Unexplained

I have been working with computers and specifically sfx since 1995.  I have mostly been using Lightwave, Vue, and many other television and film 3D packages.  I can usually spot a fake within seconds.   I decided to make a collection of videos that after careful scrutiny pass this researcher’s hoax filter. A list of what errors I look for is at the bottom of the page.

Videos that passed the Wake Up and ACT hoax filter:

UFO 4TH VIDEO Jerusalem, dome of the rock

Original
Inverted and Balanced

Not only could I not find any anomalies, there are clear indication that the phenomenon has been recorded on video tape.  One thing that I noticed in the reverse footage is the video trails in the red moving dots.  This phenomenon wouldn’t be present in animated CG objects without taking the effort to simulate that video effect.   Based on the level of sophistication to pull this one off, it’s likely genuine.   Some of the effects, like the  light pulses would have had to be painted in by hand, or the entire town would need to be modelled in 3d, or some pretty sophisticated masking would need to be done.

NEW:

This proves NOTHING OF THE SORT.  This is what I would do if I wanted to debunk a genuine article.  You will notice that the above video and the ‘proof’ don’t show the same thing.  It casts some suspicion on the video, but it doesn’t in any way invalidate my conclusions.  In this case the foreground plate is composited over the background plate. Anyone with a video camera and After Effects can produce this ‘proof’ video.   This video is supposed to be proof that the UFO was added after the fact, but does nothing to explain how it was made.  In fact by creating THIS fake it begs the question of why.  Why produce this fake to cast doubt on another video?  By producing a related video with obvious composting errors it supports the video, not debunks it.  If the forgers were competent enough to fool an industry professional like myself, but then the ‘original’ video proving the forgery is such an obviously fake video produced by an someone clearly not very competent in the SFX department.  Someone capable of producing the video I just critiqued would NOT have such an epic fail as this obvious forgery claiming to ‘debunk’ the original.

Another important point, is that rating and comments are disabled.. Likely to block professional SFX people from pointing out the lunacy of what they are saying!

Debunked?  Maybe:

In this case the points are valid, however, there are many types of video cameras and many types of lenses.  Though generally everything said here is true, Without the original footage I can’t really be 100% confident that this information is NOT correct.  However, there is one easy explanation and here’s the counterpoint:

1. Digital zooms will simply enlarge a portion of the image.  It would produce results EXACTLY like this.  It was what I assumed originally, as part of my original analysis.
2.  Hand held motion.  I have spent a great deal of time ‘faking’ this movement for my own CG work.  The resulting smooth, yet shaky motion we see could be generated manually, but anyone thinking this is an easy task should try it sometime.  It’s much more likely this is simply a medium quality video camera zooming beyond it’s optical zoom range with a ‘steadyshot’ mechanism.  These are available in almost all cameras now, and produce results IDENTICAL to what is shown.  Real hand-held shot without a steading mechanism would be much harsher and erratic, but the resulting ‘shake’ with steadyshot ON would resemble this.

This is no way conclusive proof that the video is a hoax.  Good points though.

____________________________________________________________

Hoax Detection Parameters:

1. Rotoscoping errors. When computer generated animals, space ships or whatever needs to be convincingly integrated into video the artist must ‘match move’ the footage, so that the computer knows where the virtual camera is in relation to the footage… in other words you need to create a 3D stand in for the real video camera.  If you don’t get it’s motion exactly correct tiny motion differences can be detected.   Perfect frame by frame match moving an object into a scene will ‘ground’ it and fool your brain into thinking it is actually in the scene.

2. Image match errors. Original video is a funny thing.  It is captured by a specific lens and sensor combo.  This tone and feel much be exactly duplicated.  Including the lens distortion and light aberrations.  Including any video noise, or if it’s tape, tape’s various drawbacks and artifacting.  This aspect is usually the most difficult to pull off.  Many hoaxes I have discarded because the ship didn’t match the tonality or contrast of the area it was supposed to exist within.

3. Compositing errors.  Any object that passes behind trees can usually be hoax detected instantly.  In order to make it convincing a tree must be cut out from the background and placed over the generated object/animal.   Most films have tens or even hundreds of ‘layers’ for their special effects shots… this is to add all the layers like dust, natural effects, reflections, etc. The lack of these things can make the footage suspect immediately.

4. Geometry.  Watch curved shapes.  Geometry is usually made up of polygons… which have flat edges.  The more ‘curvy’ something is, the more of these flat polygons there are.  Low resolution geometry can show tell-tale flat lines within the expected curve.

5. Rendering. There are many different ways of generating images.  The most convincing are those from dedicated rendering engines like Maxwellrender and FryRender.  These are a class of rendering engines that are called ‘light simulators’.  The behave mathematically like real light.   However, these are difficult to use and expensive so are not in many people’s toolboxes.   The trademark ‘look’ of various rendering engines becomes easily identifiable by people who work in the industry.  Unless it’s extremely well done, I can always spot default rendering even from expensive packages.  It takes a true artist to fake reality with any amount of conviction.  You basically need to be a photographer, computer specialist, developer and artist all rolled into one.  I don’t run into many that fit this description.

6. Motion.  Natural motion takes years of experience to fake.  I examine the way everything moves quite carefully.  Little keyframe errors are like typos, and almost all CG work has them.   Even big budget Hollywood films have sfx glitches like missed reflections, motion bumps, wires.

After I examine the footage for these issues and I don’t find any, then I set about deconstructing it pixel by pixel.   The only videos I post here are ones that after careful examination I cannot find anything even remotely suspect about the visuals.


2 responses to “Unexplained

  • philippe Hales

    Hi, thanks for the insight into the jerusalem ufo videos. I’m afraid I didn’t quite understand your points regarding the ‘1st’ video (the far-away shot, with a man in the foreground). Did you mean to say that this video is a hoax, or that the ‘debunking’ video which analyses it is somehow a hoax? I’d appreciate it if you could clarify this. Thanks.

    • wakeupandact

      The video with the man is being used as proof that the UFO is a hoax. If I was asked to produce a really bad fake to cast doubt on the first video I would produce something like this. It would be super easy to do with any hand held camera. My point was that the original video looks genuine, the second video being used to ‘prove’ the first a hoax is likely the hoax here. In short, until someone posts the original video in 720p or there comes to light further evidence of the first video being a hoax, I maintain that it looks genuine.

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