Lucasfilm’s ILM Hires YouTuber Who Improved CGI Luke in ‘The Mandalorian’

User known as Shamook used deepfake tech to tweak the de-aged Mark Hamill cameo in ‘Star Wars’ spinoff

Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) has hired to its team a YouTuber who went viral with a video that showed him using deepfake technology to improve upon the special effects in an episode of “The Mandalorian.”

A representative for ILM told TheWrap that it hired the YouTuber who goes by the name Shamook, who scored nearly 2 million views for a video from December that tweaks the VFX of a scene in which a digitally de-aged Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) makes a cameo in the season 2 finale of “The Mandalorian.”

“Industrial Light and Magic is always on the lookout for talented artists and have in fact hired the artist that goes by the online persona ‘Shamook,’ a rep for the special effects company said. “Over the past several years ILM has been investing in both machine learning and A.I. as a means to produce compelling visual effects work and it’s been terrific to see momentum building in this space as the technology advances.”

Shamook wasn’t hired directly as a result of his “Mandalorian” video but for the focus of his research. It’s unclear when he joined the company, but Shamook himself said in a YouTube comment this month that he joined ILM within the last few months.

“As some of you may already know, I joined ILM/Lucasfilm a few months ago and haven’t had the time to work on any new YouTube content,” Shamook wrote in a comment (via Indiewire). “Now I’ve settled into my job, uploads should start increasing again. They’ll still be slow, but hopefully not months apart. Enjoy!”

Shamook’s “The Mandalorian Luke Skywalker Deepfake” used the tool DeepFaceLabs to digitally replace Luke’s face in the episode with another. The video shows a side-by-side version of the original, VFX version of a young Luke in the episode alongside his deepfake, which has slightly more expressiveness and detail.

Shamook has also done similar videos for “The Irishman” that tweak the look of existing VFX jobs, as well as subbing in actors like Harrison Ford, Will Smith or Robert Pattinson into “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” “The Matrix” or “The Dark Knight” respectively. Check out his “The Mandalorian” video above.

Indiewire first reported the news.


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