A lot of exciting projects are coming out of Carnegie Mellon University lately. Dr. Yaser Sheikh, a computer scientist and his team, has recently created a digital editing tool that helps users manipulate objects in a photograph so that they can expose areas not in the original image. For instance, users can turn a chair around to see the backside of it.
How does the software do this? 3D models of objects in our everyday surroundings are used by the software to “imagine what is not visible,”said Sheikh. The software uses numerical data from the models and the software ‘guesses’what the object might look like if it were moved in the picture. Quite intelligent stuff, really.
Another aspect of the software is that it uses pixels in the image to guess the colour, lighting and texture of the object after it has been moved around. Sheikh states, “It infers the 3-D lighting of the whole scene to create somewhat realistic shadows.”
Perhaps you have photos that you are not quite happy with? Perhaps you’d like to manipulate some photos to make them more exciting? Now you can with this new software. The best thing about it is that it is currently available for free, online, from the Carnegie Mellon computer science website. You can even download the original paper published by the team so you can learn the ins and outs of 3D object manipulation.
Natasha Kholgade, Sheikh’s doctoral student, led the project and will decide whether the technology will be sold at a profit.
Shiekh and his colleagues are appearing at the International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Vancouver, British Columbia taking place this week, to show their findings.