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Frog video was created using visual effects

October 6, 2022 GMT

CLAIM: Video shows an enormous frog sitting on a table as its owner feeds it a banana.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: Altered video. The frog in this video was enlarged using visual effects, the original poster said on his TikTok account. A visual effects expert confirmed that it’s altered.

THE FACTS: Social media users on Thursday reacted with astonishment to “Dumpy,” a TikTok user’s frog that appears as large as its owner’s head in a few widely shared videos.

In one clip, the frog appears to sit on a wooden table as its owner feeds it a banana and pats it on the back. The frog munches the banana, peel and all.

“Please look how big this f---ing frog is,” one Twitter user wrote with the video, which amassed more than 5 million views in a single day on the site.

However, the user who originally posted the video revealed in comments on his TikTok account that his frog is not actually as large as it appears.

“His real size is about 4-5 inches,” wrote Lucas Peterson, who created and posted the video. “He’s enlarged with vfx perspective tricks. I did all my editing in adobe premiere.” Peterson did not respond to an emailed request for additional comment.

Peterson, a videographer, says in the video that his frog, named Dumpy, is an Australian White’s tree frog, a species that typically ranges between 3 and 4.5 inches in length, according to Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

A previous video posted by Peterson shows the frog at its normal size, easily fitting on the palm of a human hand.

While many internet users were fooled by the fake video, a closer look shows clear signs of editing, according to Eran Dinur, a visual effects supervisor and author.

“Step frame by frame in the area where the frog ‘grabs’ the banana,” Dinur said in an email. “See how the banana seems to move independently from the frog’s tongue and mouth, how there is no rotation on it (basically the 2D image is transformed), and how it changes shape suddenly, etc.”

Dinur pointed out that the editing also shows when the video creator pats the frog on the back.

“Cute, but pretty sloppy compositing work,” Dinur said. “In a VFX facility, this will be promptly sent back to the artist for revisions.”

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.