“Reality” Edited in Real Time: New Tech Shows Why You Can’t Trust Anything You See on the News

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Top Tier Gear USA


Talk about wag the dog. I’m not even sure what to write for a description of the video you are about to watch.

So-called “reality” can be edited in real-time.

It’s the matrix.

The project is a joint effort in progress between Stanford, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. According to the project’s abstract, via Stanford University:


We present a novel approach for real-time facial reenactment of a monocular target video sequence (e.g., Youtube video). The source sequence is also a monocular video stream, captured live with a commodity webcam. Our goal is to animate the facial expressions of the target video by a source actor and re-render the manipulated output video in a photo-realistic fashion. To this end, we first address the under-constrained problem of facial identity recovery from monocular video by non-rigid model-based bundling. At run time, we track facial expressions of both source and target video using a dense photometric consistency measure. Reenactment is then achieved by fast and efficient deformation transfer between source and target. The mouth interior that best matches the re-targeted expression is retrieved from the target sequence and warped to produce an accurate fit. Finally, we convincingly re-render the synthesized target face on top of the corresponding video stream such that it seamlessly blends with the real-world illumination.We demonstrate our method in a live setup, where Youtube videos are reenacted in real time.

(More info on this project via Stanford’s website here.)

While it may not be “pixel-perfect” YET, Tech Crunch’s response is the same thing on everyone’s mind after watching the original video (which is well on its way to a million views even though it’s only been up for three days):

Even in the relatively low-res clips we’re shown, there’s an uncanny valley effect of something being not quite right. But hot damn is it impressive (and, well, more than a little spooky) even in this early stage.

Why spooky? Technology like this will serve to make video less inherently believable. The video’s use of politicians as the editing target is pretty self-aware. In that regard, political hoaxes will hit a lot harder when it’s a video instead of a ‘shopped picture being forwarded around.

Yeah, nothing about this is comforting. But also, how long has this technology really been available? We all know that whatever technology the general population is being shown currently exists, the military-industrial complex is likely decades ahead of it.

In the original video’s comments section, scores of people pointed out the dangers of this technology in the Orwellian nightmare we currently find ourselves living in. One person said it should be stopped because of a scary potential for misuse, to which someone else replied, “Potential for misuse? I can’t think of a reason you’d want this technology in the first place besides abusing it.”

If government use of propaganda against US citizens has now been legalized (and it has)…

If video of a world leader giving a speech can be hijacked and edited in real-time, complete with, say, a full soundboard created by government software that can take ten minutes of a person talking and match the speech patterns to make convincing audio of a person saying anything they want him to

And if drills can look as real as the real thing… Can you trust anything you see on “the news”?

And if seeing and hearing aren’t believing…

How virtual has our reality already become before virtual reality even goes global?

Also Read: Project Blue Beam: Yes, the Gov’t Researched Projecting Holograms of God as a Mass Psyop


Full video: Face2Face: Real-time Face Capture and Reenactment of RGB Videos

and this is definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it: We Need to Talk about Sandy Hook

H/T Dag Wood

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  • Jonny rRingworm

    Wow, they are right, this is a bad, bad thing

  • Bob

    Fascinating technology. This adds a whole other dimension to the term “talking heads” on TV.

  • Chondra

    This is one of the best posts you’ve done. While it has shaken me up pretty bad, I want to know the truth, knowledge is power.

    • You’ll never watch television the same way again. We need to start using this technology against our enemies, by implementing commonly available live streaming websites and backup mirrors onto which we can record events as they happen, for wide dissemination to the world, for archiving.

  • Perhaps someone so ignorant of the state of the art in electronic editing and processing of video should let those conversant with it do the writing about it.

  • Plasmael Homunculus

    “how long has this technology really been available?”
    Since the TV series “Max Headroom”, would be my guess.

    • Are you operating under the misimpression that this had anything to do with that?

    • Razedbywolvs


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  • Praetor

    So in reality there are no such persons as Clinton’s, Bush’s, Blitzer’s, Rose’s, Hannity’s,OReilly’s, Kelly’s or anyone else on TV. So this just proves their all phonies. I think we already know that!!

  • RobertFl

    BS! The source is watching a clip of the target, and replicating their facial expressions – not the other way around. come on people, don’t get sucked into this.
    I might believe they could do this with hours of studio time in post production, they can not do this in real time.

    • Meltonmark

      Right! I’m sure Putin makes those faces all the time.

      • RobertFl

        Watch the video again. The one with Bush. You’ll see the CNN banner at the bottom move forward, then back up.
        We can do something similar to this but it’s with an avatar. That’s very different then manipulating an existing video clip of a person.

  • CharlesH

    Definitely mind boggling when you think what devastating things can be done with this technology. Too much.

  • bsroon

    Well it should simply reinforce a mindset of question all “acceptable” source information and think for ourselves.

  • Wags71

    Yet another thing that if/when I tell my friends and family about it, they’ll look at me like I’m insane. *sigh*

  • RE