattern to the disorder.
posted by jpoulos at 1:35 PM on November 14, 2001

6/10, but I thought I had seen at least one of those images before and said it was CG, when it was real.
posted by briank at 1:45 PM on November 14, 2001

look at the heads of the nails - all similar. Which means that the programmer made one nail and plopped copies down all over the place. Cool effect, and if he/she had bothered to make a few different nail heads and tips I would've been fooled.

Some say laziness and hubris are the hallmarks of programmers' success at creating tools to work on tasks, but when it comes to trying to fool the human eye, that laziness and hubris is very apparent.
posted by salsamander at 1:47 PM on November 14, 2001

Um, sal, nail heads (even real ones) do have a tendancy to look alike. :-)
posted by jpoulos at 1:50 PM on November 14, 2001

Are you sure those nails you've been using are real?
posted by dchase at 2:05 PM on November 14, 2001

Did you notice 4 out of the 5 CG images were produced by the company whose site this is?
posted by msacheson at 2:13 PM on November 14, 2001

I'm reminded of the PR infiltration metatalk thread.. *looks suspiciously at Hidalgo*.. heh, j/k, I saw the link on fark.com a few days ago too.. must be floating around.
posted by alex3005 at 2:19 PM on November 14, 2001

The stylised look of the real images is fairly common with stock photos (which I assume they were), just look at some of the images on web based stock galleries, like tonystone.com for example (login required to search).
posted by sycophant at 2:30 PM on November 14, 2001

8/10, 3/4. The dice fooled me, although I shouldn't have been.

But I can't imagine why someone would want to render stock photography-esque subjects.
posted by solistrato at 2:56 PM on November 14, 2001

9/10 - 1/4
posted by ggggarret at 3:10 PM on November 14, 2001

9/10 on the first quiz. I missed the lots-o-nails in the first one. I decided too quickly. If I had looked more closely, I probably would have gotten it.

3/4 on the bonus quiz. The shot glass fooled me. I saw the alias|Wavefront logo and figured they were trying to trick me, so I said it was real.

There is a bug in the scoring. If you hit "back" and then submit your answers again, it will add your scores together, telling you you got 9 out of 4, etc.

I agree with what others have said -- if they want to really impress me, they should show some images of complex scenes at very high resoultion. These sorts of abstract still art images are too easy to do with computer modelling.
posted by Potsy at 3:57 PM on November 14, 2001

Oops, just figured out you could get something more than the thumbnails of them. Duh. Thats what I get for having so many browser windows open. Now I don't feel so bad about getting 6/10 off of just the thumbnails...
posted by mutagen at 4:46 PM on November 14, 2001

I only got 4/10, but that's because the photos that I said were real that weren't, were photos that I could have personally taken with a camera. Photography was my best subject at school, and I can't imagine why anyone would go to all that bother of making a CG image when they could just snap a photo!
posted by animoller at 8:47 PM on November 14, 2001

I got 8/10. I'm proud, since I had no idea what I was doing. I just guessed.
posted by jetgrrl at 10:24 PM on November 14, 2001

9 out of 10. I got one wrong only because Kevin Mannens has mad CG skillz. And 3 of 4 in the bonus quiz. Previously on Fark.

In other cool CG stuff, Nigel Pickering has a really neat gallery of his work. If you want to do some of the photo-realistic drawing in Photoshop, you might want to check out Bert Monroy's books. Monroy was once disqualified from a Photoshop drawing contest 'cause his drawing looked too real to be done in Photoshop. His books have the fluidity of the Flash book written by Hillman Curtis. [I'd have linked to Curtis, but his site has become the site for his company and no longer is about only himself.]
posted by tamim at 12:50 AM on November 15, 2001

Yeay! 10/10. The first time. Also 3/4 on the bonus round. I could of sworn those chairs were CG... But I'd like to see CG renderings of "real" images. I mean the easiest to spot was the face. Also their random paterns aren't that random which is the key to finding the fakes.
posted by talos at 3:05 AM on November 15, 2001

Excellent, a superior performance--ten out of ten answers were correct.
If you got a perfect score on the first try then you're a REAL genius. But, if it took a few tries, then we congratulate you on your perseverance for it shows the CG artists are keeping you guessing. Now check out the bonus round -- if you dare!

I didn't bother with the bonus round. Why press my luck?
posted by schlaager at 8:23 AM on November 15, 2001

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