girl with 'youre telling me i can take a picture with my dad again?' caption (L) girl taking tiktok greenscreen image with her father (C) girl with her hand over her mouth (R)


TikTok’s Green Screen Scan is being used to recreate photos with deceased loved ones

The TikTok filter is being used to scan people into photos with people they've lost.


Audra Schroeder

Internet Culture

Posted on Jan 15, 2021

A TikTok filter is being repurposed by some users as a way to deal with grief and loss.

The Green Screen Scan filter, an offshoot of TikTok’s Time Warp Scan effect and Renaissance painting trend, allows people to alter pre-existing photos by scanning themselves in. The effect, which was added last month, has been used to create photos of friends you can’t see, or to “take” a photo of someone with their younger self. Teens are also using it to assure parents they’re somewhere they’re not.

But people also started scanning themselves into photos with loved ones or family members who’ve passed away. A Jan. 5 TikTok from maddieeliza, in which she scans herself into a photo with her father, has more than 11 million views.

A TikTok from Adrianne Taylor shows the emotional response that comes with seeing a deceased family member in a new light. Taylor’s father passed away in 2012, and she told BuzzFeed: “It was nice to see a photo of us with me grown up rather than being a little girl. When losing a loved one there’s no time limit on your grief. You just learn to live with it.” She said she also received responses from others dealing with grief and pain.

TikTok’s head of product, Sean Kim, told BuzzFeed this trend “is another inspiring example of our community’s creativity and heart, and we’re proud to see them continue to use TikTok to tell their stories and share meaningful moments with the world.”

Of course, this being TikTok, not everyone took the trend seriously.
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*First Published: Jan 15, 2021, 12:51 pm CST