Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) has become a staple in the digital age. TV shows and movies can easily create sprawling mountains with CGI or a futuristic battle in space, if need be. The possibilities are endless. Someone with the right computer background can do the same and one particular user drew mixed reactions.
A user recently uploaded a video clip of the 1994 drama adaptation of The Legend Of The Condor Heroes that went viral due to one major difference. Athena Chu whose portrayal of Huang Rong has been touted as one of the best is nowhere to be seen. Instead, her face was replaced with Yang Mi‘s.
The video has earned mixed reactions. Some say that there is nothing wrong with making it. Others raise concerns that such things may encourage others to make similar videos that infringe on copyright and violate the rights of both actresses.
The original publisher, who admits to being a fan of Yang Mi, has gone on weibo under the handle Face Changing Brother (换脸哥) to issue an apology. He said that his original intent was to make people aware of such technology and to assist celebrities from falling victim to fake news. Also, the video was meant to help others understand how the video was made so that they can spot fake videos. He also stresses that he did not make the video for profit.
I’m amazed at how convincing it looks to the untrained eye. Yang Mi’s face moves naturally and even has perfect facial expressions. It’s a wonder to behold, but like all things, the practice can be abused. It also raises questions as to whether anyone can just imprint a face onto another actress, effectively replacing her work.