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With MovieReshape, a Better Body Is a Mouse Click Away

Here’s an interesting 3 minutes and 38 seconds that made its way around Twitter this morning. It’s a demo for a technology that will let the user “conveniently perform spatio-temporal reshaping of human actors in video footage.” In other words, if this technology was one day built into your After Effects or Final Cut Pro plug-in, it might be possible to bulk up the skinny protagonist in your film via the tug of a few sliders. As far as I can tell it doesn’t appear that MovieReshape is ready to download and go to work on your latest music video. It’s more of a technology demo produced as an academic experiment. You can get more information, and download a PDF whitepaper about the project, on the MovieReshape: Tracking and Reshaping of Humans in Videos webpage. In the whitepaper’s conclusion the tool’s creators say this: “Our system paves the trail for previously unseen post-processing applications in movie and video productions.” Besides the fact that when talking about MovieReshape you might utter phrases like waist girth and breast girth in the same sentence, I’m thinking it could have wider implications as well. Maybe it will further drive the discussion of how most of what we see in TV and advertising isn’t real and how that might be changing the way we look at ourselves. Whenever this discussion comes up, it’s always work revisiting the Dove Evolution video, as that says it better than most.

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