Digital Big Mac Signals the End of Photography

virtual-big-mac

This video of a Big Mac, fries, and soda, starts out like food porn — sumptuous photography, shallow depth of field, etc. — but like in the Matrix, the simulation starts to break down, revealing that the fast food is entirely digitally rendered.

It was easier to make the video using computers than shooting it live. Bruce Branit, of Branit|vfx, wrote: "We used photo modeling techniques from a real photograph of a Big Mac and the the fries. The fry box, Dr. Pepper, ice, bubbles, smoke, straw, environment, etc are all entirely CGI. The real reason to do this spot as CGI was to be able to choreograph the camera move in limited time and budget."

As computing power increases and software improves, we'll reach a point when food styling, cameras, lighting, and more importantly, photographers, won't be necessary any more. Perhaps the initial image will still need to be captured, or fused together using something like Microsoft's Photosynth, but once something — and by "something" we mean "anything" — is digitized at a high enough resolution and with enough three-dimensional information, photography can and likely will be almost entirely replaced by digital rendering.

Or, it's just a fake burger.

Video: McDonald's Versus

[via Horses Think]

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20 Comments

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  1. Supernintendo Chalmers

    This is really scary. How long until we can create entirely fake full motion video/audio of people? Hopefully it'll at least be detectable as artificial by experts.

    On the other hand, how real is a Big Mac anyway?

  2. Wasn't it a fake burger to begin with?

  3. Emily

    close. The french fries need a little more work, but damn!

  4. Wow. I guess that's what one calls empty calories.

  5. Frank Grimes

    "Digital Big Mac Signals the End of {PRODUCT} Photography"

  6. ..."go perfect-LY together"! "perfect" is an adjective. Though I suppose if your selling your product to the lower class, it's best to speak their language.

  7. Look at the upside, people... The digital version has half the calories!

  8. rhea

    Fries look 2D still, and it all looks unappetizing... but that's probably a personal opinion.

  9. chris

    no wonder the burgers look better in the commercial.....

  10. ed

    Not a substitute for real photography and real food styling if anyone is paying attention. The casual observer probably won't notice nor care. Another nail in the coffin of photographers, food stylists, their assistants...

  11. Ian

    The texture on the 3D burger is from a picture of an actual burger. I don't think we can call photography dead just yet.

  12. Rohan

    The camera work is terrible and gives away the whole thing. For good, seamless CG you need to replicate traditional camera moves. See any Pixar film, they all use traditional cinematography except when doing an obvious take-off.

  13. LOL even McD can't get their own product to shoot.
    why use 3D if u got a real burger to shoot ?

  14. Luke Stanley

    The tech required to shoot it fast is here: http://grail.cs.washington.edu/projects/videoenhancement/videoEnhancement.htm and it need not require manual wireframe models either

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