Computer Trained to Select the Best Candid Portrait Photos from Videos

Here’s the current state of imagery: still cameras can shoot HD video, video cameras can capture high quality stills, and data storage costs continue to fall. In the future, it might become commonplace for people to make photos by shooting uber-high quality video and then selecting the best still. However, as any photographer knows, selecting the best photograph from a series of photos captured in burst mode is already a challenge, so selecting a still from 30fps footage would be quite a daunting challenge.

To make the future easier for us humans, researchers at Adobe and the University of Washington are working on training computers to do the grunt work for us. One research project currently being done involves training a computer to automatically select candid portraits when given video of a person. The video above is a demo of the artificial intelligence in action.

Candid Portrait Selection From Video (via John Nack)

  • Keith Weng

    Various point and shoots (sony?) can already watch for smiles before triggering shutter. Apply that algorithm to the frames and the combine with just sharpness detection to eliminate motion blur, and seems like you’re mostly there, no?

  • Joey Miller

    The Nikon 1 series cameras do this already. ¬†With the “Smart Photo Selection” feature, when the shutter button is half pressed, the camera starts capturing frames and saving them to the internal buffer. When the button is fully pressed, the camera snaps that images, compares it to other images immediately before and after, and selects what it thinks is the best. It also saves 5 images, including the one at the full press, for the user to review off camera. Spending an afternoon with this camera at work today made me appreciate it a little more.