Editing video using still photos

2008-08-17

in Bombs and rockets, Films and movies, Geek stuff, Internet matters, Photography, Security

Recently, there was controversy about a doctored photograph showing four Iranian missiles launching, whereas the original apparently showed three and one on the ground. Errol Morris discussed the images on the website of the New York Times.

Photo and video editing are nothing new, but some new software seeks to make the former much easier. It combines video data with that from still photographs in order to accomplish many possible aims. For instance, it could be used to improve the resolution of a whole scene or elements within it. It could also correct for over- and under-exposed regions. Of course, it could also facilitate video manipulation. The skills and software required to edit still images are increasingly available. Combine that with this software and you could empower a slew of new video fraudsters.

It will be interesting to see what kind of countermeasures emerge from organizations concerned about data integrity. One route is forensic – identifying markers of manipulation and tools for uncovering them. Another relies on requiring technologies and techniques for those capturing and submitting video. That could involve the expectation of multiple independent photos and videos produced from different angles using different equipment, or perhaps the widespread deployment of timestamps and cryptographic hashing to strengthen data integrity.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

. August 17, 2008 at 10:39 pm
ToryC August 17, 2008 at 10:54 pm

This could be a big issue in criminal trials.

In one case, defense attorneys could make a bunch of videos with dramatic changes (all of which still look real) and use them to discredit real evidence.

In another, the technology could be used by the authorities to frame people. That is a danger for individuals in corrupt or repressive societies. It is also an international security risk, given how ‘weapons of mass destruction’ have become a common justification for attacks against states.

. August 18, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Ask NewsTrust Founder Fabrice Florian About NewsTrust — Or Anything Else

By Roblimo on searching-for-needles-of-truth-in-piles-of-dreck

NewsTrust is, to quote from the site’s header, “Your guide to good journalism.” Specifically, NewsTrust links to stories published both by well-known media and by less-known blogs, and asks its users to rank and review those stories on accuracy, balance, context, evidence, fairness, importance, information, sources, style, and trust. It’s an ambitious effort with an impressive group of advisors, that is starting to be taken very seriously by a growing number of people who follow media matters closely. Founder Fabrice Florian is reasonably impressive himself. He’s been a leader in online multimedia content for many years, and if you remember the excellent mid-1980s documentary film Hackers, he’s the guy who directed and produced it. Fabrice is kind of a “behind the camera guy,” so there aren’t a lot of interviews with him out there. Usual Slashdot interview rules apply.

Photoshop Allows Us To Alter Our Memories

By CmdrTaco on memory-is-what-you-make-of-it

Anti-Globalism writes “In an age of digital manipulation, many people believe that snapshots and family photos need no longer stand as a definitive record of what was, but instead, of what they wish it was. It used to be that photographs provided documentary evidence, and there was something sacrosanct about that, said Chris Johnson, a photography professor at California College of the Arts in the Bay Area. If you wanted to remove an ex from an old snapshot, you had to use a Bic pen or pinking shears. But in the digital age, people treat photos like mash-ups in music, combining various elements to form a more pleasing whole. What were doing, Mr. Johnson said, is fulfilling the wish that all of us have to make reality to our liking. And he is no exception. When he photographed a wedding for his girlfriends family in upstate New York a few years ago, he left a space at the end of a big group shot for one member who was unable to attend. They caught up with him months later, snapped a head shot, and Mr. Johnson used Photoshop to paste him into the wedding photo. Now, he said, everyone knows it is phony, but this faked photograph actually created the assumption people kind of remember him as there.”

. August 18, 2008 at 10:42 pm
Milan August 18, 2008 at 10:43 pm

ToryC,

I agree that both of those kinds of risks are real. Developing good tools for detecting fraud is thus critical for both the authorities and for those who live under their jurisdiction.

. September 22, 2009 at 5:16 pm

French Deputies Want Labels On Photo-Altered Models

By timothy on ministry-of-culture

Psychophrenes writes “A number of French deputies are proposing to pass a law requiring all published photos that were modified by means of an image manipulation program to include a statement indicating that ‘the photo was altered in order to modify the appearance of a person.’ This indication is to be mandatory on all ads, packaging images, political posters and even art photos, and is considered a matter of public health, aimed at fighting anorexia.” The related article is in French, but Google Translate does a pretty good job.

. July 12, 2017 at 5:31 pm

Fake news: you ain’t seen nothing yet

Generating convincing audio and video of fake events

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