November 06, 2012

Artist Liu Bolin erases cars from photos, no software required

 “Waldo was a chump at hiding compared to Liu Bolin.” The artist sort of Content-Aware Fills himself out of photographs, disappearing into background via elaborate make-up. Now Ford has cleverly commissioned him to highlight its competitors’ blandness, making them melt into their backgrounds. Check it out:

Posted by John Nack at 8:07 AM on November 06, 2012


  • J. Peterson — 9:11 AM on November 06, 2012

    Ford didn’t need to bother with the fancy art crew. Cars sold in the US are the ugliest, dullest, drab eyesores on the road. They’re barely distinguishable from the pavement they drive on.

    Seriously, go to any parking lot and look around. What do you see? White, black, beige, gray, gray, gray and more gray. Try buying a car. You want green? They have “Forest Mist” == gray. You want blue? They have “Morning Sky” (gray) or “Midnight Pearl” (black).

    All Ford needs to do to make their car stand out is paint it a color. A real color a kindergartner could name: Red, Yellow, Green, Purple, Blue. Pink! Orange! But no, can’t do that. Can’t have a pretty color for your car. No, the only way to make the car – the drab white car – stand out is to spend thousands of dollars hiring artists to make the other surrounding cars even duller.


    [I love that there was (is?) a real color called “Antelope Firemist.” –J.]

    • Chad M. — 10:46 AM on November 19, 2012

      Grumpy, grumpy, grumpy.

      Not overly accurate either.

  • Joe — 12:00 PM on November 06, 2012

    What’s pathetic is ignoring reality and making statements like yours.

    Let’s see which colours are available: Lime Squeeze, Yellow Blaze, Blue Candy, Ruby Red, Race Red along with the obligatory grey, black and white.

    • Jonathan Hughes — 1:41 PM on November 06, 2012

      Thanks! You beat me to it!

  • K Brown — 2:04 PM on November 06, 2012

    The truly stupid thing is they actually painted cars to get the look you can have in photoshop in minutes.
    What was the point?

    [Because no one would have talked about a simple Photoshop job. This is harder, weirder, and thus more buzz-worthy. –J.]

  • Rich Morey — 2:42 PM on November 06, 2012

    Its only buzz worthy if they point out what they did. Most people will look at the ads and assume it was a digital post-production trick.

    That being said, I still think the whole thing is pretty awesome!

  • Paul Stoner — 3:13 PM on November 06, 2012

    That’s insane. Must take forever just to organize that size of a crew and execute. I would think that matching the color would be one of the hardest jobs.

  • Dave — 5:30 PM on November 11, 2012

    This is just about the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. What a complete waste of time.

  • Sprachaufnahmen — 2:06 AM on April 13, 2013

    Dont know what to say, we would not do thhis here…

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