North Korea Still Sucks At Photoshop

North Korea Still Sucks at Photoshop

Can someone please help the North Korean government out? The propaganda ministers stink at Photoshop. Please get them to sign up for a class at their local community college. Or maybe Dennis Rodman can help.

As frightening as North Korea can seem, honestly, the country's inability to master the art of Photoshop should leave doubts about their ability to do a lot of things, such as making proper spreadsheets and resize GIFs — not to mention feed its people.

North Korea Still Sucks at Photoshop

The above image was released by the country's state media (via Chinese site NetEase) and "shows" Kim Jong-un at a new children's hospital that's under construction in Pyongyang.

North Korea Still Sucks at Photoshop

But did you look at the shadows and the lighting? The figures appear to be superimposed — something that internet commenters in China were quick to notice. Below, you can see closer details of fuzziness around the legs and floaty feet as well as odd shadows around the hands. Kim Jong-un's hand shadow in particular looks too clean and defined.

North Korea Still Sucks at Photoshop
North Korea Still Sucks at Photoshop

Online in neighbouring Japan, amused internet commenters showed how easy it was to add individuals to this scene.

North Korea Still Sucks at Photoshop

Whoever did this should get a job working for the North Korean government! Or, at the very least, show them how to up their game.

In case you missed it, here's a brief history of North Korean Photoshops.

金正恩视察平壤儿童医院建设现场 [NetEase]


    I think we're being pretty harsh here, at first glance, this one is a pretty good job. They're nowhere near as bad as the Iranian ones.

      It's better than that Microsoft Polish ad where they photoshopped out a black guy's head for a white guy's (at a bizarre neck angle) and forgot to shop out his (still black) hand.

      Dude are you serious? "Pretty good job"? And four people upped this?
      The best that can be said is they have cut fat boy and his homies cleanly from the original. The fact that they have completely ignored lighting and shadows means they look like sticker overlays.

      Harsh? 1 second after looking at it you realise it's photoshop because they are all floating.

    Give them credit. Can't be easy with Windows 3.1 and MS Paint.

    One look at the lighting on their clothes and you know it's lit from a bulb rather than the sun.

      Don't be silly, Best Korea is light with the shining greatness of Dear Leader. Who invented light bulbs and the sun btw.

    there's three different ways i see this going..

    i've seen bad post-processing work that makes a scene look unrealistic. this is either a fairly convincing shop, or a shoddy post job with clumsy masking and fg/bg separation, or an unsatisfactory use of fill light.

    the subject lighting and shadows cast on themselves are consistent with using a fill light. depending on the point of incidence of the flash, it'll create a foreground scene that doesn't match the natural background light, which is how some photogs create surreal portraits and compositions. it would also override/eliminate natural shadows cast by environment light.

    that, or someone put a lot of effort into compositing two different photos together and match the light the best they could.

      I think I have it figured out. This was part of a video uploaded to YouTube on Sept 5. But the images were frame grabs from a video. They didn't put up the video itself. What it looks like to me is that is was a partially overcast day, late in the afternoon, and the lights on the camcorders were cranked up. There are at least three camcorders that follow Marshal Kim. The bright lights coming from odd angles give that two-dimensional, "cardboard cut-out" effect. But if you look at the video, there are a dozen or more shots like this. They're all authentic. By the way, these are apartment towers for scientists and researchers at Kim Il Sung University. A video was uploaded this morning (Arizona time) that showed Marshal Kim touring the finished flats. They're quite nice, actually. First Lady Ri Sol Ju was with him, along with the usual gaggle of generals and grande fromages. As far as the Photoshop wheeze goes, you have to ask yourself, "why?" For what reason would Marshal Kim be Photoshopped standing in a pile of construction sand? That makes no sense. When Marshal Kim makes an inspection tour, it's all over the KCNA news. It probably leads the news. Like I said in a previous post, it's not something that can be faked and in any case, why would he want to? And for what it's worth, when Marshal Kim does these guidance tours, he takes some top brass with him. They list all their names in order of importance. Usually the KPA chief of staff and the chairman of the Presidium and the list goes on. I don't know why he takes the top half-dozen people in the country to look at apartment towers or inspect a mushroom farm, but that's the way they do things in the DPRK. Even less reason to do a Photoshop job.

    Kim is wearing a very pointy pair of shoes. Im guessing stilettos.

      Whoever tailored his suit should be tied to a post in a field and mortared while everyone he works with catches.

    What if North Korea is a really benevolent nation making huge strides toward world peace and the scientific progression of mankind and our western governments don't want us to know the truth because they prefer to control the world by fear and war. So they make all these ridiculous claims about North Korea and produce flimsy examples of their stupidity in order to make us think that they're the ones ruling through propaganda when in fact we're the ones eating up the propaganda ...

    The government wields propaganda most strongly when people are unquestioningly consume media. Think about it, what do you really know about North Korea other than what you read on the internet or news?

    Last edited 09/10/13 10:53 pm

      If that was the case then surely the "western governments" would just bomb the shit out of them. Problem solved.

        You don't attack a more advanced nation with bombs, you fight them with propaganda.

      You can find lots of stuff about NK on youtube.

      North Korea invaded the USA in Homefront! They deserve to suffer!

      ... especially for inspiring a game like Homefront.

    North Korean government officials have all lost their shadows! I thought that only happened to Peter Pan...
    Is it from living in Neverland for too long?

    Nice try but I super highly doubt there's any Photoshop involved here. Why? Because I've been following Marshal Kim Jong Un very closely since January of last year and KCNA releases a YouTube video of every one of his "field guidance" trips. Go to the KCNA website and they're all listed there. I think every one of them is up on YouTube. I haven't seen this one yet. Might take a couple days. You have to understand that field guidance trips are like a sacred duty. Very often the people plant little stone markers at the place where they happen. It's like the "George Washington Slept Here" deal. This is something that's not faked. Marshal Kim wears some very nice shoes but I've seen him wade through mud and muck without a thought. By the way, you should have erased the bottom half of your model's shoes and used the clone brush to pull some sand up over the instep. (I've been using Photoshop for over 15 years)

    Why.... in every single image I see of this dude, are all of his advisor's taking notes?

    Seriously, is what he saying really that important that it needs to be noted down by every single person in attendance.

      Because this material will be on the exam, later, and the penalty for failure is... deep. Six feet deep.

    Yeah, I don't know what al these "Photoshop" people are smoking, but you've got mixed lighting sources in this photo, not Photoshop edits.
    An afternoon Sun which gives yellow light, and it's passing though a trees somewhere off the left, creating indistinct shadows.
    Next is the sand. F$#k yeah, this creates more indistinct shadows with no straight lines. Of course it looks weird, epically with Un forced to stand with his left foot on a slope.
    And then the plush grey cloth these guys have in their suits, which does not give very good shadows, and is reflects light to a degree.
    And finally, is the Flash which is obviously a popup flash in the camera, as it create that distinct shallow shadow below an object, like the hands of the guys on the left.

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