Explore the art of making deepfakes effortlessly! Discover step-by-step instructions using Akool's advanced FaceSwap Tool in our comprehensive guide.
The term “deepfake” has become a famous (and infamous) concept.
Combining “deep learning” with “fake,” deepfakes are AI images and videos created via a deep learning method known as GANs - generative adversarial networks.
GANs has brought AI face-analyzing technology to the point where you can easily swap faces in a photo or video. The same technology also enables talking photos - a video in which the person in a photo delivers your script, and looks quite realistic while doing it.
And while deepfakes make some people nervous, there is a lot of benefit to be gained as well.
Traditional video production is expensive, as is using on-camera talent. For product marketers, using a deepfake (legally, of course) to explain or demonstrate a product makes advertising cheap and easy.
Now think about the cost of choosing a realistic avatar, or making your own, and typing out a script for an avatar to deliver. Choose a voice, language, and accent, all with a few clicks. And it costs almost nothing to reproduce the same content for worldwide audiences, since many deepfake platforms have translation capabilities.
So let’s put aside our anti-deepfake bias for now, and see how easy it is to create a face-swapped image or video.
The AI platform used for this demonstration is Akool - a leading player in the face swap arena.
Let’s go through the basic steps for all three deepfake methods.
Changing the Face in a Photo
Akool’s Tools menu is where you’ll find all features.
Choose Tools / Face Swap.
Find the photo whose face you want to swap. Drag the image file into the box on the right, or click Choose Files to locate it.
Akool analyzes the image, and identifies the detected face.
The face used for swapping must come from the Choose Face list on the right. Use the Add icon to bring in a photo, or use one of the provided defaults. For the photo you bring in, Akool will run the same face detection.
Click that face to add it to the Detected Faces list.
Face Swap also has a Re-age slider, to add or subtract years from the final face, and a Face Enhance option, for removing blemishes and the like.
All Akool tools have an easy-to-find “run” button at the lower right. Click High Quality Face Swap.
Another smart Akool UI feature: all generated results are stored in one place. Click Results at the top right.
The Swap Results list holds the final product- the new face added to the original photo. Click Download to save it.
Changing a face in a video
For the next deepfake feature, record or download a video with a clear view of one or more faces. This is the video used in this example (taken from Pixabay).
The process is the same as a single face swapping image. In the Face Swap tool, just bring in the video instead of a photo. The Detected Face list produces not just one face, but several face views, according to the various angles identified in the video.
You can bring in a single face view from the Choose Face list. But for even better results, use photos of the swap face that match the angles found in the video.
As before, click High Quality Face Swap, and find the video in Swap Results.
It’s pretty amazing to see the new face replacing the original in every angle.
Creating a Talking Photo
Our final deepfake is likely familiar to you, if you pay attention to AI developments.
In Synthesia, the simplest way to create a video is to choose an avatar and create a video from it.
Maybe you’ve seen videos in which the subject of a famous work of art (think Mona Lisa) speaks. Talking paintings and cartoons don’t fall into the deepfake category - everyone knows they’re not real. But reality gets a bit more shaky when a photographed face is doing the talking. And it’s shockingly easy to do.
In Akool, the tool this time is Talking Photo. Just upload the photo into the UI.
Enter your script in the Text box, inserting line breaks for pauses. Choose a male or female voice.
Choose the speaker from the list of names. Each name has a play button you can use to hear the voice.
To hear the script delivered in the selected voice, click the large play button. You can adjust speed if needed.
Scroll down and click High Quality Generate.
Then open your results and check out your deepfake.
While there are obvious benefits of deepfakes, we can’t argue that there is no downside.
Think of faked videos of politicians taking bribes or purchasing drugs. Or celebrities swapped into pornographic content. Beyond these obvious examples, there are also more mundane use cases involving ordinary people, with far-reaching implications.
Deepfake cloned voices have been used in a variety of crimes and scams, such as mimicking a loved one’s voice in distress to extract ransom. Deepfake social media ads have used celebrities or other trusted figures to convince viewers to take some sort of financial action.
And while deepfakes used to be rather easy to spot, they will only grow in sophistication. AI deepfake analyzers must keep pace with the deepfake tech itself.
But despite the drawbacks, many experts feel that deepfake benefits outweigh the risks. Here are a few positive examples:
News organizations can use real or custom news presenter avatars, capable of presenting current events in multiple languages to audiences around the world. without the need for studios and AV equipment.
Families can use deepfake technology to “recreate” elderly or deceased loved ones, so that young children can see what their great-grandparents looked and sounded like.
Museums and educational facilities are using deepfakes to produce interactive, “living” historical figures. As one example, a Salvador Dali deepfake was created to enable museum-goers to listen to the famous artist in his own words. Hours of video interviews were processed and analyzed by AI, in order to produce the startling real looking Dali, speaking in his unique accent.
When celebrities are willing participants, they can lend their famous faces and voices to good causes. In one such case, David Beckham partnered with Malaria no More, to produce public service announcements in nine languages.
To make your own deepfakes, check out Akool for yourself. The free account comes with enough starter credits to generate several examples. But always be aware of legal and ethical considerations during your deepfake journey. Fake responsibly