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Hey HBO, Adobe fixed the Starbucks cup in Game of Thrones for you

Hey HBO, Adobe fixed the Starbucks cup in Game of Thrones for you
[Photos: Helen Sloan/HBO, Starbucks]

This week’s Game of Thrones episode contained all sorts of surprises. Sansa launched a sustainable fashion line to thwart climate change, Jon Snow turned into the fourth dragon, and Cersei switched to beer.

Okay, none of these things happened–yet!–but a Starbucks cup was spotted at a dinner scene in Winterfell, and the internet collectively lost it. (As it turns out, the cup probably wasn’t actually a Starbucks cup, but it’s much funnier to call it a Starbucks cup, so let’s just embrace the chaos.)

In any case, Adobe used the moment to showcase some of the new, reality-melting AI technologies powering its products. Using a feature called Content Aware Fill in After Effects, the company was able to delete the cup from the episode and fill in some convincing, shadowy background in its place.

The task probably took all of a minute to complete in After Effects, but we can only hope that HBO will be smart enough not to fix the episode on its streaming services and DVD releases. In a show as painstakingly filmed as Game of Thrones, every single detail in every single frame has been labored over to extremes. The tiniest of errors like this one remind us of all the effort it takes to create the illusion.

And besides, it’s part of fan culture now. Let Han shoot first; let the Targaryens enjoy their hot lattes.

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