The Null Device


A few interesting presentations from this year's SIGGRAPH computer graphics conference:

Firstly, a team of researchers has developed a way of enhancing video using still photographs. Consumer-grade video is notoriously poor in quality, while consumer-grade photographs are considerably better. So what they do is essentially build a map of points in the scene from the video and map detail from the photographs onto it, and, presto, instant high-quality video. What's more, if they process the photographs beforehand (i.e., by making HDR images from multiple exposures, or applying Photoshop filters), the effects are automatically propagated into the video. The technique can also be used to interpolate the background behind inconveniently located objects, removing them from the scene. Anyway, watch the video on the page; it is quite impressive.

Meanwhile, an Israeli team has developed a tool for automatically beautifying images of human faces; it does this by finding ratios between points on the faces, comparing them to ratios with higher attractiveness ratings, and warping the image to improve attractiveness (which, as one Slashdot commenter wrote, often comes down to "add symmetry and make thinner"). Interestingly, they promise a to make a demo program (presumably for Windows) available soon; I wonder whether its handiwork will soon start making its way onto dating websites and Facebook profiles.

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