Netizen digitally swaps Athena Chu for Yang Mi in The Legend of the Condor Heroes '94

Yang Mi Athena Chu face change condor heroes
Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) has become a staple in the digital age.  TV shows and movies can easily create sprawling mountains with CGI or a futuristic battle in space, if need be.  The possibilities are endless.  Someone with the right computer background can do the same and one particular user drew mixed reactions.  

Yang Mi Condor heroes huang rong
A user recently uploaded a video clip of the 1994 drama adaptation of The Legend Of The Condor Heroes that went viral due to one major difference. Athena Chu whose portrayal of Huang Rong has been touted as one of the best is nowhere to be seen. Instead, her face was replaced with Yang Mi's.  

The video has earned mixed reactions.  Some say that there is nothing wrong with making it.  Others raise concerns that such things may encourage others to make similar videos that infringe on copyright and violate the rights of both actresses.  

Athena Chu condor heroes huang rong
The original publisher, who admits to being a fan of Yang Mi, has gone on weibo under the handle Face Changing Brother (换脸哥) to issue an apology.  He said that his original intent was to make people aware of such technology and to assist celebrities from falling victim to fake news.  Also, the video was meant to help others understand how the video was made so that they can spot fake videos. He also stresses that he did not make the video for profit. 

yang mi condor heroes huang rong
I'm amazed at how convincing it looks to the untrained eye.  Yang Mi's face moves naturally and even has perfect facial expressions.  It's a wonder to behold, but like all things, the practice can be abused. It also raises questions as to whether anyone can just imprint a face onto another actress, effectively replacing her work. 

Source:  1  


  1. That is incredibly potent technology, all things considered. Very realistic! I expect it's harder with newer films/movies since the image quality is so much finer there.

  2. In future, dramas/movies can be acted by anyone and just change the face to the main celebs....that is something I always fear.


    But would it really work for everyone?
    Because in this case, YM and Athena Chu faces are almost too similiar. Look carefully at that first picture, the only difference is that they inserted YM's eyes and mouth into Athena's face, everything else about Athena remains the same, face shape, eyebrows, nose, etc. If they choose another actress with a wider face I'm not sure if it will still work?

    I think it is possible that the artist probably spent tons of hours for 1 short little clip? I think everyone is aware now that celebrities photos and videos are mostly edited. And editing those things take time, a person has to go edit bits by bits carefully. Curious to see how this new technology is done because it would be really revolutionary if it works for everybody, and instantly like a face app at the same time.

  4. The technology is call Deepfakes using AI. Here's an article about it.

    Looks like YM and Athena's face really do align to make it work well. A lady from the link tries to sync her face with a Liu Yifei picture, but it still didn't turn out to look as realistic because her face shape is different.