No Country For Old Terminators
November 9, 2019 5:08 PM   Subscribe

ctri shift face makes deepfakes of movie scenes. Here's Al Pacino in the "You Talkin' To Me?" scene from Taxi Driver, and versions of the "Coin Toss" scene from No Country For Old Men, with: Willem Dafoe, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
posted by mattdidthat (34 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I feel like the biggest lesson I've learned from deepfakes so far is just that white men all look the same.
posted by Beardman at 5:18 PM on November 9, 2019 [22 favorites]


Hollywood is on it! James Dean is getting a comeback thanks to this kinda technology. Understandable since they gotta keep pace with the music industry and these punks on youtube trying to one up them.
posted by gusottertrout at 5:25 PM on November 9, 2019


Seems like just the voice and eyes change in the coin toss scene, or it is kind of a morph of the two faces - guest star and original actor.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:01 PM on November 9, 2019 [1 favorite]


It's been so long since I've seen NCFOM that I'd have to go back to the original to see the difference between the original and the Dafoe and Arnold versions (the DiCaprio is more obvious). Also, the Pacino version of Travis Bickle does look like young Pacino in full-face, but in profile it's more obviously De Niro.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:27 PM on November 9, 2019 [2 favorites]


Jim Carrey DeepFake [VFX Comparison], September 3, 2019.

It's hard to laugh and shudder at the same time.
posted by cenoxo at 7:52 PM on November 9, 2019 [3 favorites]


These are not very good deepfakes.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:02 PM on November 9, 2019 [5 favorites]


the Taxi Driver one fails because Pacino was never that buff ... he said, deliberately failing to grasp the point of the exercise.
posted by philip-random at 8:15 PM on November 9, 2019 [2 favorites]


Pacino is also older than than De Niro was in the clip they used for this exercise. So, there is a weird disconnect between the age of the body and the age of the face, along with the fact that De Niro was starved to perfection, so to speak, for Taxi Driver, and Pacino isn't

Uncanny Valley, indeed.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 12:46 AM on November 10, 2019 [1 favorite]


These are fascinating because it's just one dude making them. Makes you realize just how commoditized the tech has become in just a few years.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:15 AM on November 10, 2019 [2 favorites]


This week’s episode of The Blacklist started out with someone posting a faked video of a respected scientist showing off an explosive vest “he” had made, ranting about how all his co-workers were liars and would pay the ultimate price. Then the real scientist was shot dead outside his office building by a SWAT team, without ever knowing why any of this happened.

I give it less than 2 years before we see some damn troll try this in real life.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 4:38 AM on November 10, 2019 [3 favorites]


These are not very good deepfakes.

Why? Compared to...?
posted by cenoxo at 4:51 AM on November 10, 2019 [2 favorites]


So, there is a weird disconnect between the age of the body and the age of the face

Some critics have made a similar point regarding digital de-aging in The Irishman. CGI can make De Niro, Pacino and Pesci's faces look younger, sure, but the actors themselves still move like old men - and there are apparently some scenes in the movie where that disconnect is quite noticeable.
posted by Paul Slade at 5:37 AM on November 10, 2019


I give it less than 2 years before we see some damn troll try this in real life

Sadly, people are getting SWATed all the time already, and if they're Black it doesn't take a deepfake video to convince the police to kill them.
posted by howfar at 5:58 AM on November 10, 2019 [4 favorites]


gusottertrout > James Dean is getting a comeback thanks to this kinda technology.

From that CBS News story:
...
Despite the backlash, Dean may not be the only star reproduced using CGI in the future. "With the rapidly evolving technology, we see this as a whole new frontier for many of our iconic clients," said Mark Roesler, CEO of CMG Worldwide, the business agent for Dean's family. CMG Worldwide recently acquired the "extended reality" company Worldwide XR, the press release said.

"This opens up a whole new opportunity for many of our clients who are no longer with us," Roesler said in the release.
...
Per CMG Worldwide’s website, they have more than a few dead Clients signed up:
Using a time-tested legend on your next campaign or project can have a massive emotional impact on consumers and promote brand retention and loyalty. CMG is the active business agent for over 220 of these sought-after clients. In our fourth decade of preserving, promoting, and protecting the legacy of our clients, we license the intellectual property of our clients to the biggest companies in the world. Browse through our full client list below and click here to see how our legends have already been used.
If their VFX quality is good enough – see their production subsidiary Worldwide XR – we’re in for endless Hollywood sequels, perhaps combined with ghostwritten (dead) celebrity Facebook accounts to build up the fan base.

The show must go on.
posted by cenoxo at 6:04 AM on November 10, 2019


See also: clutch cargo.
posted by Morpeth at 6:04 AM on November 10, 2019 [4 favorites]


These dont work for me. I can sort of see the Schwarzenegger one, but not DiCaprio. I watched with the sound off, however, so I dont know if the audio is changed. That would.change the illusion.

I'd like to see one where I'm not familiar with the source material to see how much that has an impact.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 6:19 AM on November 10, 2019


Also, the Pacino version of Travis Bickle does look like young Pacino in full-face, but in profile it's more obviously De Niro.

Yeah, the sudden appearance of De Niro's chin in every profile and 3/4 shot in that Taxi Driver demo was oddly jarring even aside from the uncanniness of the overall effect. This technique seems to get a lot of mileage out of being able to use the front-facing head as a frame, though I don't know if that's because it's not so great about the edges in principle or just because the availability of front-facing footage is significantly greater and it affects how well different scenarios get trained.

It's easy for me to look at this technology with a mix of distaste (think of all the tacky or ghoulish "casting" that's coming down the pipe, think about not-quite-baked VFX stuff that's gonna get in the way of the viewing experience) and dread (think about literally every bad motive), but I do see some possibilities for genuinely interesting expressive use of the technique. Someone making horror or scifi or just something with a surreal element could get a lot of mileage out of, not so much swapping someone's face definitively and convincingly, but rendering a character's face as ever-shifting, a liquid persona. Random cross-fading at a subtle enough level that it feels wrong but isn't as obvious and explicable as this kind of fairly blunt, turned-up-to-11 proof of concept.
posted by cortex at 6:36 AM on November 10, 2019 [2 favorites]


They are good enough to scare me for the U.S.'s political future.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 7:01 AM on November 10, 2019 [6 favorites]


I agree these don't look very good. I could clock the face swap from about 3 seconds of video. The face doesn't quite move with the head right, it looks like a cutout that's dragging behind. And the seam where it joins the neck is obvious, the smudging and color matching. This isn't just me saying "I can tell from the pixels", to me it's obvious enough that it is distracting.

Don't get me wrong this tech is still hugely impressive, particularly the facial animation matching. And I imagine the complaints I have are fixable, maybe even with current tech and just spending more time. But these look more like bad shoops to me than "OMG I can't tell it's fake!"
posted by Nelson at 8:18 AM on November 10, 2019


Just think about the moronic memes that MAGA creeps promote and the fact that they'll believe a crap photoshop of dear leader giving a medal to a dog he's never seen and ask yourself if it's really going to be necessary for a deep fake of Hillary personally machine-gunning Americans in Benghazi to be perfect for them to buy it.
posted by klanawa at 9:02 AM on November 10, 2019


If someone can convincingly do Pee Wee Herman as Schwarzenegger in Terminator then maybe I’ll take a second look at this.
posted by njohnson23 at 9:03 AM on November 10, 2019 [2 favorites]


cortex > ...but I do see some possibilities for genuinely interesting expressive use of the technique.

Perhaps reconstructed ‘living memorials’ of passed loved ones as we want to remember them (but without the bad memories, i.e. The Final Cut (2004)).
posted by cenoxo at 9:37 AM on November 10, 2019


Why? Compared to...?

I legit fell embarrassed for everyone who "falls" for these things. I know everyone's sensitivity to the Uncanny Valley is different, but every time one of these gets posted to the blue I just force myself to take everyone's opinion at face value since it's impossible for me to not notice how absolutely terrible these things are. I literally can't believe someone would look at these and think they were done well.

But, as I said, everyone's sensitivity is different.
posted by sideshow at 11:24 AM on November 10, 2019


Of all these posted in this thread, for me the most obvious one is the Jim Carey in The Shining one. Maybe it's because the face is so central to that shot and it's such a steady shot overall, but I can really see the Carrey face jumping around by a few pixels in every frame. It's very jittery. But then I'm also watching on a big-ass TV so that also probably helps.
posted by glonous keming at 12:01 PM on November 10, 2019


> rendering a character's face as ever-shifting, a liquid persona

Maybe we can get a version of A Scanner Darkly that PKD deserves?
posted by GeckoDundee at 1:17 PM on November 10, 2019 [1 favorite]


This week’s episode of The Blacklist

Wait, The Blacklist is still on?
posted by kirkaracha at 1:26 PM on November 10, 2019


They are good enough to scare me for the U.S.'s political future.

The best part is that it only takes awareness of deep fakes for them to distort social order. It opens everything one sees to claims of it being lies and fake no matter how true it might be. Trump's gotta love it.

That isn't even getting into all other unethical and immoral more personal violations it can and will be used for. I've said before this should be considered weapons tech and regulated as such or banned and I'm sticking to it, even though it's too late to prevent it from use now.
posted by gusottertrout at 1:41 PM on November 10, 2019 [3 favorites]


It seems like even with the technology still in the uncanny valley, it would be possible to apply it to something real that someone doesn’t want people to believe is real. Then when people pipe up noticing the “pacino’s chins” and other flaws, something that actually happened gets called into question.
posted by umbú at 2:17 PM on November 10, 2019 [4 favorites]


I literally can't believe someone would look at these and think they were done well.

I think these are very impressive but I guess I'm just a big old dummy
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:56 AM on November 11, 2019


I'd like to see a version of these that uses the same machine learning techniques to ape the voices. Surely there's enough hours of audio of these people to train a soundalike voice synthesis that can read any text.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:36 PM on November 11, 2019


I legit fell embarrassed for everyone who "falls" for these things.

I can't say I "fell" for this, considering it was labeled as a deepfake and I've seen Taxi Driver. But I thought the effect was quite convincing, and for all the smugness in this thread about how "bad" these are, folks are kidding themselves if they think that malicious, unlabeled deepfakes like this wouldn't fool (and harm) a lot of people. And one day, not too long from now, that group's going to include everyone in this thread.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:34 PM on November 11, 2019 [2 favorites]


Someone please make a super cut of deep fakes replacing Jeff Goldblum in the Jurassic Park scene where his character says something about scientists so excited about what they could do that they never asked if they should do it.
posted by interogative mood at 6:53 PM on November 12, 2019


Deepfake Art Project Reimagines Nixon’s Speech Had Apollo 11 Gone Horribly Wrong, Gizmodo, George Dvorsky, November 26, 2019:
...
As Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins traveled towards the Moon in July 1969, President Richard Nixon had a speech ready just in case the mission ended in disaster. The undelivered speech, written by presidential speechwriter William Safire, was stored in the National Archives and finally made public in 1999 during the 30th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 landing.

But what if the Apollo mission ended in a catastrophe—a distinct possibility given the tremendous risks? What would the speech have looked like on TV, and how would Nixon’s words have sounded like to American ears? A new art installation called In the Event of a Moon Disaster Project imagines this exact scenario by applying a rather infamous emerging technology: deepfake videos.
...
Nixon video embedded in article, and on YouTube.
posted by cenoxo at 12:30 PM on November 27, 2019


As someone who pooh-poohed the fakes in the original post, let me say that Nixon recreation is so very convincing. I think partly it's just the content; it's compelling seeing Nixon deliver this text, and the relative lack of definition of an NTSC broadcast hides some of the seams. They also seem to have tgotten the motion tracking much more right.

The only real tell I see is at the end, as he stops speaking. There's a bunch of weird tremoring head motions that I don't think were authentic Nixon (but I could be wrong). Also the shirt kind of warps the wrong way right when he says "night".

But boy this is compelling video. To me this one could easily fool a lot of people. Once you looked closely you could identify it as a fake, but maybe in a few years even that won't be true.
posted by Nelson at 7:43 AM on November 29, 2019


« Older "Do we want that 'click-click-click' sound when we...   |   On bringing something more to the table in D.C.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments