Corridor Crew's improved CGI Luke Skywalker

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2021/01/30/corridor-crews-improved-cgi-luke-skywalker.html

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End result looks as bad but for different reasons, I’d say :smiley:

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When I saw Luke appear, I wasn’t at all sure it was supposed to be Mark Hamill. I thought they just found a guy who looked a lot like him, which is absolutely what they should have done.

Neither digital Luke looks like Luke. They both look like fairly poor fan art.

Edited for grammar

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What’s also weird is that they seemingly chose a different era Luke for their improvement attempt.

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Hm, I think he’s too shiny. I do NOT want to touch his hair.

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i think he looks worse, actually. at least the one Disney used was era-appropriate to ROTJ.

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Gee, thanks to them for putting “Spoiler Alert” while simultaneously showing the spoiler.

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When I first saw the video, my thought was that a lot of the ways CC’s version falls down, at least compared to the original FX, has a lot to do with the non-CG elements. E.g. the wig is (very) bad, the stand-in’s physicality doesn’t match Hamill’s (neck too long, etc.), poor color matching between CG and non-CG elements, etc.

CC’s actual CGI work does seem better, at least in some ways, though it suffers from the weird (lack of) facial movement as the original. That doesn’t seem to have been a problem in other face-swaps I’ve seen, so I’m not sure what that’s coming from. I wonder how much it would improve with more training time for the neural network.

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Yeah, it was less uncanny valley territory and the deepfake did produce a more natural and expressive Luke. I don’t really care for either, but in the balance I dislike Corridor Crew’s version less even though I think their Luke looked too young and the wig was awful.

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Major props to these guys, given resources it’s an A+. But I think the ILM version is better by a good amount.

Were I in charge at Lucasfilm, I would have cast a great actor who can give a great performance and looked close enough. We knew it was Luke before they show his face anyway. It’s also a better cliffhanger because we can believe Luke could be back if it’s a new actor, but he can’t play a major role as a cg character.

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I’d just like to step back and appreciate that we’re nitpicking special effects on a TV show that would have been unthinkable in even a big-budget movie just a few years ago. Quite an amazing time for the VFX industry.

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Yeah, I am not a regular consumer of movies, TVs, and video games anymore so I don’t have these strong opinions on CG because it clearly conveys the topic at hand in a way that doesn’t too bad. 10 years ago they would have had to use prosthetics and recast and it would look even worse and they’d have to write a completely obvious way to announce his name so people knew for sure it was Luke which breaks from the pacing of the show.

It just reminds me of how I can’t even figure out what people say the best video game graphics are because there’s a specific community-thought look to CG that’s called “good” and people trying to change anything from that greasy/wet CG style with unrealistically dramatic lighting and too-real texturing “bad” regardless of artistic choices. The latest generation of games are less like that but for a while 5-10 years ago “good” CGI seemed synonymous with having veins showing through the skin.

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Or use a stand-in who faced away from the camera when he pulled back his hood, assuming the audience would know who he was supposed to be from Mark Hamill’s voice and context clues like the robot hand and R2-D2.

Or maybe pull an Ed Wood (“they’ll never notice that Bela Lugosi is dead as long as we artfully obscure his character’s face!”)

plan-9-from-outer-space

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That final scene was so devoid of emotion (and it’s the emotional climax of two seasons) that the extra expressiveness of the Corridor version made it so much better. (I.e. the way he glances at the Kid and gives him little smiles.) In the show that scene was so static, they should know by now that the camera and actor movements and actions need to be there since we don’t have Mando’s face. (And even when we do see it in this scene there’s barely anything there.)

Pretty impressive for a couple weeks’ work. Personally, I’m just glad when CC’s version of CG Luke nodded, it didn’t look like his head was about to slide right off his neck.

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Like everyone else mentioned, the wig was awful and the image used was too young. But it really falls apart when he speaks. Apparently they didn’t scan the face of the actor with the reference dots to line up the lips and looks like they just went with generic mouth movements or simply relied on the AI to paint the face in the right spots The talking parts looked like a bad video game cut scene.

The AI doesn’t use reference dots, so that wasn’t an option.

But, yeah, the lip sync looked just as janky in the Corridor Crew video as the original. The eyes looked better in the Corridor video, but in stills the original looks better every time.

So, good effort, but as Mark Hamill tweeted “maybe remove the boast that it’s “better” than others”.

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