Among the many criticisms made of Justice League, one frequent gripe was about the VFX work to digitally remove Henry Cavill’s mustache (the disturbing example photos are at the bottom of this post). He was reshooting scenes as Superman while under contract to Paramount for Mission Impossible 6, so the mustache had to stay on. Could those digital effects have been better? It seems so, as some pretty impressive results have been achieved by YouTuber Deep Fakes with a $500 used computer and the free deepfakes algorithm.
Usually deepfakes is used to swap faces, either to put someone’s face onto a porn performer without their consent (bad) or to replace every actor with Nic Cage (good). This time, the algorithm taught an AI to digitally remove Cavill’s mustache, resulting in some clips that look better than the ones in the $300 million movie. Well, this is awkward.
DeepFakes Club explains:
[I] trained the computer model on two different version, mustached and shaven, of the same face. The model did a decent job of removing Cavill’s mustache, at least as cleanly as the average rushed morning shaving session. Due to the inflexibility of the current blending functions in the deepfaking software, I saved the shaved images without any blurring or blending functions. I then masked the shaved mouths and combined them with the original clips in video editing software.
Since celebrities have many photos of their face online, from every angle, the AI has plenty to work with. The results are impressive, as seen in the video above and in these GIFs courtesy of io9:
On the other hand, if Warner had access to deepfakes back when they were making Justice League, we would have missed out on so many jokes…