A San Francisco highway near Apple Park wasn't pretty enough, so it got deleted

Posted:
in iPad edited May 9

Apple's "Let Loose" event showed commuters looking at their iPads instead of the scenery -- but what they missed was a view of San Francisco's Bay Area that doesn't exist.

Man smiling in a subway train holding a pole with other passengers around, some seated, others standing.
John Ternus was on a new BART railcar, but not everything Apple showed outside was real



It sounds like something Apple Maps would have done when it launched, but this time it was deliberate. Apple quite painstakingly altered its footage of San Francisco used in its "Let Loose" event in order to create a prettier shot.

Viewers may have suspected that the Apple's John Ternus was enthusing about the iPad from within a set instead of a real train. But the panning shot across the country from Apple Park to that commuter train was definitely fake -- or at least one key part of it was.

Aerial view of a town with distinct residential and commercial areas split by a highway.
Left: Apple's version of the Bay Area. Right: how it really looks, complete with non-photogenic highway (Source: SFGate)



As ever, Apple's video production is exquisitely well produced, and a real demonstration of how other technology companies fall flat in their presentations. In this case, one part of that was in showing what appeared to be a perfectly-timed drone shot of a train making its way both through San Francisco and through the middle of the frame.

But local publication SFGate wasn't fooled and said there was an "instant tell" that Bay Area had been doctored. As seen in the event, the train gently cuts through a beautiful tree-lined route -- but in reality, Apple had to erase the I-280 to make it look like that.

Reportedly, several blocks of Oceanview homes were also digitally removed. Others homes were replaced by mansions.

On the other hand, Apple was praised for its realism as the scene was shot using one of the Bay Area Rapid Transit's (BART) new railcars. And John Ternus had to grip a pole for balance, like a real commuter.

To give Apple credit, they did this CGI work extremely well. Apple is now always doing CG well -- if not always to everyone's taste, as the recent "Crush" ad has shown.



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    Is it no different then what so many movie and tv shows do when they film in one location pretending to be in another location?
    iOS_Guy80freeassociate2Alex1Nwatto_cobradanielchow
  • Reply 2 of 17
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,592member
    For this, Apple has just crossed the Rubicon and become as evil as FaceBook.
    ciaVictorMortimer
  • Reply 3 of 17
    Fidonet127Fidonet127 Posts: 512member
    So? Apple didn't say they were doing full reality. Freeways are ugly and noisy.
    Alex1Nwatto_cobradanielchowStrangeDays
  • Reply 4 of 17
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,658member
    I approve of this deletion.
    dewmejas99Alex1Nwatto_cobradanielchow
  • Reply 5 of 17
    XedXed Posts: 2,621member
    For this, Apple has just crossed the Rubicon and become as evil as FaceBook.
    Yeah, that makes complete sense. /s
    Fidonet127jas99freeassociate2iloveapplegearAlex1Nwatto_cobrabeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 6 of 17
    mikethemartianmikethemartian Posts: 1,361member
    There is a Climate Town video where he is talking about, due to laws, there is an excess of parking spaces that take up land that could be used for other purposes. He mentions a video game, I think it was SimCity, that the developers tried to use real maps for but all the land used for parking lots made the game look terrible so they had to replace them.
    Alex1Nwatto_cobraAlex_V
  • Reply 7 of 17
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,206member
    Instead of being about beautification, I'd more believe that, after the video had been shot, the freeway traffic was seen as distracting from the BART train and made the transition to the BART car interior abrupt and confusing. In support of this, the BART car interior shot clearly shows some of the classic "ticky tacky" houses, not mansions.
    No-one has identified where the "mansions" are located?
    edited May 9 Alex1Nwatto_cobratmay
  • Reply 8 of 17
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,365member
    It's called "subject isolation."  Ever shot a photo of yourself or someone else and wanted to remove either another person or an eyesore?  Subject isolation!  And with AI, that process is getting much faster and easier.

    If you examine the side-by-side shot in the article, you see the highway takes your focus away from the train tracks.  It would take longer for you to notice the train is there.  The doctored photo helps you see the white-topped train on the tracks more clearly and quickly.

    So who cares if the "SF Gate wasn't fooled"!  It wasn't about fooling you as much as it was making your eyes see the MAIN POINT of that scene, which was the train.

    "What about homes changed to mansions?" you ask?  ANSWER: scene beautification.  And who does that better than Apple?  My goodness!  Where does the clip say "this scene is 100% accurate?"  Our cities do need some beautification.  Obviously, you can't replace old homes with new ones instantly.  But 100 years from now, things will probably look different.  The old will be destroyed and make way for the new.  But the biggest change that would make a huge improvement would be the complete elimination of power and photo lines.  Ever watch Star Trek earth scenes of the future? No power lines.  Funny how eliminating the world's BIGGEST eyesore makes things look more "futuristic."

    The things people talk about and complain about these days is getting pretty crazy.  Let well enough alone and enjoy life.  Don't worry.  Be happy.
    Fidonet127XedAlex1Nwatto_cobradanielchowStrangeDays
  • Reply 9 of 17
    sunman42sunman42 Posts: 270member
    Having spent much more low quality time on the 280 than I really want to remember, I’d be happy to see it erased.
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 17
    sunman42sunman42 Posts: 270member
    jdw said:
    It's called "subject isolation."  Ever shot a photo of yourself or someone else and wanted to remove either another person or an eyesore?  Subject isolation!  And with AI, that process is getting much faster and easier.

    If you examine the side-by-side shot in the article, you see the highway takes your focus away from the train tracks.  It would take longer for you to notice the train is there.  The doctored photo helps you see the white-topped train on the tracks more clearly and quickly.

    So who cares if the "SF Gate wasn't fooled"!  It wasn't about fooling you as much as it was making your eyes see the MAIN POINT of that scene, which was the train.

    "What about homes changed to mansions?" you ask?  ANSWER: scene beautification.  And who does that better than Apple?  My goodness!  Where does the clip say "this scene is 100% accurate?"  Our cities do need some beautification.  Obviously, you can't replace old homes with new ones instantly.  But 100 years from now, things will probably look different.  The old will be destroyed and make way for the new.  But the biggest change that would make a huge improvement would be the complete elimination of power and photo lines.  Ever watch Star Trek earth scenes of the future? No power lines.  Funny how eliminating the world's BIGGEST eyesore makes things look more "futuristic."

    The things people talk about and complain about these days is getting pretty crazy.  Let well enough alone and enjoy life.  Don't worry.  Be happy.
    ——

    Been living in a neighborhood with no power lines above ground for almost 40 years. Don’t need to  move to Star Trek’s dystopia to experience that.

    But there are much greater, and more depressing, eyesores on this planet than power lines.

    watto_cobraget serious
  • Reply 11 of 17
    So, that’s what this society does now when it sees something it doesn’t like.   It just erases it.  

    We’re doing it with history, why not do it with geography, too.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 17
    danielchowdanielchow Posts: 140member
    Unimaginative and shortsighted of some folks to see this as a thing to fuss about. 

    It was a vision of what could be the future for the Bay Area — mass transit so well thought out that they could give up a freeway for more natural space; or the freeway was moved underground like, in reality, the sea of asphalt for parking cars that was moved underground and topped with natural space for Apple’s headquarter.

    Anyway, silly thing to complain about. It was not a documentary and it was not supposed to be a functional map, it was a make-belief backdrop for an advertisement. Besides, is there ever a freeway that is esthetically pleasing that anyone would want one to slice through their neighborhoods? We often imagine them gone, and replaced with a better alternative.

    Every reality began with an imagination. We are doomed to continue living in an environment we do not like if we could not or would not imagine what we could do to bring a better future closer to reality.
    edited May 10 get serious
  • Reply 13 of 17
    inklinginkling Posts: 773member
    I've not cared for the Covid-induced presentations where Apple's staff introduces new products to empty rooms. This new approach, faked situations like transit rides with people filling in the background role is better. But I still prefer seeing and hearing a live audience.
    danielchow
  • Reply 14 of 17
    Only people NOT from the Bay Area call it “THE 280”.
  • Reply 15 of 17

    sunman42 said:
    Having spent much more low quality time on the 280 than I really want to remember, I’d be happy to see it erased.
    Not enough to stop calling it “the 280”, however?
  • Reply 16 of 17
    danielchowdanielchow Posts: 140member
    inkling said:
    I've not cared for the Covid-induced presentations where Apple's staff introduces new products to empty rooms. This new approach, faked situations like transit rides with people filling in the background role is better. But I still prefer seeing and hearing a live audience.
    I hear you. I missed the live audience interactions because sometimes they can be quite amusing. I remember that one time when the many number of nits were mentioned, and some folks in the audience laughed while the presenter (I forgot his name), looked around seemingly clueless because he didn't get the joke. His very brief and puzzled expression was priceless.
    edited May 10
  • Reply 17 of 17
    XedXed Posts: 2,621member
    inkling said:
    I've not cared for the Covid-induced presentations where Apple's staff introduces new products to empty rooms. This new approach, faked situations like transit rides with people filling in the background role is better. But I still prefer seeing and hearing a live audience.
    I understand the benefit of a live audience reaction, but I also see the benefit of having a polished presentation. I've rarely enjoyed the 3rd-party demos during the WWDC keynote. Overall I like that there aren't the awkward moments and errors that would occur during the live performance. I suspect they'll move to a more hybrid form in the coming years but I don't think the polished prerecorded presentations are going anywhere.
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