How to photoshop and resize a "still" video....

There's a big flap (which, I am told, made it into today's New York Times) over alleged photoshopping of (or in) this Bush campaign video -- by copying and pasting duplicate images of soldiers into a pro-Bush crowd -- thus creating a digital "clone army" to make it appear that Bush's crowd had more military supporters than it did. As "proof," we are offered this image.

Seeing that David Neiwert has derided in advance anyone who might call this a conspiracy, far be it from me to do that.

However, I have a couple of questions. I viewed the campaign ad several times, and I didn't see the clones. I did see the soldiers who were obviously photoshopped into the linked picture though. Except they weren't photoshopped in the campaign ad (at least not the one that's there now).

So what's going on?

I have a mathematical question. This picture (which I shrunk proportionately to fit my blog; you can see a full size version below and the original here) is 600 by 367.


But when I took a screenshot of the Bush/Cheney ad and made a crop of the screen area as carefully as I could, I got a size of 303 by 227. These proportions do not match those of the alleged "clone army" image at all.

If I adust the height of the actual Bush/Cheney screen to 600, then the width becomes 800. Isn't 800 by 600 a standard size? And if I adjust the 600 by 367 size to try to match the screen size (maintaining the same proportions) I get 371 by 227 -- not even close. [Similarly, if I try a 800 width, I get a height of 489.]

The photoshopped version is FAR too disproportionately wide! Plus, the bulk of the photoshopping is on the left hand side.

I wouldn't call it a conspiracy yet, but I will say that the images do not match!

Photoshopping a video requires more skill than photoshopping an image. Perhaps that's why an image which doesn't match the video is all they can offer!

So where is this the video with cloned, photoshopped soldiers? Forgive my cynicism, but I doubt it ever existed.

(I'm glad I'm not a photoshopping or video professional, because I'm sure I'd be accusing someone of rank amateurism....)

UPDATE: Little Green Footballs already covered this, and I see that a digital army never was photoshopped into the video (even though the link I cited directed readers there). Rather, according to this report, some Republican made a still photo by cropping out the podium where Bush was speaking, then filling the area with soldiers. Where that photo is, I do not know. It is not at the campaign site, nor does it appear in the video. I shouldn't have taken the story seriously, because it's not a story at all. I agree with Charles Johnson's characterization:

This is a gigantic tempest in the world’s smallest teacup.


posted by Eric on 10.29.04 at 10:30 AM


All this cloning stuff seemed like a bunch of "Qa Qaa" to me in the beginning. Sort of like when I heard the phrase "Clone Wars" in the first Star Wars movie. But, the clones came back to haunt the Jedi and this theme will stick around to haunt Bush as well.

The reason is: Few things please a person more than having evidence suddenly materialize that justifies a prejudice.

When the "Bush wears a wire" theme appeared on the left-leaning blogs, people ran for it because it seemed to confirm their believe that "Bush is not his own man." The touched up footage does the same thing. It confirms a belief that people have that the Bush Administration prevaricates. And it's not just the left that thinks so.

I wish people would believe in things because the evidence suggests that they are true, rather than come to conclusions first and then go hunting around the Internet for various folktales that confirm them.

The ad agency that produced the piece has confirmed that they did alter the photograph. It seems likely, from what they said, that they did it out of convenience rather than menace of intent. The fact that this is a "Big News Story" only indicates how trivia-obsessed the media has become.

bink   ·  October 29, 2004 1:19 PM

Bink, thanks for your comment. I did a little more research, and now I see I was wasting too much time on something inconsequential.

(It's hard to see how anyone will be persuaded one way or another by stuff like this.)

Eric Scheie   ·  October 29, 2004 1:55 PM

This picture does NOT look hip -- it looks FASCIST! "ORDER, HIERARCHY, DISCIPLINE" "BELIEVE, OBEY, FIGHT" "DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY" These are EVIL MEN in MILITARY UNIFORMS armed with GUNS and trained to KILL oppressed indigenous populations. They probably EAT the flesh of DEAD ANIMALS, too.

That little boy with the FLAG of AMERIKKKA, that quintessential FASCIST SYMBOL -- we must take it away from him and BURN it. The Stars symbolize AmeriKKKa's IMPERIALIST ambitions to CONQUER space. The Stripes symbolize AmeriKKKa's IMPRISONMENT of wymyn, people of color, and LGBTQWERTYUIOPXYZ people. The Blue symbolizes the uniform of AmeriKKKa's REACTIONARY FASCIST POLICE stamping out revolution. The White symbolizes AmeriKKKa's RACISM. The Red symbolizes the BLOOD shed in AmeriKKKa's IMPERIALIST GENOCIDAL WARS.

This OPPRESSIVE picture must be CENSORED, oops, POLITICALLY CORRECTED to protect THE CHILDREN from such VIOLENT imagery. This COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY blog must be BANNED so that The Wretched Of The Earth may be LIBERATED from YOUR OPPRESSION.

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