Boston Dynamics Robots Can’t be Faked – VFX Artists Explain Why

Boston Dynamics Robots Can't be Faked - VFX Artists Explain Why

#Boston #Dynamics #Robots #Faked #VFX #Artists #Explain

Oh my god it looks so good this is like the best cg i’ve ever seen the hardest thing to do in cgi these days is motion i take one look at this boss town robot i’m like that’s so fake i don’t think any vfx shop on the planet could make

This two and a half minute sequence to the flawless quality that we’re seeing here yeah i just like why do people think this is fake when our thing is real before robots can take over the world apparently they have to take over the dance floor first last year boston dynamics dropped a

Video of the robots dancing titled do you love me i happen to be right there when it went live and like perfect i’m gonna leave a comment as quarter crew you know cgi can’t ever beat the real thing you guys are amazing oh my god 69 000 likes on that comment

Are you kidding me and sure enough thousands of comments are on this video claiming that this video was cg it started off well but it started looking more and more fake we all know it’s just clint again i don’t think corridor is saying it’s real i think they are saying it would

Have been better if they just did it for real this is so obviously cgi the scary thing is how many people are thinking this is real so you know what it’s time for us to do our jobs we’re not gonna debunk these videos we’re going to bunk them we’re

Going to prove that they’re real that’s what bunking is town dynamics people just blanket assume that something like this is cgi whereas as cgi artists we’re like no that’s definitely real but why do we think it’s real why do we know that this hasn’t been faked let’s take a look

Oh my god it looks so good this is like the best cg i’ve ever seen so the first thing that’s important to establish here is i can tell that the environment is real 100 100 percent the way it’s interacting with the lens of the camera the slight types of aberrations of like

The out-of-focus parts these kind of lens effects are extremely hard to get correct and even major films struggle like lego movies like the first movie to even get anywhere close to kind of getting that real feeling and also like pattern replication is a bit of a

Problem in cg because you have like say some surface imperfections or some like textures that you want to throw down on the ground to kind of make it look rough and used well you only have a texture that’s this big now you gotta tile it out to cover an entire floor of a

Warehouse well when you do that and you start looking at it from a wide point of view you can clearly see the tiling and the pattern repetition what i’m looking at here is that if someone did try to do that floor in cg they had to custom make

Every single little imperfection in that floor for the entirety of the floor every tile is a custom tile but here’s the thing nico i’m not exactly sure anyone was questioning the reality of the warehouse you’re right that means that the robot if it’s cgi would have to be composited into real footage that

Means we’re facing the challenge now of marrying cgi to the reality and as anyone who’s married it’s knows so we barely have to get into this and i can already see a couple things first thing clipping so when you’re doing 3d animation the objects can just pass

Through each other it’s not a problem you actually see it in our videos like there’s a couple moments where like the arm kind of like clips through itself only because i know it like there’s actually no connection between the shoulder and the ball it’s literally just the ball and like this thing just

Kind of hovering around it that’s one of those things that you just don’t really notice when you’re looking at it less on the robot’s joints look at the robot’s feet not once the feet ever clip through the foam floor to have your keyframes so perfect that not once in the entire two

And a half minute dance routine because a toe slightly clip through the floor which is real by the way because he established the background would have to be physically real you’re already setting yourself up for impossibility you can look at the feet of our robot

You can see how the feet slide a little bit on the ground you can see how the toes clip in a little bit when it’s walking forwards this fooled people but you can already immediately see flaws when you look for it to be fair watching it on your phone is

Very different than watching it on this 96 inch television yes that’s true sometimes you have some sort of interaction with the environment that is just a little too hard to do not just the interaction but like the shadow the reflections a lot of the times it’s easier just to replace the entire

Background and make the entire shot a cg shot so that means laying down a mesh projecting the texture onto it re-lighting that texture it becomes a nightmare instantly let’s say we were to do this digitally just looking at a robot like this with this level of fidelity there’s a few things that go

Into it first is the incredible detail work in the modeling secondly there’s a tremendous amount of detail in the texturing look at all like the scratches down at the bottom of the chest on the inside of the thighs the robot’s reflecting the environment too yeah you

Know it’s very subtle but it is that’s another thing everything is reflective even something that doesn’t seem reflective it’s this concept called fresnel basically the angle that you’re looking at something that surface becomes more and more reflective depending on the angle that you’re looking at every camera responds to

Color and luminance values differently so when you have a cg render and you have your footage and you’re trying to bring them together you have to try to match those as best you can and in this case we’re seeing perfect ratios the value of the brightness of the highlights are once again mathematically

Perfect on the robots corresponding to the luminance of how they are in the actual real footage behind them yes these are things you can dial in with lots and lots and lots of work but at the end of the day it’s so perfect and the color science is so exactly

Matched that’s really the only way to do it is to do it for real the thing in that shot right there that i notice right away is the shadow of the robot on the left marrying with the shadow of the pillar thing about shadows is that it’s

Just absence of light but the problem with shadow renders is that now it’s an actual layer that you have to blend with reality so if it’s going to make the existing real shadow darker it’s going to double up on itself yes yeah so you have to like do some really complex

Compositing to kind of like remove the part of the shadow that is going to line up that’s doable but in my experience you end up with like this problem with the edge it’s really hard to kind of make that blend and there’s certain tools that we use to kind of facilitate

That and make it better but it’s a huge challenge and i’m looking at that i’m like it’s perfect it’s perfect there’s a lot of science around how to make surfaces look good there’s a lot of science around the simulating of light but the hardest thing to do in cgi these

Days is motion the moment you have like a skeleton and it’s moving around you have a couple different issues you have to deal with one is you have momentum and inertia not just in the part that’s moving but the entire system if i throw my arm forwards and backwards my other

Shoulder moves my other arm moves my head moves there’s so much that happens when movement occurs that it becomes a incredibly recursive system of complexity and at some point as an artist you just cut it off that’s the other reason people do a lot of motion

Capture you know you can walk around and do this you can just capture all that motion and all those recursive levels of detail of inertia and momentum and balance are just happening in real life so they just obviously motion capture the robots twitch i’d be like no the

Robots do not move the mass and inertia in the center of gravity of a human being from a biomechanics standpoint these robots aren’t even the same shape as humans you see it you’re like that’s a human-shaped robot but if you’re actually like measure out the proportions they’re not going to be the

Same as a human so the moment you try attaching human-sized motion capture to it you’re going to have some problems because things aren’t gonna line up like when he reaches up like does that with his feet you know it’s like yeah that won’t line up you’ll have to go in and retarget

That all manually and then the hand of the artist gets involved and the moment an artist starts doing their own animation is the moment it stops being physically real to be fair there are some incredible animators out there who could do this completely keyframed because if you think about it the actual

People who designed this robot dance basically keyframed it they keyframed it but then that keyframe was ran through basically an ai there’s effectively a simulated ai version of the robot doing its moves and then the real really life robots trying to match those movements based on the predictions that ai is

Making like every time you see somebody kick spot and it’s like gets its balance there’s an ai in there that’s running a simulated version of that robot and then when it’s off balance that then gets turned into real life impulses for the motors to then try

To move the legs to the same spot and hopefully it all works out but it doesn’t as we saw in the parkour video when the robots biff it [Laughter] seeing the failures helps make this even feel more real it actually has the same kind of like oh i messed up that we do

You know it’s still a very natural organic reaction of like i’m flailing so one thing we can do here is we can see the robot’s center of gravity if we go to where it does a flip and why are we figuring out the center of gravity because human beings have one

Spot where it is and let’s see where it is in these robots and it looks like it’s just a little bit behind the h on the side of the body so kind of down towards the bottom of the torso but not the very bottom yeah so human beings the center of gravity is

Like right about here whereas the robots they’re certain of gravity is right here partially because they have a whole big battery and stuff meaning if this is motion captured the way it would spin would not be around the robot center guy would be around where it would be for

The human who did the shot so in other words this isn’t motion capture oh yeah one of the things we’re forgetting to mention is inertia it’s basically the resistance to motion something with a lot of mass doesn’t begin moving very easily it takes a little bit of like time to

Accelerate something that weighs a lot versus doesn’t weigh much at all if everything falls at a certain rate how is it that i can drop something from here and then lower my hand quicker to grab it before it hits the ground like watch this ready you’ve made your point you may be

Playing yes i’m glad you didn’t use my controller that sort of stuff really matters with the type of animation you’re seeing here and it’s the stuff that they’re having to account for in the actual coding of the motion of these robots and that’s something that anyone animating something in cg they’re just like

Keyframe here move it keyframe there uh easy ease done so i guess what i’m saying is we actually kind of see that jittery motion that robots have yeah there’s like there’s bounce there’s vibration like when the feet hit the ground they go you know yeah

And it’s just not something that we as a biological human can really replicate and clint did an excellent job it’s hard to overstate the value of clint’s performance they trick you with the boston dynamics it’s boss town it looks so realistic we pulled joel rogan like twice too but

Here’s the thing we’re not that far off from this thing no okay okay okay let’s let’s walk it back lex friedman is the one of note here because he’s like the big mit ai specialist here and his whole thing was like okay no no no don’t get

Ahead of yourself the animation that you see was done for comedy because it was it was slapstick and it was clint expertly pretending to be a robot but also kind of like showing emotion in the way he actually moves and there’s a lot of subtleties in how that motion is

Accomplished that robots can’t yet do those qualities are like another order like this here oh yeah there’s a few things that we are specifically doing to help us right and the biggest thing is real-time interaction it’s very intentional that jake crosses frame between the robot and

The camera and then hands him a gun that the robot then takes every single time you see gunfire in this entire video that is real firearms being fired but in a separate take with no one around yeah all safely done and stitched back into the shot but the dedication to realism

And filming the elements for real is why people are fooled in this because it’s not just about the cgi robot it’s about everything it’s about the interactions and bees yeah so the bees things bees the bees thing was added as a clear like this is fake and it still didn’t work

Yeah i just like why do people think this is fake when our thing is real i think it comes down to two things one is the motion being so perfect like they are perfectly in sync right it feels like it’s animated because it is but we’re seeing it brought to life through

An animatronic the other thing that i think is triggering us is that large windows are creating a very nice side soft light which is like how every cg render is lit these days with large freaking soft boxes so it follows the same lighting convention that we’re used

To we have an entire show dedicated to why visual effects don’t feel real people have no idea why a shot looks fake they just see it and they’re like that looks off i have no idea why it just looks off and the reason why people are looking at this and saying it looks

Off is for the wrong reasons it could just be too that we’re so used to seeing this cool sci-fi stuff in films i think there are visual effects houses that are capable of replicating this level of detail you know but then it becomes like a multi-dozen person

Crew spending a lot of time and therefore a lot of money to do this i don’t think any vfx shop on the planet could make this two and a half minute sequence to the flawless quality that we’re seeing here there’s just too many steps in the chain where artistic

Interpretation needs to happen and once again the moment artistic interpretation happens is the moment the real science and physics stop existing and there is not a single pixel in here that is not scientifically accurate to what would actually have been captured if it’s captured for real because it was all captured for real

All right there’s a lot of talk right now about how hard these robot videos would be to create and to make them look real and the nuance with the shadows and the movement and all the lighting and everything like that well guess what courtesy of today’s sponsor expressvpn

I’m gonna be making a robot of my own to show them just how easy it is to make a real robot video expressvpn is the best vpn provider out there if you don’t know what a vpn is it provides additional encryption when your information is out

On the open internet so that it can’t be taken by hackers or used by your internet provider to be sold to third parties nobody wants that come on sam i am a robot all right i’m here to tell you about expressvpn’s content on blocking are you using expressvpn for your content unblocking content

Yes streaming services like netflix have different shows depending on where you’re located and expressvpn allows you to change your location in order to access thousands of new shows that aren’t available in your country no way yes with servers in over 94 countries you can get the fastest vpn services out

Of any vpn server out there and you can also get 24 7 customer service if you ever have a problem robots never sleep robots never sleep no sam expressvpn has been rated number one by a platform such as cnet and tech radar and you can use expressvpn on any device

You can use it on your phone you can use it on your phone while looking in your smart fridge true bye-bye robot bye you see it’s really that simple i don’t know what the big deal is i mean i just made a robot right here you know

Pretty much that’s how it goes so if you guys are interested in getting the best content on blocking and the best data encryption that money can buy consider going to corridor crew and seeing how you can get three months free that’s corridor crew e-x-p-r-e-s-s-v-p and dot com crew so i

Love sitting down and kind of analyzing actual real-life things and either debunking them like in the case of ufo stuff or bunking them like in the case of boston dynamics if there are any video clips you guys would like us to look at and apply that is it visual

Effects eye or what would it take for it to be visual effects please leave a suggestion down in the comments below maybe we look at the bigfoot video next who knows consider this a bit of an apology to boston dynamics in the sense that like

Sorry for all the hate that you may have gotten on our behalf hopefully we’ve proven that there’s no way that what you guys have posted is fake really what we just did was a bunch of pre-production i’m just saying kind of know what we gotta do now

Like it? Share with your friends!


What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
confused confused
fail fail
fun fun
geeky geeky
love love
lol lol
omg omg
win win


Choose A Format
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
Youtube and Vimeo Embeds
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Photo or GIF
GIF format