When it comes to changing faces in Star Wars, results have drastically varied. ILM and Lucasfilm continue to hire talent that can work with and improve upon the digital technologies responsible for young Princess Leia and de-aged Mark Hamill. In at least one case, they’ve even hired a fan.
Just in the five years since Rogue One, de-aging and similar technologies have improved significantly. There’s still plenty of room for growth though, as evidenced by many fans’ complaints about Luke Skywalker’s appearance in season 2 of The Mandalorian.
While some took to Twitter to comment on their frustrations with Hamill’s de-aged face, others attempted to “fix” the imperfections themselves. One of them did such a great job that he now HAS a job working with facial capture technology full-time.
On YouTube, creator Shamook uses digital technology to replace actors in well-known roles with other actors. His deepfakes have now earned him more than just notoriety and Patreon subscribers, however. He’s now employed at ILM/Lucasfilm as a Senior Facial Capture Artist, reports The Direct.
He confirmed in the comments of his latest YouTube upload that his brief hiatus from the platform was necessary while adjusting to his new role.
“As some of you may already know, I joined ILM/Lucasfilms a few months ago and haven’t had the time to work on any new YouTube content,” he wrote. “Now I’ve settled into my job, uploads should start increasing again.”
The video that improved Luke Skywalker’s Mandalorian look, which has now received almost 2 million views, received a largely positive response from fans of both Star Wars and the artist.
“Skin tone is a lot better. Deep fake also seems to add more textures to the face. The original just seems like it’s airbrushed to the max,” one user wrote.
Another fan complimented Shamook for the work he put into the deepfake — and its result. “The fact you were hired by Lucasfilm after making this makes this so much better.”
Perhaps there’s a lesson to be learned here. Show the experts what you’re made of, and you might just become one of them.
The Mandalorian season 3 is set to premiere in 2022 after The Book of Boba Fett.