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Behind “L’Hôtel du Temps” by Ardisson, the creators of “Moi, Moche et Méchant”

STUDIO MAC GUFF – 3E Oil production / France 3

Actress Julie Chevalier, who plays Dalida, before and after using a “face engine” to reproduce the singer’s face.

TV – Back in the Past on Monday, May 2 at 9pm in France 3. Thierry Ardisson presents time hotel, a TV flying object that travels back in time… to meet deceased characters, thanks to artificial intelligence. A breakthrough made possible by the French company Mac Guff.

This studio was originally established in 1986 Despicable Me, released in 2010. Pour time hotelUse a “face engine” (or deepfake). An in-house developed process that aims to collect hundreds of thousands of photo and video archives in order to recreate a facial model using artificial intelligence.

This is the face of actress Julie Chevalier (Cloclo, the mysteries of love) with a stunning version of the face of Dalida, the first “guest” character on The Thierry Ardisson Show. He will be followed by Jean Gabin, Lady Diana and Francois Mitterrand.

“At first, I said to myself: He’s crazy!”

This deepfake process has already been used in cinema or on television. Mac Guff has emerged in 2020 by successfully rejuvenating Mathieu Amalric in the final season of The legends office. A process rewarded by Cesar de l’Innovation 2021, which made it possible to make flashback scenes in the series more believable, As you can see below.

But use was limited to very short sequences. Far from the work required to produce a complete program, as in France 3.

When we met Thierry Ardisson, I said to myself: ‘He’s crazy! “Instead we said no to the project,” he admits to HuffPost Rudolph Chabrier, president and co-founder of MacGough. ‘Which – which It required a lot of work: we used to work on scenes for a few seconds and suddenly we had to produce more than 60 minutes of the show.”

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Rodolphe Chabrier finally took advantage of the Covid period and the closing of other projects to improve the “Face Engine” tool, which he had already been working on for two years. “I started working day and night for several months, and finally it worked,” he adds, referring to the work done with his partner Martial Valanchon and dozens of people on this project.

About two months of work per version

Through continuous improvement of artificial intelligence (AI), Mac Guff studio has succeeded in significantly reducing production times, from one year for designing a test program with Jan Gabin, to about two months for that with Dalida.

“without time hotelwe could never have developed our inner tool so quickly,” adds Rodolphe Chabrier, who is already working on new uses for cinema, such as character aging, replacing the silhouette of an actor. (body drive), or create a “virtual makeup”. What we can do now has nothing to do with what we were doing six months ago.” Progress like the famous French studio is struggling to hire specialists for its AI department!

The use of such technology clearly raises ethical and legal questions. There are currently no “photo rights for the dead”. Thus any character can be revived, as long as one has a sufficient base of AI photos and videos.

In case time hotel The production specifies that out of respect, the heirs have been informed and validated by the digital modeling of the face as well as the script. Moreover, the comments made by “False Dalida” are original and come from the interviews she gave during her lifetime.

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Production “Made in France”

Mac Guff isn’t the only French pride to have worked on this show. The Institute for Research and Coordination of Audio and Music (IRCAM) has also distinguished itself through its company ercamamplify. This was responsible for transforming Dalida’s voice using the “Sound Reproduction” tool, which also uses artificial intelligence.

on top of all, time hotel Co-produced with Third Eye, a French production company we owe it It’s up to you In France 5. Real success blue white red.

Also see on The HuffPost: There was a little Disney on France 2 election night