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.
We always get a laugh when news organizations or governments try to pass off bad Photoshop jobs as real images, but with the way graphics technology is advancing, bad Photoshop jobs may soon become a thing of the past. Here’s a fascinating demo into technology that can quickly and realistically insert fake 3D objects into photographs — lighting, shading and all. Aside from a few annotations provided by the user (e.g. where the light sources are), the software doesn’t need to know anything about the images. Mind-blowing stuff…
Demos at graphics conferences are often interesting to watch because they offer a sneak peek at technologies that may soon become available to the general public. The video above is a demo for “PatchMatch“, an algorithm developed by researchers at Princeton and Adobe. Although you might be unfamiliar with PatchMatch, you’ve probably heard of its most famous feature: Content Aware Fill. Only a small piece of this amazing technology was introduced in Photoshop CS5, so the amazing image manipulations seen in this demo are likely a sneak peek into what we’ll be seeing in Photoshop CS6.
Today Instagram released version 2.0 of its wildly popular iPhone app, which will soon see its 10 millionth user. The base technology has been completely overhauled to bring speed to the app — filters now apply 200x faster, tilt-shift applies 100x faster, and both can be viewed live while shooting. Four new filters have been introduced (seen above), and borders on filters are now optional. Finally, the resolution of photos saved to the iPhone 4 has been increased from 612×612 to 1936×1936 (the size of photos uploaded to Instagram remains unchanged).
Noticeably absent from today’s announcement was an Android version of the app, though with this major release you can bet that they’re working harder than ever on getting it released.
Photo Stats is a new iPhone app that can help you visualize your iPhoneography habits by automatically generating interesting infographics showing things such as where you snapped photos and the time of day you shoot the most. You can buy it for $1 in the App Store.
Does anyone know of any programs that does the same thing for the photos on your computer? That would certainly be neat, and much more applicable to photo-enthusiasts.
What if every photograph included a short video showing the few seconds that led up to the shutter being pressed? That’s the idea behind a new free iPhone app called GLMPS (pronounced “glimpse”). It’s a camera app that stores a few seconds of video with each shot, letting users share the background behind each picture (try clicking the photo above). Unlike normal iPhone photos, displaying a GLMPS photo/video requires a special embed code, make it somewhat inconvenient to share. Wouldn’t it be interesting if short videos could be stored in the metadata of photographs taken by all digital cameras? Seems kinda farfetched, but it might be possible as technology progresses.
If you’ve been dying to turn your Android phone into a remote for your Canon DSLR, today’s your lucky day. A developer who goes by “chainfire” has released a new app called “DSLR Controller“. It gives you live view and access to a whole host of camera functions through your phone, which connects to the camera through a USB host cable. Check out the demo above to see it in action. The beta version currently costs $8.56 over in the Android Market.
Facial recognition features are appearing in everything from cameras to photo-sharing sites, but have you thought about the different security and privacy concerns it introduces? Fast Company has published a piece on how mobile apps in the future may be able to quickly look up your identity, your personal information, and perhaps even your social security number!
[CMU researchers] used three relatively simple technologies to create their face recognition system: An off-the-shelf face recognizer, cloud computing processing, and personal data available through the public feed at social networking sites such as Facebook [...] Combining the data gathered from the face recognizer hardware with clever search algorithms that were processed on a cloud-computing platform, the team has performed three powerful experiments: They were able to “unmask” people on a popular dating site where it’s common to protect real identities using pseudonyms, and they ID’d students walking in public on campus by grabbing their profile photos from Facebook.
Most impressively the research algorithm tried to predict personal interests and even to deduce the social security number of CMU students based solely on an image of their face–by interrogating deeper into information that’s freely available online.
Great news for PC users: Microsoft has finally released a free codec pack for Windows Vista and Windows 7 that allows you to view and work with the RAW files of more than 120 different cameras directly in Windows Explorer. Simply download and install the codec pack to get started.