Video manipulation is getting scary

by Peter Nowak, CBCNews.ca

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.