Ever since I discovered it in March, I have been endlessly fascinated with what I can create by plugging Second Life avatar selfies into the two AI facial refacing and animation apps on my iPhone, WOMBO and Reface (here’s my original post, and I wrote three more here, here, and here).
There’s just something about the stylized, perfect way that Second Life avatars look that lends itself perfectly to being manipulated by WOMBO and Reface, which makes the resulting images and videos leap right over the Uncanny Valley for me!
WOMBO only creates lipsync videos, and Reface started off with inserting any face into still images, artworks, and Hollywood movie clips. But recently, Reface also started letting you take any selfie and create lipsync music videos as well:
But not to be outdone, WOMBO has just released WOMBO combos: duets where you can select two facial images to animate! Here’s three examples:
The following is one of my all-time favourite Monty Python comedy sketches! (My brother and I used to say this to each other all the time…)
Both WOMBO and Reface are available for Apple iOS and Android devices. They’re great fun, the results are entertaining, and I can recommend them both highly!
Holy shit. This just leaped past the Uncanny Valley in my opinion. This works so well it is truly scary. Heath looks like a real person!!! Try it for yourself with a facial picture of your favourite avatar, and let me know what you think!
Here are a couple more examples:
UPDATE 2:25 p.m.: I just dropped US$$29.99 (about forty dollars Canadian) on an annual Premium WOMBO subscription, and I have decided…I am just going to self-treat my chronic clinical depression today by plugging Second Life avatar selfies into WOMBO all day. I reject your reality and substitute my own!
Of course, it’s not just Second Life that you can do this with; WOMBO works with avatars you create in any social VR platform or virtual world. Here’s an avatar I created in Sansar, singing Thriller:
And, of course, it’s not just avatar pictures, it works with any face pictures. Here is Frida Kahlo (or, more accurately, her self-portrait), singing Tunak Tunak Tun, which is the mashup I never knew I needed until today!
UPDATE March 17th, 2021: I am just having so much fun throwing Second Life selfies into WOMBO! The company keeps adding new songs, too! Here are some of the latest additions (the Borat one is an exclusive for Premium members):
UPDATE March 20th, 2021: And here are a couple more new songs available on the WOMBO app, as of today! I had actually asked (via the #song-suggestions channel on the official WOMBO Discord server) for Friday by Rebecca Black.
UPDATE March 21st, 2021: This afternoon I discovered a new mobile app called Reface, which allows you to insert your avatar’s face into movie clips and animated GIFs. Here’s an example, using the face of my main Second Life avatar, Vanity Fair:
Here’s Vanity in thean animated GIF as Marilyn Monroe. Isn’t this amazing?!??
But wait, it gets even better!Witness the resulting MP4 movie clip, where Vanity Fair’s face is superimposed upon Kate Winslet’s in a succession of clips taken from the 1997 blockbuster movie Titanic:
Reface allows you a decent handful of face swaps before it imposes a 30-minute timer to slow down your use of the free version of the app. I signed up for the Pro version, which costs US$2.49 weekly, or US$24.99 annually.
Here’s my main male avatar Heath Homewood as actor Harrison Ford:
And here’s an animated GIF I created of Heath Homewood as Freddie Mercury!
UPDATE March 22nd, 2021: Well, tonight I am howling with laughter as I put my normally sedate Second Life supermodel, Vanity Fair, through WOMBO to sing some Taylor Swift, interspersed with some very well-timed goat screaming! Tonight, this my new favourite thing!!!
And then, I got really creative and starting combing the AI tools!
I pasted Vanity Fair’s face on Kylie Jenner’s body using Reface, then put a screen capture from the resulting animated GIF through WOMBO, et voilà! Here is the result! I am having way, waaay too much fun with this!
And Heath Homewood will sing you out with yet another exclusive song clip for Premium WOMBO users…
UPDATE April 5th, 2021: Three more musical clips from the fevered minds at WOMBO!
UPDATE April 6th, 2021: Here are a couple more tunes—enjoy!