Investigation: Morgan Freeman portrait, painted in Procreate




Investigation: Morgan Freeman portrait, painted in Procreate

If you pay close attention to our site, the more likely you managed to see an incredibly realistic portrait of Morgan Freeman , drawn entirely in Procreate app for iPad. Portrait photos are so identical, which was modeled that many of you do not believe their eyes. Is there any reason to doubt the honesty of the creators of the picture? Artist or unfairly criticized for what he did all too well? Resource Gizmodo put together some facts that will help us to understand this.

Act I: deep penetration

A cursory glance at the site Kyle Lambert, to see what he really talented artist. His works include cartoon sketches and photorealism. On his YouTube channel signed more than 50 000 people, and his work regularly at the delight of lovers of painting technique Apple.

However, of all the things that he did, nothing can compare with a portrait of Morgan Freeman in terms of quality and popularity. Lambert says, it took him about 285 000 brush strokes and more than 200 hours of hard work to create a masterpiece. It is also the first major work, which he uploaded through Procreate. In this regard, says the artist, the result, of course, looks different than his other work.

Once Lambert uploaded a video, Internet mad. This month YouTube video was viewed more than 11 million times. And as usual, came a wave of popularity criticism.

The main complaint: too hyper realistic painting. Photos that Lambert used as a source of inspiration, quickly surfaced. People began to accuse Lambert of fraud, citing the inability to keep track of the many ways in which Lambert used in the drawing process. Despite this, Lambert remained neutral.

Should we believe?
Act II: the hook

First integrated charges of forgery came from the site Sebastian’s Drawings. Three days after the release of video Sebastian noted that when placing the original pictures Morgan Freeman on the drawing drawing each pixel perfectly falls under the original. Only one conclusion:

“The only valid option – it is if you took a picture, painted over it, scour the details, and then let the video backwards.”

In fact, the ratio of figures shows that this is possible. To make the skeptics silenced, Procreate decided to conduct its own investigation. Lambert is one of the beta testers of the application, so it would be very bad to approve it if it is illegitimate.

Lambert readily agreed to contribute to the company’s investigation, and experts have begun to explore the source data to detect fraud. Here is what the source representative Procreate James Cada:

“Look, Procreate records every step. Each action is stored in the file when the user removes his finger from the screen. Actions are saved every 1/30 second in the two buffers. The first charge of the layers, and the second for the video. It turns out one action – one frame of video.

Over time, these frames create a video file. When Procreate folds, closes video buffer and creates a video segment. With the passage of days during the drawing process creates a sequence of video segments within a file. Procreate. When a user exports the video, Procreate combines video segments into one file “.

In other words, Procreate oversees the process. If the figure was false, the file it could be immediately determined.

As it turned out, the file. Procreate, Lambert presented included all consecutive video segments. The company unveiled a screenshot as an example of what they were looking for.


Furthermore, Procreate successfully exported video using files within the application. The result is a 2-hour video, which “clearly showed that it actually worked for 200 hours without importing the images.”

That’s it. Problem solved? No.
Act III: unforgiven

Gizmodo sent screenshot Procreate Brian McPhee, a programmer working in the field of distributed systems and the development of API. He immediately hacked screenshot. McFeely showed how using a simple code in the Mac terminal can recreate the same effect without undergoing any work after the fact.


And while it may seem ridiculous that the company will go to such a lie to justify, a screenshot does not provide conclusive evidence.

There are other problems. Hardcore skeptics got to the site data analyzes photos FotoForensics hoping to finish these negotiations. Sebastian, which we mentioned above, wrote that the result includes drawing the same ID, the original picture Morgan Freeman, Scott made Gerizim, which suggests that the picture was inserted into the document at some point.

Maybe it does not matter, but the presence of the layer photo Lambert seriously reduce the chances for acquittal. And it also contradicts the fact that Lambert spoke of its work:

“The original pictures were not at any stage of drawing any iPad, any application Procreate. Procreate documents the entire process of drawing, so if I wanted to import the photo layer, it would be shown in the video. ”

The problem is that FotoForensics showed that the image was “completely done in Photoshop CS5 and CS6 for Mac », rather than Procreate, as was stated.


Trying to prove that someone is lying, can bring a lot of problems, but Sebastian notes that the meaning of his mission only to distinguish digital trick reduces achieve artist of genuine craftsmanship. This is true. And it would be true even if Lambert was indeed a charlatan.

But as it turned out, was not.
Act IV: Glory

It is easy to forget that picture of Morgan Freeman, floating on the Internet is not the original. This tightly compressed print version of the original, which weighs 4096 to 3072. To see what the artist worked, the team compared the Procreate complete pictures in all their glory mnogopikselnoy:

“We exported PNG-file in native resolution Procreate, opened it in Photoshop and imposed the original photo Scott Griza. Considering the picture in full resolution, we found that the proportions and colors do not match perfectly. When you zoom easily detect obvious brush strokes and imperfections. Contrary charges obvious that the work of the artist is not the same as the original pixel by pixel “.

But what about the data FotoForensics, which show that the image never been inside the iPad? Procreate presents a very logical explanation for this:

“These guys used. Jpg from the Internet, rather than the source file. Unfortunately, any attempt to prove a lie, using an image from the web, will lead to failure.

Original work Procreate has a resolution of 4096 by 3072 pixels, and the compressed image – 1000 by 740 pixels. They checked the image thumbnail in Photoshop press (Procreate can not resize the image). When you resize the image and save it in Photoshop, the metadata will reflect the changes. Without source code will work with FotoForensics meaningless. ”


Finally, the data show XMP, at what stage photo Scott Griza been copied to the compressed image. Kyle noted that in its Photoshop, he “put the original photo to see exactly how” he was able to portray Freeman.

Important point: the original photo has been copied in Photoshop over the final image are clipped. Not Procreate. If Kyle imported original photo in Procreate, one could say that the work is amazing. The fact that the video data in the source file Procreate indicate that there were no imports, says only about skill this guy.

This argument has weaknesses – McFeely argued that the workflow described Procreate extremely intuitive, but they are mitigated by the simple fact that the company has done a lot to learn whether their beta tester lied. Remarkably, when McFeely imposed Lambert drawing on original photo, the similarities were not so obvious, as pointed out by Sebastian.

Facial hair similar but not the same pixel by pixel. This is possible to achieve if paint with high magnification and work with a tiny step, but hardly anyone have the patience to do it.

In other words, to forge drawing harder than paint. Apart from the fact that the pictures are not the same pixel by pixel lines in the figure look thicker and less transparent – it can only talk about working with a touchscreen device. And though the work looks very tedious conversation with Gizmodo Lambert expresses pride in the time it spent on the image and the forces that put it:

“I worked on it for a month. On the site, I wrote that it took about 200 hours, but there was a bit more. And I was disappointed by the attitude of people. You try, you get tired, the work takes a long time, and all these people say it is zilch. ”

All these hundreds of man-hours up the video length is 2.5 hours, but of course, no one on the Internet is not going to watch it in its entirety. All this work shrinks to four minutes, so it seems that the artist just took and molded color drops Morgan Freeman. Of course, no one would believe that four minutes can make such a realistic picture. In the words of Lambert, full two-hour version of “the first ten minutes of the video are the most important part. Following this is only a very fine detail. ”

It turns out, most of the more than 200 hours left on the drawing tiny lines. Killer? Sure. Impossible? Hardly.

Ultimately, only Lambert knows whether his painting this Morgan Freeman.
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Tags: iPad , Conspiracy Theory , Photo .


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