This week, the Internet was in a tizzy over a shocking video of a toddler being snatched by an eagle, which then dropped the child. Is it real? Is it fake? Turns out, the video is the work of a group of 3D animation students in Montreal. And it's just the latest in a series of hoax videos the school has created.
In the video "Golden Eagle Snatches Kid," the big bird swoops out of the sky and grabs the child. It tries to fly away, but lets the toddler fall. It's very convincing, and you have to watch pretty closely for cues that it's not legit. How did a bunch of students manage to make a video so real that it tricked millions of people?
The power of software.
Four students at Montreal's Centre NAD created the video as an assignment for their 3D Animation and Digital Design class. They first shot footage of the dad and the park, and then created 3D animations of the child and the eagle and integrated them afterward. So basically, the world freaked out a tiny bit because of somebody's homework.
"The goal in that class is to push 3D animation to its limits and to show how believable 3D animation can be as well," Claude Arsenault, a public relations manager for the university, told ABCNews.com. And was it ever. Well done, kids.
Last year students from the class used the same techniques to create a video of a penguin on the loose in a zoo.
It isn't as convincing as the eagle one, but it's still pretty good. I'm not sure how I feel about super-realistic hoax videos being posted on the Internet without any explanation, though. It's just not that nice. If the video had been clearly labeled as animation, it would have been a lot more inspirational rather than horrifying. A "Hey! Look at what our students can do with technology!" rather than an "Oh my God, the baby!" But I do commend the animation students on a job well done.
Do you think posting hoax videos on the Internet is funny or mean?
Image via elainefarfalla/YouTube