Long ago you will have seen some video on TikTok or Instagram, with Tom Cruise communicating in a way not common for a figure of his characteristics: a deepfake was treated, a video where using AI and cinematographic techniques, they placed the face of the protagonist of Top Gun in the body of a copycat.
Revealed long ago, a deepfake video threesome on TikTok they showed the protagonist of Mission Impossible, playing golf, falling down and doing a magic trick, which immediately went viral.
However, doing a deepfake is not an easy thing and to obtain a level of “viral” credibility several aspects are required, among them, a good copycat of the character in question, this time Tom Cruise.
In a journalistic investigation, the most important thing to carry out a production of these characteristics was revealed: in addition, who has the physical language of the actor of The Firm, you need one of the few visual effects artists who specialize in deepfake videos.
That is why we can say that we will not see an excess of High-quality deepfakes on social media, according to Chris Ume, the Belgian visual effects artist and film expert who created the Cruise videos.
It’s not just about replacing the character’s face, but the technique involves a neural network powered by artificial intelligence, matchear expressions and then carefully reviewing each video frame by frame for any errors.
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“People should know what a deepfake is”
Ume revealed her technique in an interview, long after her experiment went viral and while the world was fascinated by the realism of the videos, Ume only saw the mistakes.
For each video, the authors of the deepfake feed a target image and video database, on a computer running a machine learning algorithm.
At the moment that this algorithm tries to create its own versions of these images, there is another that in parallel verifies the possibility of whether it is possible to recognize the origin of the images.
The artist explained that “the two programs run side by side until the machine learning algorithm can produce fake images that are good enough as if to fool the counterfeit detection algorithm ”.
“It took me around 24 hours of pure post-production work to fix each one of them. That’s all the work I put into these videos ”, detailed the expert in the technique also known as VFX.
But for all his technical skill, one of the most important elements for the success of these videos was the presence of Miles Fisher, perhaps now one of the best known Tom Cruise impersonators in America.
“I also want to emphasize that the actor is phenomenal,” Ume said, as it is paramount that the movements are consistent with the character or with how we think the character is in real life, something that Cruise’s secrecy drives.
The videos are published on the TikTok account @deeptomcruise that has 4.9 million likes, and its correlate on other platforms, plus the times the video has been shared, add up to several million extra.
While it is not known if Cruise saw the videos, days after they became a viral hit, Cruise opened his own verified TikTok account. “We just wanted to make sure Tom Cruise wasn’t offended in any way,” Ume said.
The artist explained that the project was “just for fun”, but added that the coverage of the videos underscores a more serious point about this technology: that people need to be educated about deepfakes, show exactly how it works and how to detect such videos.
Deepfake technology has been around for years, but it has been getting better and better and there are many who think that it could be used to encourage fake news.
Of course this has not happened so far, “I’m not sure that many people can do it at the level that I am doing now, especially since I am a visual effects artist who does deepfakes, and I have been doing this from the beginning,” he concluded.
Anyway, if you were impressed with the TikTok Cruise, we introduce you to Mariah Carey, which was also brought to life by Ume and her team.
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So did the Tom Cruise videos