Digitally masking corporate logos in your home videos


44 Responses to “Digitally masking corporate logos in your home videos”

  1. EliZ says:

    Has William Gibson been made aware of this? I bet Cayce P would love a set of Virtual Light sunglasses hacked to incorporate this code.

  2. andygates says:

    As soon as you replace logos with other logos, you increase the offensiveness of the whole logo-space. Immediately, you create a market for LogoBlock Plus.

    Me, I’ll take “FOOD” “BEER” and so on, a la Repo Man.

    (though, woah, you could surreal the place up by pasting in billboards from fictional verses. Blind Mag Sings! Changed Your Face? Now Change Your Race! Zydrate!)

    • penguinchris says:

      You beat me to mentioning Repo Man. I thought the food logos there were hilarious.

      I really think it’s stupid that we have to even think about this kind of thing, though. Is it really necessary to cover up or blur out the logos of everything? Is Nike really going to sue you if someone wears a Nike hat on your TV show (or your youtube clip)? Kind of sickening to think that they even could. And I agree with those who said that if your personal life has so many things with big logos, you should stop buying things with big logos on them. I don’t buy anything with a logo if I can help it, and if I can’t I remove or cover it up if it will be visible (I put gaffer’s tape over the apple logo on my macbook pro, and drew a penguin on it in silver sharpie).

      Also, blurring things out or covering them up in video really bothers me if I’m trying to watch. It draws my attention to whatever is being blurred rather than to the show itself. I just *have* to know what’s underneath!

      On Mythbusters they have a good solution – they put gratuitous amounts of duct tape on top of logos (and despite what they said on one of the duct tape episodes, duct tape is not the same thing as gaffer’s tape – gaffer’s tape would be the better choice for logo removal but they do use duct tape). That show lends itself to duct tape, though, whereas it would look weird for other kinds of programming to have duct tape or gaffer’s tape all over the place. That would still be better than the obnoxious blurring, though.

      In Thailand you can’t show alcohol or smoking on TV. Mostly they avoid writing alcohol into the script, but alcohol is an important part of the culture so in many cases it’s necessary. So they blur it out, but they do a terrible job – they use huge blur circles but they still don’t manage to track things properly, so there are always a few frames when you can see it. I’ve also seen them not do it at all when quickly cutting between different camera angles. This is of course besides the fact that blurring it only draws attention to it, which defeats the purpose I think.

  3. biobildung says:

    “music: Baby Mammoth “The Ghost of Henry”?
    A música do vídeo não é aquarela do Brasil?

  4. chuck says:

    AdBlock for RL!

    This will come in handy when the Glasses envisioned by Gibson and Stross become a reality.

    Personally, I’d choose to leave the storefront brand names, as that’s the only place they’re actually useful.

    I would replace branding in other places with more functional words (Starbucks becomes Coffee, Abercrombie is Clothes, Taco Bell and Wend’s are Fast Food), so I could get the jist of an ad without having to actually look at it.

    The future’s future is right around the corner.

  5. Tgg161 says:

    Is that Tyson’s Corner Mall or do all malls just look the same?

  6. getjustin says:

    An intrusion in our lives? Seriously? Are you so weak willed that the mere sight of a Nike logo means you’re dropping $100 on sneakers? Ignore and get over yourself.

  7. enkiv2 says:

    It’s too bad that the goal wasn’t met. I’m sure Steve Mann (to drop one very big name) would be very interested in this.

  8. Jellybit says:

    With all the logo blurring going on in commercial television, I think, oddly enough, that there could be a lot of commercial usage for an application that erases brands.

  9. Jellybit says:

    Oops, it seems like his Kickstarter funding ended 5 days ago, and it only got 6% of its goal. Too bad.

    • David Pescovitz says:

      Argh! Just saw that too. I updated the post. Thanks, Jellybit.

      • Darran Edmundson says:

        David, apologies for Submiterating(â„¢) without realizing the Kickstarter project had ended. I only discovered this when I went back to contribute to Jeff’s (IMHO) worthy endeavour.

        I’d like to see this software doing logo redaction in real-time. Imagine a small camera plus thin-film overlay for one’s glasses that could selectively de-logo the visual field. I’d really like to drive down a commercial street cluttered with signage and only see the store I’m looking for (or even none at all if just passing through).

      • Anonymous says:

        There appears to be a follow-up Kickstarter project with 44 days to go:

        Might be worthwhile pointing out in the post.

  10. JulianR says:

    Isn’t it absolutely ridiculous that something like this has become a necessity / market in today’s society? We’ve created a monster!

  11. Johnny Justice says:

    Marketing it as something to be used in commercial video would be a better way to go. As it is, this guy is trying to convince the consumer to buy into something they don’t need. Much like the brands he is trying to remove.

  12. Anon, he must says:

    OR… don’t buy products bearing logos that you would be embarrassed to see in your videos…

  13. ben says:

    The application should only be able to replace the brand logos with an OBEY/CONSUME/BUY/etc. image. Then I would approve.

  14. Anonymous says:

    This app has huge potential in film and television location work.
    As a graphics person in the film industry, one of my jobs is to “greek” signage and logos on location (greeking being filmspeak for hiding/removing/disguising).
    If we don’t get legal clearance on copywritten logos etc. and we show them on screen, we’re leaving ourselves wide open to litigation.
    I’d be pushing this software to film editors,best of luck! – Boyd

  15. ogvor says:

    I like the overall idea, but does anyone else think its a little stupid to not want to see logos at a mall? What, should all the stores have a sign in 64 pt Times New Roman font?

    • TimmoWarner says:

      As he said in the video, they went to the mall as a great place to find lots of logos to test and develop the software. I don’t think he’s specifically saying erasing logos from mall footage is a great idea.

    • Jellybit says:

      I think the mall was just used to show how the tech works. A place guaranteed to be stuffed with logos. A heavy-case scenario to prove it works decently.

    • Gemma says:

      The mall is however a good place to test/demonstrate the concept, which is what they were trying to do.

  16. Ben Godby says:

    If logos upset you to the point where you feel it necessary to actively remove them from the social exposition of your imaged life-record, you should probably ask yourself why YOU need a brand.


  17. js7a says:

    I’ve seen similar commercial work for greeking. Smoothing the jitter is much easier than getting OpenCV to run against hundreds of any-perspective, any-rotation patterns on decent resolution video in over 10 frames per minute, but certainly a worthy project.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Cayce Pollard (ca. 2002) would have loved this.

  19. Anonymous says:

    these are the rose coloured glasses I was looking for…

    seriously, was a brilliant idea decorporatize and to take back our experience in public spaces. when this can be done real-time and fed into some kinda HUD….this would be amazing…

    but putting aside the vital practical side of this…this would be a great art peice…..

    Photos of cities without marketing….

  20. m95lag says:

    That is pretty useful, but I am afraid that someone will take this nice consumer friendly concept and give it another twist: replacing competitor logos. Hosts could also censor logos from companies that did not pay pay a fee, or who someone decided was inappropriate.

  21. jefftimesten says:

    Jeff Crouse here — I just re-launched the campaign:

    Thanks for your interest!

  22. simonbarsinister says:

    1) If you add a feature to replace corporate logos with DIFFERENT corporate logos you may find many paying customers.

    2) I refuse to take any action to appease the current litigious landscape where the very space we live in is owned and controlled by corporations. You put your logo in my way. The mismatch between the laws corporations have purchased and the actual way people live their day to day lives is terrible.

  23. GrymRpr says:

    “Video Pirates” already do this with a custom plug-in for TMPEGEnc & it’s been in use for over a year. ( Used for Dvd screeners & such )

    Day late & a dollar short lol

    • Jellybit says:

      That’s totally different tech if it’s what I think it is. This tech finds logos in pretty uncontrolled circumstances, in the background where things are rarely head-on in angle. The tech you’re talking about attempts to blur out a static overlayed graphic in the corner. What makes this tech special isn’t that it can cover things up in any special way, but that it can find the logos at all in the chaos of handheld footage to then do what it wants afterward (whether that’s blurring or something else). It’s a thousand times more sophisticated.

    • Ed Frome says:

      Grym: If what you’re talking about is what I’m thinking you’re talking about, that is used for blocking/blurring a static object. The Unlogo software tracks the position and rotation of logos as the camera or logo moves. That’s far ahead of removing a line of text from the bottom of the screen.

      • GrymRpr says:

        The plug-in I am thinking about is not the blur one but the one that removes the the offending Logo/Watermark/Text by sampling the previous frame / next frame if I remember rightly.

        But yes, It’s for static and not moving Logo/Watermark/Text ( you must define the area )and not some bouncing logo that moves all-over the screen area.
        Tho,it has been used on scrolling text, to good effect ie. This video belongs to blah,blah,blah

  24. simonbarsinister says:

    Oh, and of course… awesome work technically!

  25. Yhancik says:

    Julian Oliver has a slightly related, open source (and opencv based) project called Artvertiser :

  26. Zadaz says:

    A real “take control of your video” tool wouldn’t be a web app, it would be open source and I could run it on my own computer.

    I felt like this in college, raging against the … well raging against whatever anyone had. I went out of my way to remove the logos from my Nikes and my Levis. I’m not your brand, man!

    But I still bought the Nikes and the Levis, so in the end it was pretty hypocritical.

    Though every once and awhile I get a kick out of asking enthusiastic “What’s it like being a brand ambassador?” questions to people I see wearing gratuitously branded T-shirts.

  27. mgfarrelly says:

    This would be enormously useful to small film production actually. I believe the “Strangers With Candy” movie was held up because they had filmed some posters they didn’t have the rights to use.

    Personally, I take the Tiger Woods approach to logos. Unless you’re paying me a great deal of money to wear one, no dice.

    Currently, there are no takers to sponsor a YA librarian with an excellent tenor voice and no athletic ability.

    • Jellybit says:

      That’s a good point about independent movies, but posters? Not only does this have to have a database of all the logos in the world, but also all copyrighted images? Seems like an almost impossible undertaking. He’d have to hand this off to Google to even make a dent in it. Unless the posters you speak of contain logos.

    • Trent Hawkins says:

      Unfortunately this looks jittery and shitty. Good enough for home use but terrible for film.

  28. jamiethehutt says:

    I thought what I’d do was, I’d pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes

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