Hey everyone, it seems there’s a general consensus so far with the new airliner video that in order for it to be faked, it would need to be some sort of 3D animation/CGI. The cloud illumination analysis ruled out 2D editing according to this post. I’ve been working with 3D software for 10 years and have dabbled in VFX work along the way. A couple of things I noticed when analyzing this footage.
Framerate analysis. This is pretty simple debunking stuff but it’s the first check. When someone adds in a 3D object over real life footage, they will sometimes forget to double check that the frame rate of the 3D animated object is the same as the framerate of the original video. When you go frame by frame in a real video, you’ll often get dead frames with no movement (in the airliner video this is once every three frames). So if you splice in something with a higher framerate over the real life footage, the added 3D animation will continue over those dead frames. This was a simple check, and when I went frame by frame in the downloaded video, the dead frames remained motionless for every piece of the scene (including the things you might expect to be added like the airplane or the UFOs). This means one of two things. That the creator knew about this and adjusted accordingly in their editor of choice, or that everything in the video was created in a 3D software (this would ensure the framerate is consistent all around).After seeing the camera tracking that would be required to add effects to this footage and the cloud illumination post earlier, most would lean towards the latter option. This also leads to issues however. The part of this that I struggle with the most are the clouds. Volumetrics, smoke, fluid, and clouds are some of the hardest things to make in 3D. Even when you watch a big budget hollywood movie production you can feel something ‘off’ with digitally added clouds.
(examples from Nope which is a movie about clouds pretty much)
Also this VFX breakdown from 2012’s “Flight”, show what a team of VFX artists working on generated clouds from an airplane’s perspective can do. In a lot of cases, artists will try to add in needed additional clouds over already existing footage or pictures of clouds. If this was the case for the airliner video, we again run into the illumination issue from before. Assuming it was just one bored person working on this fake, I did a search on youtube for 3D generated clouds in the year of 2014 to see what single people were creating on this front.
this is about all I can find for fully 3D tutorials. The capability is just severely limited for low budget productions not to mention the amount of time and processing power it takes to create these realistically. If you want you can check yourself, just google “site:youtube.com realistic 3D clouds” and then in tools set the time span to 2014. Artists were struggling with fully digitally clouds and they still do.
Again, just for reference here is what the clouds look like in the video, complete with sun light overexposing them and leaking through in the thinner whispy areas.Side note: if this was faked, the artist did a fantastic job with photorealistic lighting. Most CGI shots are underexposed for visibility’s sake but if this is 3D they did this part very very well. A real (especially low quality) camera would have those completely maxed out areas where the sun is reflected off the clouds and this is technically possible to do in 3D it just is usually overlooked and isn’t done this well.
just in my opinion and from my knowledge, I do not think one person in 2014 could have feasibly created these clouds in 3D in the time frame that they would have been required to. This is about all I can offer when it comes to my knowledge and I’m not trying to make a definitive statement either way. I have no expertise in drone footage or 2D post process editing, I am simply just adding in what I know to this conversation, which is that these clouds are not 3D rendered.