do news networks use post production or real time video editing to airbrush anchors faces?

This has been something that has been bothering me for some time. ive noticed that when broadcast in HD many news anchors faces will apear to be airbrushed beyond any effect physical makeup can achieve. ive noticed that their teeth, eyes and eyelids have been artificial brightened. their skin takes on an unnatural hue and color, it also appears to happen in real-time as ive seen it in live news broadcasts and can actually see digital artifacts in the video. not the entire video just their face, and the effect seems to be turned off and on depending on how close the camera is zoomed in on their face. Ive also noticed it being used with bias as some guest commentators faces are airbrushed while others are not. what are some of the names for the software that is being used? what is the industry name or term for this? is this being done in real time or is it happening post-production? how pervasive is this in the industry and how far is the technology advancing?

thank you

Never underestimate the talents of make up artists. I have seen news anchors pre and post makeup, they can be almost unrecognizable pre makeup.

As said, it’s not clear that you know what is possible with makeup for TV.

i only have a basic knowledge of what is possible with make up for TV. i do know that makeup currently isnt technologically advanced enough to reapply itself in realtime. i do know that its not responsible for digital artifacts caused by digital manipulation. i grew up with family who were at the foundation of computer graphics use in television and film, i know what i am seeing, i cant watch a film or t.v. program without being acutely aware of the presence of digital manipulation. i dont know anyone whos knowledge is current, as everyone i know has been retired for some time, otherwise id just ask them.

if you look closely you can see planes of color shift out of sync with the rest of their face as they present the news cast. the lighting, the contrast and brightness of their teeth and whites of their eyes and eyelids seems to me be an impossible situation without the use of video manipulation. i see the digital artifacts plane as day, i dont see how its caused by the application of makeup.

Can you post a link to a video you think demonstrates what you claim?

FWIW, is it possible for you to use capitalization? It’ll make your posts much easier to read.

HD makeups have reflective particles in them to diffuse light. Maybe this creates the digital artifact you are seeing. It can certainly screw up flash photography.

There is actually circuitry in some broadcast studio cameras to detect faces and “smooth” the broad areas of a face, while leaving the edges sharp and the background detailed. I’ve seen it demonstrated at the National Association of Broadcasters show.

A better job can be done with the Beauty Box software from Digital Anarchy, but it’s not real time.

The Lola software can be used to add or subtract decades from a face, but it is not automatic, and has to be applied by a skilled artist. The first time it’s use was acknowledged was in the X-Man film where Patrick Stewart and Ian Mackellen were made younger. Before that it was used to make aging divas like Madonna and Kylie appear younger.

And lastly, HD had caused a revolution in make-up. Jay Leno’s makeup artist invented a liquid makeup airbrush system to quickly prepare guests to HD standards, and I believe won an Emmy for it.

ETA: I’m looking for a link to #1. I’m sure it was covered in Post magazine, or possibly Broadcast Engineering, both of which I used to read.

Without an example and detailed analysis, we can’t know exactly what you are seeing. But there are dozens of ways video is manipulated, not all of it intentional, but an artifact of computer processes, compression, and other factors. Some are not as “plane” as day to viewers, and unless you are an expert, you might be jumping to unwarranted conclusions.

I checked Sony’s site, and they call it “Nature Skin-tone Detail function” and say “The Natural Skin-tone Detail function improves upon Sony’s powerful skin detail functionality, and is particularly effective in maintaining eyebrow find detail.”

That’s “skin detail” as in “I’d like a lot less skin detail please”. And “eyebrow find detail” as in “Damn, his eyebrows are disappearing. How can we get rid of the lines on his forehead without making his eyebrows disappear!”

Og forbid our news anchors should have gravitas!

Compression programs have a hard time dealing with an area that is nearly, but not quite, uniformly one color. You see blocky raggedness as the color changes slightly from one tone to the next.

If the makeup is applied such that the tone is nearly uniform, this might explain the digital artefacts the OP is seeing.

All digital video goes thru a compression/decompression cycle if it is transmitted in any regular form. The amount of compression (and therefore the amount of noticeable effects) can be varied according to source type and bandwidth needs. Perhaps the TV station (or cable company) is ramping up the compression for some reason making the effects more obvious.

Yeah, before it was invented you could see the wood grain and nail heads.

Oh, wait, I’m thinking of ST:TOS. Never mind.

Or am I… :slight_smile:

You keed, but the introduction of HD meant that news sets could no longer be constructed of particle board and shelf liner, and that they had to start building them out of genuine wood - just like Shatner.

Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just use soft focus or smear the lens with vasoline?

I’m just asking this to be thorough but… Do you have a decent TV, what you’re explaining also sounds like it could be an artifact on your end, either from a cheap TV or something wonky in your cable connection that’s resulting in static or ghosting.

Doesn’t work if you move the camera, and most of these shows have robotic camera systems that move around and zoom in.

In the digital photography world, there’s something called a Barbara Walters filter. It’s where you wrap a pair of nylons over the lens. I know it sounds like a joke, but it’s pretty common.

Nylons over the lens is about as old as nylons. All of those old movies were shot with real film and real light - the camera operators were minor Gods.

Great Lighting should never be underestimated. Color can be added with gels. It can work wonders.

There’s plenty of real-time post-processing software that can be run over the footage that will attempt to smartly smooth out flesh tones, particularly tiny blotches or wrinkles, but no software is perfect (and I’m sure some software is better than others).

Plus yes, there’s probably so much makeup piled on an anchor’s face it looks like they’re made by Pixar—ironically.

I, for one, welcome our new robot newscasters.