January 31, 2014

Here's How the Controversial 'Photoshop' Music Video Was Created

Video thumbnail for vimeo video Photoshop Music Video - No Film SchoolA music video has been floating around the web for a while now, which shows a singer being "magically" transformed inside a fake image-editing program into a "more glamorous" version of herself. The "Nouveau Parfum" video from musician Boggie has produced countless conversations about the unrealistic image of women in the media, but many have been wondering, just how was it created? Co.Create sat down with the directors of the video to discuss what it took to make the video -- which included four months of post-production.

This is the official music video for Boggie's "Nouveau Parfum":

And if you didn't think that seemed like a lot of work, this is the Hungarian version of the song and video, with key parts obviously needing to be done over again:

Here's what Bálint Nagy, one of the two directors of the video (the other being Nándor Lőrincz), had to say about the process to Co.Create:

Once the concept was ironed out and the pre-production was fully completed, the rest of the process was a combination of working quickly and fastidiously. “The shoot was really short,” he says. “We had to make four different set-ups of lighting and make-up. So all the phases of ‘beautifying’ were created on-set, by the different lighting, make-up, and hair styles. Then it was the post-production’s duty to work together all these shots.”

Nagy says that the process of stitching all of this together in post took four months. “We had to make plenty of tests for each trick and transition,” he says. “We had to synchronize all of the different shots, and track them together. Afterward, we had to animate all the transitions on the face, create the fake graphic interface, the mouse movements, etc.”

And about what the video means to them:

“Beyond beautifying and Photoshopping, both the video and the song is about accepting our real values,” he says. “We live in a time of multiple crises of value, so it’s important to at least ask ourselves about our real values. Our goal was to show a bad example in the video, hoping it will generate personal answers in the viewer.”

While the post-production process was very long, it's interesting that so much of what you're seeing was actually created on set, with the fake Photoshop program and the transitions added in post. The four different setups were combined in After Effects by the Hungarian VFX group Studio Lamb.

There are a lot of conversations happening now about the way people -- especially women -- are portrayed in the advertising and entertainment industries, and while much of the editing is happening in photographs, there is still quite a bit of it in video. A ton of 'beautifying' is added to all sorts of videos on a daily basis, so while the video may seem like an extreme example (and it was made to be), it's not as far from the truth as you might think.

Head on over to Co.Create to read the rest of their interview with the directors.

Links:

Your Comment

27 Comments

Impressive, the amount of compositing effort that was required to track and match all of footage, gui-thingy, and all the masking/tracking that had to happen to get the vid this way.

January 31, 2014 at 9:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Also interesting is how little of the 'beautification' of the subject was done in post, as opposed to the intent conveyed by the title and through the 'program' interface. Either way I believe the end result gets their point across [which I'm sure will inspire much discussion, although I'm not as interested in that arena]

January 31, 2014 at 9:15PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Cool video, but I wish this anti photoshopping fad would die off already. Of course models are fake and of course they don't really eat chocolate like they say they do. Ads don't send the wrong message unless you don't understand how advertising works.

January 31, 2014 at 10:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Jake Jabbs

@jake
I know some models that eat like gremlins after 12, chocolate and whatever they can find, and no puking after either. But I agree I don't see why people are shocked at this, most of the proposed manipulation in this video is completely fake, just hair and makeup.

February 1, 2014 at 5:52AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Robert

LOL there is nothing controversial about this video! But there is ton of controvesion in all videos and photos where strong digital maniputalion is made and you dont know how much. But at the end of the day its all in our heads.

January 31, 2014 at 10:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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hawaj

Looks like someone trying to make a controversy where there is none.

Art has been dealing in ideals since almost the beginning.

January 31, 2014 at 10:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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moebius22

This site is getting a little strange...
If it's a slow month it's a slow month...
This video was cool for the concept it wasn't controversial can't you just post some interesting behind the scenes if you can get them and stop trying to make news for the site...

It didn't used to be like this and that's why I initially started visiting the site.

January 31, 2014 at 11:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Jer

It's unfortunate I need to do this, but here is the definition of controversial: relating to or causing much discussion, disagreement, or argument. It's just a more succinct way of saying "the much talked about' music video.

Lots of discussion and disagreements about the video and/or its subject matter here:

http://gizmodo.com/music-video-shows-singers-crazy-retouching-transforma...

http://jezebel.com/singer-gets-a-major-photoshop-makeover-in-music-video...

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ailbhemalone/watch-as-this-hungarian-singer-gets...

February 1, 2014 at 12:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

I get what you're saying Joe - I guess the way I look at it - I found the video interesting technically - I think most of us that visit this site know the difference between Photoshop and After Effects (The folks commenting on the links you posted above aren't in the same mind set as the site visitors I believe you're posting for)

The thing is - this site has changed a bit in the past year - and that might be just the season we're in and the news that's available to post right now.

I'm not dogging - I'm not trashing etc - You're posting stuff that you think has value - but I was really hoping for some more depth into the process broken down on this posting - the controversial part just feels like a please click me line. And the linkage article to the break down as pretty shallow as well.

I guess I just wish you folks were able to get a more inside story because this is one of two sites I visit for insight - but maybe I'm confused what nofilmschool content is.

I apologize if I'm sounding rude or if I'm just out in lala-land.

February 1, 2014 at 12:33AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Jer

We're always working on lots of stories, so that was the best inside scoop we could get right now. In fact, I wanted to post it immediately when it was first going around the internet but I thought it deserved more background info detailing its creation.

We're producing more in-depth original features than we ever have in the history of the site, and we're going to keep working hard to bring even more of them to you guys in 2014.

February 1, 2014 at 12:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

Sounds expensive Joe - but good. Is there a donation box somewhere I missed? Or would advertising be the best way to go with you folks?

February 1, 2014 at 12:52AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Jer

No donation box, but we have advertising, and this explains other ways we fund the site: http://nofilmschool.com/support/

Reading and sharing NFS posts with people is really the best way to support us as Ryan says at the end of the page.

February 1, 2014 at 12:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

I agree with Jer, I'm not sure there's much controversy here - most seem to agree that the hyper-beautification of models and celebrities are a bad thing.

Still, it's an interesting post and I enjoyed it.

February 1, 2014 at 12:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ty

Wow as deep as asking: Why does a peacock have multicolored feathers?

February 1, 2014 at 12:07AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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rob

This is great. I've seen plenty of anti-post commentary — opinions going in at great length how it degrades women and promotes unhealthy body images, even suggesting that Image manipulation should be banned. Yet here it is revealed that the image manipulation in the video was done using a thousand year old technique that's used by almost every woman daily — MAKEUP!

February 1, 2014 at 9:39AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Robert Mark

Retouching photos is the art almost as old as the photography itself. It's just new digital toys enabled Bobby and his mother to do things only experienced professionals could do back then.

February 1, 2014 at 11:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Natt

February 2, 2014 at 3:45AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

LOL womens retouching themselfs from the very begining.

February 1, 2014 at 1:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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kuk

That is a bad ass work!

February 1, 2014 at 7:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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February 1, 2014 at 8:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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hawaj

Seriously 4 month, its not really that impressive as can clearly see the different transitions they used through out the video. And not really crazy stuff happening especially I find it odd they under exposed the original shot and not even look like how RAW output really looks like. Most of the shots were just revealing the next one under it or lightening the shot. Also that eye placing didn't even do anything then showing they can mask out an eye. Didn't even us liquify or distort to thin out, which actually there is a tool for it in After Effects. I could easily do this in less than a week.

February 2, 2014 at 7:07AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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LOL

February 3, 2014 at 9:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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seth.iamfilms

There are plenty of females that are actually attractive, so why is it bad that other females want to compete with them via makeup and photoshop? Men arent going to abandon evolution and will continue to favor certain traits and symmetries, so telling fat/unattractive women that it's ok to be fat/unattractive will only lessen their potential dating pool. I'm surprised they haven't passed a law that says men must date/marry women they do not find attractive.

February 3, 2014 at 12:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Pianohero

This mindset all but dries up potential dating pools.

February 14, 2014 at 4:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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V Renée
Nights & Weekends Editor
Writer/Director

Isnt that what MUAs are for
And they can do it in less than 4 months

But I admit the video was impressive

February 6, 2014 at 6:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Jay

Great article! I am sure this is going to help a lot of people.
Curso Revit

March 7, 2014 at 8:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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First, the software shown in the video is not Photoshop. As to the controversy, how is this any different than someone applying makeup, a hair style and hair color? The video is entertaining, but far from controversial (and nothing to do with Adobe Photoshop... which is a product, and not a verb.)

May 23, 2014 at 12:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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db