With Rick and Morty‘s fourth season premiere just around the corner, people are gearing up for more intergalactic, bombastic exploration of all the universes. But while Rick and Morty have explored everything from a universe including bears that produce spider webs to a dimension where Atlantis exists, they’ve never been to another universe or dimension that includes Rick’s face reformatted by a computer program aimed at simulating animated deepfakes. Luckily (unfortunately?), we do get to see that world, and it is the stuff of Cronenberg-ian horrors.
Motion designer, illustrator, dinosaur enthusiast, and overall “polite person,” Ben Marriott, made the video of the Rick and Morty transformation and posted it to his YouTube channel—check out the channel for a lot more pop culture content remixed with deepfake apps, including this artistic take on homer from The Simpsons.
It should be clarified that for this particular Rick and Morty clip, a deepfake app wasn’t actually used. Marriott notes in the video that he’s using a “style-transfer software that doesn’t technically use artificial intelligence,” but is still able to, in many ways, emulate the effects a deepfake app would have on an image. Pulling a deepfake on Rick was the original plan, however, but wasn’t executable thanks to the fact that the apps failed to perceive a 2D image as a human face.
As far as the video itself is concerned, it’s an interesting tutorial, although presumably not many people are at the skill level where they could pull this kind of transformation off on their own. But the steps are explained clearly enough, and what really matters is that transforming Rick’s face into something that looks like it was shaped by deepfake tech somehow involves Willem Dafoe. In fact, it seems that Dafoe’s face fits Rick’s particularly well. Maybe this is a sign that Dafoe should play Rick when Rick and Morty visit the real world. (Although we all know how creepy the real-life Futurama fan film is, so maybe that wouldn’t be such a great idea.)
What do you think of Rick’s face manipulated by a deepfake emulator? Would you ever want to see deepfake tech influence the real show, or is it just too creepy? Travel to the universe made entirely of opinions in the comments!
Images: Ben Marriott