Published: Tue, March 06, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

YouTube Is Using AI To Replace Green Screen Technology

YouTube Is Using AI To Replace Green Screen Technology

They're still crucially integral to filmmaking, especially big-budget VFX blockbusters, and likely won't be phased out anytime soon unless a newer, more innovating technology is introduced.

Google has begun testing a tool on YouTube that enables creators to change the backgrounds in their videos much like a green screen does. To get just a little more limited, the feature is just for "stories" using the video service's new video format. "Our new segmentation technology allows creators to replace and modify the background, effortlessly increasing videos' production value without specialized equipment". Still, the feature seems pretty neat, and Google is obviously not done perfecting it. The Pixel 2 is sporting an AI-based portrait mode for still images.

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The final result, at least from what we've seen so far, is a almost seamless background swap that even runs fast enough to be used in a video. The search engine giant reveals that the solution is simple and lightweight with a capacity to run "10-30 times faster than existing photo segmentation models".

Google silently made the ability to download YouTube videos for offline view available in more countries than we had expected. Thereafter, the team worked to improve the quality by adding layers to smooth the edges between the foreground and background.

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Google software engineers Valentin Bazarevsky and Andrei Tkachenka wrote on the Google Research blog last Thursday that the company has developed an AI that can replace video backgrounds in real time, no green screen required. Google claims the training set has an accuracy of 94.8%, notes Digital Trends. The green screen is still significant to filmmaking.

Will a similar feature be available on Instagram at some point? Further, Google has yet to provide details on how it's new Artificial Intelligence tool impacts the battery or if it requires a depth-sensing camera.

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YouTube creators may be the first to play with Google's new background replacement feature, but the company's AI opens up new possibilities for plenty of other augmented reality apps.

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