SpyMac's iWalk a (Good) Fake

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Date: Thursday, January 3rd, 2002, 13:34
Category: Archive

I am a graphics/compositing professional, and though well done, the iWalk videos on SpyMac are fake.

The most obvious fakery is the ‘Say hello to iWalk’ video where the text and cursor are composited on top of the video image. You can see the type moving very slightly differently than the background image. This is also why the shot is static (tripod).


I am a graphics/compositing professional, and though well done, the iWalk videos on SpyMac are fake.

The most obvious fakery is the ‘Say hello to iWalk’ video where the text and cursor are composited on top of the video image. You can see the type moving very slightly differently than the background image. This is also why the shot is static (tripod).

The LCD screen also doesn’t photograph as a true one would on videotape. The contrast is too rich, and the apparent light source differs between the videos: the screen would likely be backlit from the sides, but in the ‘Say hello’ video, there is no light source other than the ambient room light. It looks like a printed card placed behind the screen of the prototype.

The shadows around the edge of the screen are also not accurate in their depth, positioning, or edge diffusion (edge diffusion accuracy is the number-one mistake made when compositing accurate drop shadows). Other shots of the unit in action could have been done with a chromakey insert, gray background insert, or simple compositing (easily hidden in the low-res videos).

The logo back of the unit, ripped off the iPod, is not the correct sizing of the logo with the text as seen on the iPod and other recent products.

The Firewire port is too deep and large to be accurate in this depiction, where it would run right into the thick colour screen. The port would also be the small end of the Firewire, not the large one as depicted.

Lastly, the unit would not handle cursive handwriting (rather than printing) that well, especially having no time to ‘learn’ the handwriting of the user in the video. The dot written over the ‘i’ is also unlikely, as is the prototype’s ability to recognize the end of each word (and written anywhere on the screen).

The prototype unit itself is a real device, though probably an unworking shell and unlikely manufactured by Apple. A *very* well done and convincing fake.

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