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  #1  
Old 23 May 2007, 02:10 AM
nolly
 
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TV 3 year old artist?

Was sent this video in an email.
Reading over the comments, I see I'm not the only skeptic.
Opinions?
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  #2  
Old 23 May 2007, 02:20 AM
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When they show just his hand, it could be anybody's hand. And when they show all of him, he really isn't doing much.

Nonny
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  #3  
Old 23 May 2007, 02:25 AM
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I agree, when you can see all of the kid his hand is resting on the paper, not really doing anything... it's only when they pull away to the painting hand that you can actually see the picture. There's so much deliberate effort to not show the child in the frame actually painting, only the closeups of the hand and the pan outs of the child. I'm definitely voting faked.
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  #4  
Old 23 May 2007, 02:45 AM
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Artist my ass! He painted Leo, not Michelangelo.

But seriously, I have my doubts, too.
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  #5  
Old 23 May 2007, 03:00 AM
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I buy it.

Sure looks like a kid's hand. There are scenes where you can see him putting 'finishing touches' on it and it's definitely him doing it. He seems very familiar with the technique. I think it would be quite hard to get a 3 year old to 'act' for you.

There are child prodigies. How old was Mozart when he started composing? And that's infinitely more complex than see face -> make dots that look like face.

I wouldn't think many three year olds could do it, even with training, but I don't see any glaring reasons to assume this is fake.
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  #6  
Old 23 May 2007, 03:53 AM
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But prodigies are usually in math and music, which are closely related and come naturally, without even thinking. And you don't need the motor skills training that painting requires. I would like to ask my former roommate, a psych major, but I don't think three-year-olds are capable of painting in that abstract sense. Every kid I've known paints what they see, or what they've seen, and not in composed, background-filled, paintings.

If you go to the site at the end, there's a video of a ninja kid that's similarily edited. It seems like a promo for the movie/toy line.

I vote marketing viral video.
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  #7  
Old 23 May 2007, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muncle View Post
But prodigies are usually in math and music, which are closely related and come naturally, without even thinking. And you don't need the motor skills training that painting requires. I would like to ask my former roommate, a psych major, but I don't think three-year-olds are capable of painting in that abstract sense. Every kid I've known paints what they see, or what they've seen, and not in composed, background-filled, paintings.

If you go to the site at the end, there's a video of a ninja kid that's similarily edited. It seems like a promo for the movie/toy line.

I vote marketing viral video.
As for the motor skills thing: His technique is really unusual. Most people who are artists tend to make LINES, not splotches of color. Yes, some artists do work this way, but the vast majority do not. The fact that he works in dots rather than lines could be because his motor skills aren't refined enough to make lines.

Also, artistic prodogies do exist. It tends to be in association with things like autism - artistic prodogies with autism or some similar disorder usually draw extremely accurate depictions of what they see, rather than things that they imagine in their mind - notice the kid is drawing from the action figure, and carefully repositions it when it falls over so he can continue drawing. I'm not trying to say this kid is autistic, just that it's a possible explaination. I don't know if there's sound to the video or not (I couldn't hear anything, but it could be my computer) so I don't know if he's saying anything or anyone is saying anything to him that could offer any hints.
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  #8  
Old 23 May 2007, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muncle View Post
But prodigies are usually in math and music, which are closely related and come naturally, without even thinking. And you don't need the motor skills training that painting requires. I would like to ask my former roommate, a psych major, but I don't think three-year-olds are capable of painting in that abstract sense. Every kid I've known paints what they see, or what they've seen, and not in composed, background-filled, paintings.

I think it's definitely possible but speeding up of footage makes it very easy to hide cuts. Iím undecided.

There's quite a well know child prodigy called Akaine. Her work is amazing. The link shows her progression from ages 4 to 11.

Here's another artistic child prodigy (4 years old). Marla Olmstead.
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  #9  
Old 23 May 2007, 09:19 AM
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Wow, that Akaine girl drew better at age 4 than I do now...
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  #10  
Old 23 May 2007, 12:49 PM
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[QUOTE=Missie;183144]
Quote:
As for the motor skills thing: His technique is really unusual. Most people who are artists tend to make LINES, not splotches of color. Yes, some artists do work this way, but the vast majority do not. The fact that he works in dots rather than lines could be because his motor skills aren't refined enough to make lines.
As an artist and teacher of art to kids - yes, I noticed that too.

Quote:
Also, artistic prodogies do exist. It tends to be in association with things like autism - artistic prodogies with autism or some similar disorder usually draw extremely accurate depictions of what they see, rather than things that they imagine in their mind - notice the kid is drawing from the action figure, and carefully repositions it when it falls over so he can continue drawing. I'm not trying to say this kid is autistic, just that it's a possible explaination. I don't know if there's sound to the video or not (I couldn't hear anything, but it could be my computer) so I don't know if he's saying anything or anyone is saying anything to him that could offer any hints.
Also true.

My conclusion - it's possible a kid could do that sort of artwork using the very interesting method he did - I thought he was copying a Seurat at first! - but, it's also possible it's faked, and the way the video is shot is inconclusive.

(gee, THAT'S a useful observation huh? )
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  #11  
Old 23 May 2007, 01:02 PM
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Muncle said:
Quote:
Every kid I've known paints what they see, or what they've seen, and not in composed, background-filled, paintings.
Nitpick here re: art terms:

Uhm...not really, from what I have observed. Children, universally, in all cultures and places, do "symbolic" drawing, (which IS abstract.) The same icons show up over and over. In fact, going from symbolic, abstract drawing, to drawing what they HAVE actually SEEN (as opposed to KNOW - there is a difference) is the start of developing real artistic ability, and that is what this kid is doing, which is pretty amazing, if it's real.
Quote:
I would like to ask my former roommate, a psych major, but I don't think three-year-olds are capable of painting in that abstract sense. Every kid I've known paints what they see, or what they've seen, and not in composed, background-filled, paintings.

The composed, background filled quality you describe is indeed a hallmark of a well developed artist - I haven't worked much with 3 year olds, but in elementary kids, you do get a few who fill in the whole page and compose their drawings instead of just putting a little stick figure and a daisy in the middle and drawing a little strip of sky across the top. Once in a very happy while. I spent two hours judging a school art show yesterday, some kids are amazing. Some are...not. None of them were 3, though, such an ability at THAT age is pretty darn rare, indeed.

~ability to do "abstract" drawings and ability to do "abstract" thinking are apples and oranges...my daughter even at 14 still takes metaphors literally, so I think I know what you are getting at, but it works differently for art. From what I know of it.

Quote:
If you go to the site at the end, there's a video of a ninja kid that's similarily edited. It seems like a promo for the movie/toy line.

I vote marketing viral video.
That could still totally be true despite all the abstract blahblahblah.
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  #12  
Old 23 May 2007, 03:01 PM
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The thing that I find odd is that none of the other paintings shown have backgrounds, but this one does. Just strikes me as unusual.
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  #13  
Old 23 May 2007, 03:09 PM
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Could it be true, sure. Do I think it's true with this kid; no, not at all.

As others have mentioned the editing is done such that they never show the kid actually doing anything creative. And the kid just doesn't seem to have that intelligent spark in him, he often looks distracted. while he supposedly working on the painting.

I'd expect that if that actually was someone's kid they wouldn't introduce the world to their genius 3 year old artist via You-tube.
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  #14  
Old 23 May 2007, 03:58 PM
Muncle
 
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Regarding the art terminology and my limited knowledge of prodigies: I stand corrected.

And SDFly, thank you for putting my points into clearer terms.

I dug deeper into Wikipedia, and found that TMNT: Fast Forward is the latest incarnation of a Ninja Turtles animated series. Nothing mentioned about "Turtlekid" or related marketing scheme.
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  #15  
Old 23 May 2007, 04:04 PM
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The thing I notice that screams fake most to me is when they do a close up of the hand, and it disappears periodically, suggesting he is "reloading", the fingers are in identical position, and the hand is at the same angle, the entire time. I don't think a human actually could do that if they tried.

The link at the end takes you to an advertising site, which also suggests a fake.

ETA: watching again, I noticed another thing that bothered me. The way the paint reacts with the paper, it seems to me to be somewhat absorbant, which would imply it is matte. Also, it appears to be matte. Then when the kid picks up the paper to show it off, it is clearly glossy. And instantly dry apparently, considering there is no texture at all due to uneven drying and/or paint build up.

Last edited by mags; 23 May 2007 at 04:17 PM.
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  #16  
Old 23 May 2007, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mags View Post
The thing I notice that screams fake most to me is when they do a close up of the hand, and it disappears periodically, suggesting he is "reloading", the fingers are in identical position, and the hand is at the same angle, the entire time. I don't think a human actually could do that if they tried.

The link at the end takes you to an advertising site, which also suggests a fake.

ETA: watching again, I noticed another thing that bothered me. The way the paint reacts with the paper, it seems to me to be somewhat absorbant, which would imply it is matte. Also, it appears to be matte. Then when the kid picks up the paper to show it off, it is clearly glossy. And instantly dry apparently, considering there is no texture at all due to uneven drying and/or paint build up.
I think the way the video is sped up and the fact that it's been compressed so much, it's difficult to make assumptions that the paper is matte or that it 'instantly' dried. There's no way to know how long the paper sat there before the kid picked it up to show it off, and when you get close-up looks of the painting, it actually looks like that while the pain absorbs a little, it reacts with the paper kind of oddly, making it buckle and warp just a little. This doesn't seem out of line with how some glossy papers react with watery paints.

His hand also didn't seem to me, like it was doing anything 'unnatural'. The video is sped up for most of the time he's actually painting, and you can't really get a good look at whether or not he brought his hand into frame differently, but once he put it to the paper it went into an identical position. After all, I pick up pencils differently when switching between them when I draw, but as soon as they touch the paper they move into the same position they had been in before I switched pencils.

Anyway, I just really like this video, and I'd be a little disappointed to find out it's fake.
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  #17  
Old 23 May 2007, 04:50 PM
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I'm voting viral marketing campaign.

The end of the video asks you to go to http://turtlekid.com/. If you go, it's a collection of similar videos (the ninja kid one and a man doing a shadow puppet show), all with similar production values and all showcasing ninja turtle toys. All that's on the website, though, is a list of places where you can buy Playschool Ninja Turtle goods.

I also think it's a fake because of the kid's fingers. Do you see how curled under his fingers are when he's "painting"? When he makes the first green mark on the page--the only one mark on the page where we see both kid and painting, mind you--he's got his forefinger extended. A natural position for finger painting. Ever after, it's curled under, and the finger position never changes. Judging from the movements of the elbow, I suspect that he's got an adult moving his arm for him. It's really not that hard to get a 3 year old to act for you--my nephew will do just about anything to make his people happy.
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  #18  
Old 23 May 2007, 09:58 PM
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Pause the video periodically during the rapid painting sequences and you can tell the hand has an adult proportions, not the pudgy child hand the boy has.

He is shown just doing basic smuging and dotting, not bad for a kid his age but not genius. But the boy does have a great smile.
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  #19  
Old 24 May 2007, 01:04 AM
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I don't doubt that it's the kid's hand, but I also don't doubt there's an adult guiding his moves.

This is getting as bad as the "giant hog"-type photos. If he was really doing it a time lapse single shot would be great but instead we get this BS along with crappy acting- "wow, that is really good, huh huh..." Don't know why but it makes me want to puke anymore.
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  #20  
Old 24 May 2007, 06:25 AM
ARubberChickenWithAPulley ARubberChickenWithAPulley is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
Here's another artistic child prodigy (4 years old). Marla Olmstead.
Ah, I'm glad you mentioned Marla Olmstead, because when I started reading this thread, I was having a heck of a time trying to remember the name of a "prodigy" that I heard about a few years ago, and that was it. There were also a lot of questions about Marla's actual abilities, and whether or not her paintings were being significantly... modified by her dad. 60 Minutes did a hidden camera (with the knowledge of her parents) so they could see her painting, and she didn't come up with much. Another documentary filmmaker who according to this article, was with the family for "many months" also failed to capture her creating her paintings.

Tough call.
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