Weird photo science: putting fake objects into real photos

We recently wrote about unblurring blurry photos a couple weeks ago. Now comes video (embedded above) showing real-time, dynamic, and easy-to-do insertion of fake objects into any photo. This is part of research led by Kevin Karsch, a PhD student at the University of Illinois / Urbana-Champaign. The user makes a bare-bones sketch of objects and lighting in the photo, and then drags an object into the image. The software then realistically places the object into the photo with proper lighting and collision. It’s difficult to describe, so you really should watch the video. Look for animations going through photos, bouncing off walls, casting proper shadows, and interrupting complex light patterns in a very natural way. Ordinarily, this sort of composite work would take expertise and hours, but the narrator says that one example in the video was done by a novice user in just 10 minutes.

I found this video via James Fallows’ blog at the Atlantic. Fallows calls this the latest, “What hath God wrought?” moment for technology and links to a short essay worrying about the democratization of image manipulation tools.

One Response to “Weird photo science: putting fake objects into real photos”

  1. Andy Whale

    Wow what amazing work,as a photographer for many years I am amazed at what you have done.Please an I be put on a mailing list or RSS feed if you have one please,I’d love to get the software when its ready for sale ??
    Many Thanks
    Andy Whale/Photographer

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