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This Algorithm Can Warp Wide-Angle Selfies to Look Like Normal Portraits

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Computers are changing photography in a big way—from colorizing black and white photos automatically, to telling how memorable your photos are. And now, a new imaging technology can change the apparent focal length of a photo, making it look like a wide-angle selfie was taken from further way with a portrait lens.

The technology is being developed by researchers at Princeton, and they’re calling it “perspective-aware manipulation,” which sounds a lot like a future Photoshop feature.

We all know the difference the focal length of your lens can have on a portrait—if you don’t, just click here. This technology lets you manipulate that focal length without actually changing the focal length itself.

“Our approach fits a full perspective camera and a parametric 3D head model to the portrait, and then builds a 2D warp in the image plane to approximate the effect of a desired change in 3D,” write the researchers. “We show that this model is capable of correcting objectionable artifacts such as the large noses sometimes seen in ‘selfies,’ or to deliberately bring a distant camera closer to the subject.”

This comparison by photographer Anton Orlov shows the difference lens focal length can make for a portrait.” width=”800″ height=”519″ class=”size-large wp-image-230010″ /> This comparison by photographer Anton Orlov shows the difference lens focal length can make for a portrait.

Large noses, weak chins, and sloping foreheads are just a few of the selfie issues smoothed away automatically, making the photo look much more appealing than an arm’s length or extremely close-up shot usually does.

So you can go from this:

near

To this:

far

Of course, for portrait photographers the tech is less about selfies and more about being able to change the ‘character’ of a photograph after the fact, or when you don’t have the right lens in your kit.

To learn more about this technology, check out the video up top or click here to read the full paper. And let us know what you think in the comments down below!

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