Video manipulation is getting scary

by Peter Nowak,

Back when the internet was first taking off in the mid-nineties, one of its first uses - for male teen- and university-aged students, anyhow - was the seeking out of pictures of their favourite female celebrities in, shall we say, a semi-dressed state. A pretty hot trend at the time was the use of Photoshop to cut and paste a celebrity's head, say Teri Hatcher (now on Desperate Housewives, at the time a hot commodity on Lois & Clark) onto a significantly less-clothed model, resulting in what was known as the "fake nude." At the time, many of us wondered when technology would evolve to make the fake nude possible in videos.

Well, it's not too far off. Never mind advanced computer graphics, there are at least two examples on the web right now that use simpler video editing technology to acheive some pretty mind-blowing - and seemingly very real - results. In the first example, a YouTube poster successfully debunks a pair of UFO sighting videos from Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The second example, a promotional video for some new digital manipulation software, is equally as shocking.

You have to believe that somewhere, somehow, university kids have got their hands on similar software and are producing fake Teri Hatcher nude scenes as you read this.

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Something that is too easily done these days, also makes you think about what they show on TV, is it real? or is it all fake? or is it mostly fake? Who knows. That's why I stick to news papers, they don't move and seem to never lie to me, good ol' paper!

As it is the anniversary of 911 I will not talk about certain crackpot theories surrounding the tragedy.

Damn, I thought that really was Princess Leia posing nude in chains...

Posted September 11, 2007 05:15 PM



Newspapers can lie too...

Posted September 15, 2007 01:02 AM



Similar algorithms exist for creating a synopsis of a text based on the saliency of words and phrases, and for compressing or stretching audio in a variety of ways. More interestingly, your brain is always doing this with everything you perceive in any sense modality just to cope with the constant flow of information. I'd say "get used to it", but you already are. ;)

Posted September 18, 2007 07:35 PM

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