September 16, 2021

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Lucasfilm hires YouTuber who used deepfake to improve ‘The Mandalorian’

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Luke Skywalker’s CGI face in the character’s The Mandalorian cameo was met with a lot of criticism, and fans even tried to fix the scene with various tools and programs. One of those fans did so well, Lucasfilm has hired him to help it ensure its upcoming projects won’t feature underwhelming de-aging and facial visual effects. That fan is a YouTuber known as Shamook, who uses deepfake technology to improve upon bad CG effects and to put actors in shows and movies they never starred in. 

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In the comments section of a video that replaces Christian Bale with Robert Pattinson as the Batman in Christopher Nolan’s film, Shamook wrote that he joined Lucasfilm/Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) a few months ago. When asked what his role within the company is, he said his official title is “Senior Facial Capture Artist.” The studio has confirmed the hire with IndieWire, telling the publication that it’s always on the lookout for talented artists. A representative said in a statement:

“Over the past several years ILM has been investing in both machine learning and A.I. as a means to produce compelling visual effects work and it’s been terrific to see momentum building in this space as the technology advances.”

In addition to working on a deepfake version of Luke in The Mandalorian, he also deepfaked Tarkin’s and Leia’s appearances in Rogue One. Shamook’s videos don’t always show the most realistic results, but the great ones like Luke’s truly look impressive. Lucasfilm could his technical know-how to make sure de-aged characters and CG faces won’t take us straight to uncanny valley anymore. 

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