A mid-range PC and modern AI beats Hollywood at its special effects game

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,503   +122
Staff member

Warner Bros. and DC spent a significant amount of money – around $25 million – on reshoots for Justice League. In addition to working around the busy schedules of Hollywood actors, the film’s production team had to deal with another tricky situation – digitally removing Henry Cavill’s mustache.

Cavill, who plays Superman in the film, had already started filming parts for a role in Mission: Impossible – Fallout. The gig required him to grow a mustache – as you know, Superman doesn’t sport any facial hair. This meant the studio had to digitally remove the ‘stache in post-production or wait until filming for MI wrapped up. Unfortunately, the latter option simply wasn’t possible given time constraints.

Considering the film’s estimated $300 million production budget, you’d think they would have been able to do a better job. This got one Internet user thinking – could a cheap PC and modern AI do better?

As you can see in the clip above from YouTube user Deep Fakes, a mid-range PC is more than capable of pulling off convincing digital edits. As Gizmodo highlights, the AI had to be trained using thousands of images of Cavill although given the power of Google and with the right scraping tools, it wasn’t difficult to collect the headshots.

Those interested in digging a bit deeper (no pun intended) can check out the Deep Fakes Club which focuses on technology, education and journalism surrounding deep-learning based faceswapping technologies.

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GeforcerFX

Posts: 956   +442
Not really a useful comparison, how much time did he spend working on this? That's where the money goes, it takes a lot of people a lot of time to make the movie, a lot of the budget gets sunk into labor.
 
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Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,327   +2,204
Not really a useful comparison, how much time did he spend working on this? That's where the money goes, it takes a lot of people a lot of time to make the movie, a lot of the budget gets sunk into labor.
But there are usually dozens, if not hundreds of people working in the CGI department.... unless this took like 1000 hours (and I doubt it took more then a dozen), it's still WAY cheaper.
 
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Kibaruk

Posts: 3,836   +1,183
Again with a clickbait article?

You are basically pushing the idea that the removal of the moustache was 300 million worth of digital work, who knows, this may have been absolutely nothing.
 

GeforcerFX

Posts: 956   +442
But there are usually dozens, if not hundreds of people working in the CGI department.... unless this took like 1000 hours (and I doubt it took more then a dozen), it's still WAY cheaper.
That's because the CGI department is doing more than just removing mustaches all day, he took the simplest task they prob will do the entire movie and tried to make it seem like he's beating them since he used some outdated or under powered computer.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,065   +4,868
That's because the CGI department is doing more than just removing mustaches all day, he took the simplest task they prob will do the entire movie and tried to make it seem like he's beating them since he used some outdated or under powered computer.
Aren't you the slightest bit curious, as to how they get the actresses facial expressions synced up with the porn action?

(Or maybe they don't)
 

Godel

Posts: 238   +142
Again with a clickbait article?

You are basically pushing the idea that the removal of the moustache was 300 million worth of digital work, who knows, this may have been absolutely nothing.
They said they spent $25 million on reshoots. The real point is that someone working on a home computer, presumably in his spare time, was able to produce more realistic results that a huge Hollywood production destined for a major, world wide release.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 3,277   +3,076
I miss the 1980's and 1990's when special effects were "real" and computer CGI didn't exist.

I BELIEVED in Christopher Reeves.
The cheesiness coupled to the fantastic soundtrack was far more SUPERMAN than this modern-day nonsense will ever be.


Remember when ALIENS and PREDATOR were African guys in rubber suits?

Remember Robocop?

Remember 2001?

Remember Star Wars?

Star Trek?

Tremors?

Critters?

The Twilight Zone?

Blade?

TMNT?

Remember when we actually had to have a brain to watch a movie?

If there a way we can take computers out of movies ENTIRELY?
 
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Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,327   +2,204
I miss the 1980's and 1990's when special effects were "real" and computer CGI didn't exist.

I BELIEVED in Christopher Reeves.
The cheesiness coupled to the fantastic soundtrack was far more SUPERMAN than this modern-day nonsense will ever be.


Remember when ALIENS and PREDATOR were African guys in rubber suits?

Remember Robocop?

Remember 2001?

Remember Star Wars?

Star Trek?

Tremors?

Critters?

The Twilight Zone?

Blade?

TMNT?

Remember when we actually had to have a brain to watch a movie?

If there a way we can take computers out of movies ENTIRELY?
Are you really implying that you required a brain to watch TMNT? While I do appreciate nostalgia, it's that same kind of thinking that makes people want to go back to the "good old days"...

Remember when women couldn't vote, slavery was legal, and just about every disease was a death sentence?

Progress is pretty sweet - that's one of the reasons I signed up to a tech site :)
 
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Raytrace3D

Posts: 184   +175
I thought they said "convincing"... the film and the IA both look terrible. Looks like they are trying to censor something on his face - like a bad tattoo. lol
 

Mighty Duck

Posts: 153   +82
I must be lucky, I didn't notice anything jarring about Superman's upper lip during the whole movie, perhaps because I was busy enjoying the show.

On the other hand, since I'm talking about things that bother me, both Civil War and Thor Ragnarok seemed to use some sort of "Soap opera" effect during some scenes and it seems nobody else noticed. It was during the airport battle in Civil War, and the scene were Thor and Banner were hidding in the streets (this scene in Ragnarok actually looked like some british Sitcom). All this seems to be related to the use of super modern, probably expensive IMAX cameras (how ironic, that the more expensive solution brings the worst result), and the fact that it's been said that Avengers 3 is being filmed entirely with those cameras, I'm a little worried about the end result.

BTW, I like both DC vs Marvel, this response wasn't meant as a "you bad-mouth DC, I respond bad-mouthing Marvel".
 

thedrelle

Posts: 64   +12
The next evolution of fake news will be powered by this kind of tech.
Do you think there is an AI system out there that captures any media with Trump on it, makes him orange and overexaggerates his hair before releasing it to the public?
 

frostyshield

Posts: 87   +89
Can't wait for hollywood to hire this guy to do all the special effects for the new superman film $1,000 budget for special effects should just about cut it.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 3,277   +3,076
You spent so much time wondering if you could comment, that you didn't stop to think about whether or not you should.