You grew up being told to never believe what you see on the internet, and in 2023 – with fake news, deep-fakes, and digital art scattered throughout our feeds – this is more true than ever. Last week, we reposted a video by @origiful on our TikTok page which gained over 3.1 million views and sparked a heated debate amongst the CULTED Community, with commenters raising the question: is it real or not real? Well, we’re here to clear things up.
The short answer is no, the video’s not real. It’s actually what’s called “3D animation”, created by digital artist Ian Padgham by overlaying digitally created concepts on top of real videos of recognisable places, which helps to generate a sense of realism. Padgham is actually the same digital artist behind the viral “Big Bend” video which you also might’ve seen and is similarly unnatural yet realistic. The video itself is set in Paris – you probably recognise the iconic Parisian architecture – and features a giant pair of legs clad in long leather boots hanging from the front of the store.
The comment section of the video on our channel proves the video’s realism, with an array of users enquiring “Is this real ?” (via @22age_terencetdj) and “Are these real or augmented reality?” (via @peanut_buttah_n_jelly). Padgham’s strategic placement of bollards and metal railings (which he undoubtedly also edited into the video) around the giant legs creates a sense that the scene is real, as it implies that the Parisian police have even set up safety precautions around the installation. However, in reality it’s all a part of the illusion.
The confusion isn’t helped by some users who took to the comment section specifically to convince people the boots are a real installation, like @cupcakkeoutsoldmywig who stated that, “these were originally created by a floptropican designer and he later on sold them to some businessmen in paris 🥰”. A quick Google of the term “floptropican” brings up only an Urban Dictionary definition with a reference to an alien species, basically exposing the comment as fake. Given the realism of the video, though, it’s easy to be fooled.
Amongst the chaos and confusion dominating our TikTok’s comment section are a few users who simply choose to look at the humour of the situation; who cares if it’s real when it’s funny? For example, one user (@michaelohle) commented on the obvious impracticality – and safety hazard – of a giant pair of boots taking up half of the streets, saying “Red boots were made for blockin 😏 and that just what they’ll do”. However, user @halfaro152 may have left the best comment under our repost, making a reference to the iconic knee-high boots wearing star we all know by simply saying, “Ariana what are you doing here?”
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