No one is sure if this "baby artist" video is real or fake

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Where is Captain Disillusion when you need him?

Though since there are some clear cuts and breaks, I am going with fake. Nicely done, though.


Great! Next you be telling me Keyboard Cat wasn’t really playing the keyboards!


Big deal, I could draw that.


I know, right?!?
Such an inspiring rags to cat-nip-riches story too… don’t know if I could handle that scandal too


And at the end of the video, the tail on the third character simply appears on the paper out-of-sync with the child’s hand movements

That description read to me as “lines are appearing on the paper independent of pen motion, suggesting doctoring.”

But when I actually downloaded the video and looked at it frame-by-frame, it’s clear there’s something missing. At the same time the tail appears, the girl’s hand jumps quite a bit. I’m pretty sure we’re just missing frames.

ETA: These are two adjacent frames. Might not look like much, but at the speed she was going, that’s a pretty big jump:


Maybe one of those magic water pens?

The speed and lack of jerkiness in the arm movements doesn’t match with the age, though.


Yes, CD already discussed this. Here you go:


She’s obviously a 22 year old Ukranian orphan with dwarfism


OH yes, that’s right!

Anyone new to this guy, he is fantastic.


IF I were to fake this, I would attach an extension to the marker, draw with the marker while the child was holding the other end of the marker, and then greenscreen out my hand holding the extension. Perfectly doable with off the shelf software. But occams razor makes me question if it’d be worth the effort.


I remember a story about a painting elephant. The elephant held the brush with its trunk and made original pictures. Looked impossibly creative instead it was copying images as XY cordinates on the paper based on how the trainer stroked its ear. (Still ridiculously capable)


Weird how they never show wonderbaby from the right side where you could see smooth continuity in complex folded fabric coupled with organic arm movements. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a skilfully montaged viral baby.

E:Whoop, look at 3:10 in the tiktok clip and you can see the telltale ‘wobble’ of a deepfakey rendering of the hand’s position.

E2: Holy shit, that’s totally what they did. They deepfaked a hand/arm instead of a face and voice. They wrapped baby clothing and hand texture and pen size over an adult hand/arm. Slick.


is this possible the first deepfake that actually fooled anyone? i mean they’ve been around for a while but till now they’ve all been pretty obvious fakes created as porn or parody or created to show the scary possibilities. but never actually convincing or confusing.


I think you’re right on the money. It’s like how the best special effects aren’t noticeable as special effects, they’re just part of the movie and better for it. This isn’t the video of Elon Musk as a toddler, in which the existence of the tech is the explicit gag (oh, look what they did!)- this is an implicit situation in which the gag is you not seeing it (oh… did they do something?). Kinda bodes creepy moving forward.

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The record for the youngest professional artist was achieved by Arushi Bhatnagar (India, b. 1 June 2002). She had her first solo exhibition at the Kalidasa Akademi in Ujjain, India, on 11 May 2003 when she was 344 days (or 11 months) old. Her first painting was sold for 5000 Rupee (£65). As of 27 February 2007 Arushi had 12 solo exhibitions, made more than 2,500 paintings and was nominated for the national POGO amazing kid artist award 2005.


Holding a pen in a stiff fist like that is a very low-control position even for a competent adult, let alone a child. Coupled with the increased size/weight of the pen in a small hand. And the position of the fingers don’t change. I’m inclined to think deep fake as well.


There’s almost nothing that can’t be faked. So, I concede this could be a fake. But, I just can’t see anything that is unexplainable in this video. (For example, that the baby “keeps drawing” at the 7 second mark: so what? He is in the process of drawing, knows what he wants to draw, is momentarily distracted, but keeps drawing the line from kinesthetic memory. His brain knew what he was doing. He didn’t need to be watching the pen at that moment.)

If this is a fake, what is faked? The drawing is real, right? If it is a fake hand it must also be a fake baby? Yet the baby seems pretty real, leading me to believe it’s a real hand. Whatever it is, a real baby or a real deepfake, it’s well done. I was particularly impressed by his ability to draw a perfect circle: that’s quite difficult for an adult!

OK, I just watched the second video. This is real video of a real baby. Deal with it, y’all.

This video is a series of spliced together 15-second TikTok videos, no? Couldn’t this just be a dropped frame or an artefact of the reassembling process? I agree frame 3:10 looks weird, but so do things like this:
(Obviously I’m not saying it’s the same phenomenon - the baby’s arm probably isnt spinning at 15000 rpm - but artefacts can happen while recording or rendering a video.)

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But you didn’t

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Not the still frame at 3:10, the live playthrough starting at about 3:10. The entire hand/lower arm ripples and re-renders like MacReady just poked it with a hot wire. It’s not a glitch or artifact in the video footage-- it’s a glitch in the rendering of the effect. This specific ‘wobbling’ appearance is one of the default tells of a deepfake, like messing up complex background textures or rendering sharper/fuzzier around the edges than the source footage (which this also has a bit of-- look at the crispness of the rendered hand/drawing vs soft edges of the face and other arm). It’s fake.

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