Last week we talked about the possibility of making Star Wars movies with CGI versions of original trilogy characters. Earlier this week a fanmade clip from Solo: A Star Wars Story with a CGI Harrison Ford was released on YouTube, illustrating how far we have come. A fan edit of Solo with Harrison Ford’s likeness instead of Alden Ehrenreich would not be impossible. Click through to see the clip!
Here you can see the short clip (a little more than 2 minutes long):
Remember, that this is not something done by a special effects company, this is fanmade. Deepfakes have become quite convincing. The Deepfake algorithm is fed with thousands, potentially tens of thousands or even more images of the person whose likeness you want to use. After some lengthy computations the Deepfake algorithm will then replace the face of the original person in the video with the analysed face. And while the computation can take very, very long, everyone can do it at home, the software used is not all that complicated. A short clip of about two minutes still takes a few hundred hours to render, so an entire movie would be a very time consuming task for a single person.
One issue is of course the voice. While deepfaking voices has made some advancements it sounds nowhere near convincing enough for a movie. So for best results you’d need a voice actor who can imitate the voice. This is why in this clip Han Solo may look like Harrison Ford, but still sounds like Alden Ehrenreich.
But it’s only a matter of time, so we only talk about “when” here, not “if” simulating voices will also become a viable option. And it’s also only a matter of time before computers become fast enough so that Deepfakes of entire movies will become a viable option for normal PCs. Or maybe fan projects could use distributed computing, with each project member only rendering one or two minutes.
Would you like to see a fan edit of Solo with a digital Harrison Ford replacing Alden Ehrenreich?
Source for the Video is the YouTube channel “Shamook”. The channel has several more Deepfake videos, including a few other Star Wars Deepfakes, Leia in Rogue One was fixed and looks better than in the finished movie and then there is Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan in A New Hope or really silly Deepfakes like Arnold Schwarzenegger as Legolas in The Lord of the Rings (using a voice actor to also replace the voice).
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