Fans of The Mandalorian collectively, they raised their eyebrows as Luke Skywalker entered season two of the series. Without giving too many spoilers, it features a young Luke Skywalker, a rejuvenated computer-generated version of actor Mark Hamill. Many fans thought Skywalker looked fake.
YouTuber Shamook believed he could do better and rigged the scene based on old footage of Mark Hamill. The video has been viewed over two million times at the time of writing and landed a new job at Shamook. It was named as senior facial capture artist at Lucasfilms / ILM.
Commenting under a recent video, Shamook says he’s out of time for his YouTube content because he took a new job at Star Wars studio and famous special effects company Industrial Light and Magic.
IndieWire has been confirmed by ILM to bring in Shamook. A spokesperson said ILM is always on the lookout for talented artists and the company has invested a lot of time in machine learning and artificial intelligence for special effects in recent years.
Shamook completed Luke Skywalker’s deepfake in four days. He used the open source deepfake tool DeepFaceLab for this. He trained the algorithm with old images from Mark Hamill. He said there was little he could do to improve the animation and synchronize the mouth. For that he would have to have the original image of the actor that Skywalker in the new shoot of The Mandalorian before his head was replaced by CGI. And he had to do the video quickly for his Christmas vacation, so he wasn’t “100% satisfied with the quality” himself. Nonetheless, it got him the job.
Shamook is one of the biggest deepfake youtubers around. Among other things, he made a Harrison Ford deepfake in the Solo-film, van Mel Gibson in Crazy Crazy: Fury Road and an improved Tarkin and Leia in Thief one. Shamook isn’t the only one adopting deepfake technology to enhance Luke Skywalker’s scene. The Corridor Digital filmmaking collective has also made an attempt. These makers replaced Skywalker’s body double from the original with a different actor, in an effort to resolve the issue Shamook faced.
Note: this video is a spoiler for Season 2 of The Mandalorian.
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