Posts Tagged ‘automation’

Automate Useful Photo Tasks with If This Then That

ifttt (If This Then That) is a new service that lets you automate tasks across different social media services you’re signed up for, including Dropbox, Flickr, Instagram, and Facebook. All you have to do is choose what “this” and “that” are, and the service will take care of handling the task. For example, you can use ifttt to automatically send every photo uploaded to Facebook that’s tagged with your name to your Dropbox account, or have it send all of your new Instagram photos to a particular Facebook album. Each task is called a “recipe”, and you can browse the most popular ones here.

ifttt (via Boing Boing)

PicTreat Provides Instant Face Retouching

PicTreat is a free online application that allows you to quickly and easily retouch portraits using patent-pending face detection and correction technology.

By “correction”, they mean the application can make your skin “smooth and shiny”, remove “irritating skin flaws”, fix red-eye, and correct color balance.

While we would prefer not to promote our culture’s obsession with outward appearance, we wanted to examine the technology behind this application.

Here’s an example of a before and after displayed on the front page:

To test exactly what the application does to a portrait, I decided to use the portrait of President Obama that I referred to recently. However, the app apparently couldn’t find any “blemishes”, and returned a nearly identical image — albeit with mildly smoother skin.

Thus, I decided to test how the service retouches a photograph by altering the photograph manually. Using Photoshop, I added some red-eye, added some spots to his face, and gave the photo a green tint. Here are the original, altered, and PicTreated images:

The app successfully corrected the artificial red-eye, restored the color to almost what it was originally, and left the random spots I added alone (which it should, lest it remove things like birthmarks).

In spite of the interesting technology behind PicTreat, many may find the app offensive due to the fact that it intentionally removes such things as freckles (a taboo among photo editors) and uses the slogan, “everybody’s perfect”.

What are your thoughts on this kind of service?


Image credit: Obama portrait by the Obama-Biden Transition Project

Paparazzi Bot Prowls for Smiling Faces

The Paparazzi Bots are a series of robots invented by Ken Rinaldo, a faculty member in the Department of Art at Ohio State University. Each bot is autonomous, and moves about on a wheeled platform, using infrared sensors to move towards humans. It’s goal is to take single photographs of people, and it makes decisions on whether or not to capture the photograph based on facial expressions of the subject. If you happen to be smiling, the bot is more likely to photograph you.

Here’s a short video demonstration of the bot in action:

Rinaldo was invited to deploy three of these bots at the recent Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and two of the bots were also used at an art and digital culture festival in Berlin.

We’d like to see a video of these things in action on New York City sidewalks.

(via Steve’s Digicams)

Photosimile: An Office Machine for Product Photography

photosimile

At CES 2010 next year, photography automation company Ortery will unveil the Photosimile 5000, a device that they claim is the “next generation imaging device for the office.” Essentially it’s like a copier, except for stock/product photography. You can simply walk up to the machine, place what you’d like to photograph inside, adjust a few settings on the parameter, and walk away with a professional looking product photograph. The computer-operated system automatically adjusts lighting to remove shadows, and takes care of handling white balance.

This isn’t exactly news for photographers, but it’s interesting to see the landscape of what’s out there and what’s to come.

(via The Imaging Resource)