There are no active ads.

A cheap PC and some AI outdid Justice League’s mustache cover-up

by Eric Frederiksen | February 8, 2018February 8, 2018 12:00 pm PST

Deadpool isn’t the only one taking potshots at Justice League this week. After yesterday’s trailer, which featured the Merc with a Mouth making fun of Warner Bros.’ poorly-done mustache-coverup in Justice League, we stumbled across something that just tears Warner Bros.’ work to pieces.

You may have heard of Deepfakes. While its use has been more salacious in some corners of the internet, some people are using it to do things like place Academy Award-winning actor Nicolas Cage into the roles we know he was meant to play, another user decided to see if they could clean up Henry Cavill’s upper lip.

When changes to Justice League required some reshoots, Cavill had already moved onto shooting the upcoming Mission: Impossible movie, for which he’d grown a luscious, bushy ‘stache. The studio behind the movie declined to allow him to remove it, so Warner Bros. was stuck figuring out what to do about a mustachioed Superman. The studio’s hard work was not very good.

Deepfakes are created by training an AI with thousands of pictures of a source’s face, trying to capture every possible angle of that face, and then applying it to a different video source. That might be some actress’s face over that of another… actress, or Nic Cage over Harrison Ford. In this case, though, the user applied an AI thoroughly trained with Henry Cavill’s face to that of footage of him as Superman in Justice League.

And as you might guess, someone with an AI on a home computer outdid millions of dollars of visual effects from professional level studios. Warner Bros. mustache itself, could it have done better?

Watch the video above to see just how impressive this tech is. Its application is shady, as those corners of the internet have proven, but it’s powerful, and it shows how far AI has come and how difficult human faces still are for CG to handle even in relatively straightforward situations.

And I’m sure we’ll have a video of Nicolas Cage as every character in Justice League before too long.

io9

Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...

Advertisement