Technology 2 min read

Disney's new Process Makes Deepfakes Appear More Realistic

meyer_solutions / Shutterstock.com

meyer_solutions / Shutterstock.com

Earlier this week, Disney Research Studios announced that it has developed a new process that'll make deepfakes appear more realistic.

Deepfakes are videos or still images of an individual that has been replaced with the likeness of another person.

It’s not surprising that deepfake’s popularity has surged on the internet in the past three years. Along with holding potential for humor, deepfake videos can also be entertaining.

A viral video that used deepfake trickery includes one of Mark Zuckerberg admitting that Facebook‘s goal was to exploit users. Another footage shows Nicholas Cage‘s face replacing other actors in famous movie scenes.

Entertainment conglomerate, Walt Disney also relied on the technology for its “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” movie. The company used deepfake imagery to create a virtual model of late actors Carrie Fisher and Peter Cushing.

There’s just one small problem.

According to researchers at Disney, using the old VFX approach in creating movies are expensive to produce. What’s more, it’s time-consuming, taking several months of work to create mere seconds of footage.

Now Disney has devised a process that automates deepfake production in as little as a few hours. Even better, it produces a fidelity that’s significantly greater than previously achievements.

Here’s how it works.

Deepfakes: How Disney Made Face Swapping Appear More Real

Disney’s approach employs a class of machine learning framework called generative adversarial networks (GAN). GAN uses multiple images of different people to power an algorithm for neural face-swapping.

Aside from pinpointing various face motions, the model also captures light and contrast detail in videos. This, in turn, leads to a smoother and more realistic facial transition.

The images that a conventional deep fake app generates is limited to 256 x 256 pixels. On the other hand, Disney’s new approach expands this limit to 1024 x 1024 pixels.

The entertainment giant stated on its website on Monday:

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first method capable of rendering photo-realistic and temporally coherent results at megapixel resolution.”

Disney’s latest advancement in deepfakes may not show significant improvements in small screens. But, the result should shine on larger displays.

We could see the new technology in “Finding Jack” – a movie to be released later this year. It features a heartthrob actor who died in a car crash 65 years ago, James Dean.

Read More: Prominent Publisher Writes Book Using Machine Learning

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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