Deep Learning AI Makes 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Better By Adding Harrison Ford
From Our Friends at Star Wars News Net
First of all, this is not going to be a debate about what was or wasn't wrong with Solo: A Star Wars Story or a discussion about why it underperformed at the box office. Regardless of your opinions of the film, we can all agree that it was fighting an uphill battle from day one because Harrison Ford was not playing the iconic Han Solo. To rectify that situation, the mind behind the YouTube channel derpfakes used deep learning artificial intelligence to swap actor Alden Ehrenreich's face with Ford's. The results are not exactly flawless, but when you consider that none of this was done using motion capture and de-aging software like in some recent blockbusters, it is very impressive.
"Using footage and stills of a pre 1977 Harrison Ford, I tried to make the most convincing young Solo I could, with the peak (in my opinion) being the final scene," derpfakes wrote in the caption of the video. The AI didn't replace Ehrenreich's voice with Ford's so there is an added layer of strange on top of watching the simulated face move in the clips, but the way it was able to analyze images of young Ford and use them to recreate the head positions and expressions for young Solo is wild.
In previous derpfakes videos, we've gotten to see and appreciate the unicorn thespian that is Nicolas Cage act in everything, and have seen what deep learning AI could do with a certain man of super strength's mustache. Thankfully, this Star Wars video is not the last of it. "I have a to do list. A long to do list," the creator wrote in a blog post last month. "When deciding on my next fake, I try to balance the demands of the different areas of my fan base (Nic Cagers, 'Fixed' CGI, Actor Replacements, Moustache Removals, Restoration, Technical) with the suitability and viability of footage and the implications present with whatever I create. I cannot, whether through technical or other issues, make everything that I would like to and therefore not everything the community would like me to."
The videos take a long time to make so it may be a while before the next one, but we have no issues rewatching those that already exist to marvel at what the AI can do, and to fantasize about what a feature length film using the technology would look like.