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Now you can add a Stanford Bunny to all your wedding photos
October 23, 2011 9:51 PM   Subscribe

Rendering Synthetic Objects into Legacy Photographs (SLV). via reddit
posted by Ritchie (39 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
Or: how to make any scene look like a Chinese restaurant using science.
posted by koeselitz at 10:06 PM on October 23, 2011 [18 favorites]


Witchcraft!!
posted by barnacles at 10:25 PM on October 23, 2011


I love SIGGRAPH season.
posted by migurski at 10:25 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's pretty impressive stuff (from a layman's perspective).

The animation side is huge, as I can imagine that on a single frame, doing all the sketch-up required for an accurate insertion by the system is probably as painstaking as the work required for a talented digital artist to insert something manually... but over a whole series of frames, effort vs. results certainly swings in their favour.
posted by benzo8 at 10:39 PM on October 23, 2011


Mr Karsh this system is realistic as hell, discounting random inappropriate placements of the utterly convincing Chinese restaurant statuary.

Could you re-record the video's narration using Shelly Long or Linda Hunt? It deserves it.
posted by longsleeves at 10:51 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


The scene with the billiard balls was pretty impressive, and I'm jaded as hell about this stuff. Thanks for posting this.
posted by mosk at 11:13 PM on October 23, 2011


I love this, but there's no way I'd hire this guy as my interior decorator.
posted by eye of newt at 11:17 PM on October 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


The dragon isn't a reflection of the authors' taste, it's a standard model for computer graphics research. In any case, this looks like it has all sorts of applications. Neat how you can sidestep some of the very difficult computer vision/scene reconstruction issues by using user annotations.
posted by Wemmick at 11:37 PM on October 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


Some of those images at the end reminded me of Pink Floyd album covers by Hipgnosis.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:41 PM on October 23, 2011


DAMN IT!

Beaten...
posted by Samizdata at 11:54 PM on October 23, 2011


However, you can find the cited paper here.

And this is why I never post links.
posted by Samizdata at 11:55 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


WANT THIS
posted by scrowdid at 12:08 AM on October 24, 2011


Mindblowing. Thank you for posting. :)
posted by V4V at 12:21 AM on October 24, 2011


It's Halloween. Here's a picture of Zelig.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:26 AM on October 24, 2011


Hopefully the Whovians won't be too freaked out by the final frame.
posted by Ritchie at 12:43 AM on October 24, 2011


Fucking magnets.
posted by victory_laser at 12:56 AM on October 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Kevin Karsch is a UIUC student, of course :) Knew I recognized one of those pictures as just outside the Siebel Center/NCSA building.
posted by sbutler at 1:42 AM on October 24, 2011


Woot. Urbana represent!
posted by erniepan at 1:51 AM on October 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder what it will be like when there is no dispute in a person's mind when it comes to imagery...that it's simply a given that any image you see is not "true". Today, even with the ubiquity of CG, we tend to do a "real or not" dance in our minds, attempting to determine an image's veracity. The idea that an image is an accurate representation of reality is still a strong part of our consciousness and makeup.

What, though, would a society be like when the idea that an image might be "real" or accurate is never even considered or even though of as possible? When image = synthetic construction is the normal response? Even down to the lowliest vacation snap or kid's birthday video.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:20 AM on October 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


Welp, can't trust a single photo ever again.
posted by pyrex at 4:39 AM on October 24, 2011


Thorzdad: Wouldn't that be coming full-circle to the state of before the advent of photography?
posted by Gyan at 4:49 AM on October 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


@Thorzdad

no image was ever truthful
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 4:53 AM on October 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think these images have been 'shopped, I can tell by some of the pixels etc.

Seriously cool stuff.
posted by kcds at 4:55 AM on October 24, 2011


Buried in the reddit thread was a link to this video which is in some ways more impressive - a method for removing objects from a live video feed. Adblocking spectacles, anyone?
posted by Ritchie at 4:59 AM on October 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


This is super, super awesome.
posted by odinsdream at 5:57 AM on October 24, 2011


This, when combined with a system to automatically detect, measure, and mask objects in a scene, will be extremely powerful. The select-by-paint system looks similar to research here, specifically the image color optimization and matte creation research.
posted by hanoixan at 6:12 AM on October 24, 2011


Uncanny Valley - Home Edition. Can't wait to see our local realtors dive in on this.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 6:39 AM on October 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Forget realtors. Think what Anon can get done with this.
posted by Samizdata at 6:41 AM on October 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ditto the "super, super awesome." Thanks for posting!

I think when images are routinely faked, they'll be the way filmed stage magic is now: one standard for images you have some reason to trust, and another for images you don't.

Basically all stage magic is trivially fakable on film. You get a room full of actors to say, "wow, that was my card!" Or you pause the camera and take the dove out of the box, or use a splitscreen to saw the lady in half, or whatever.

So stage magic can be very impressive on YouTube when you have some particular reason to believe that you're seeing the same thing you would have seen if you were there in person. But if you see a couple of random college kids doing magic on YouTube, you assume it's a trivial special effect.

Vacation snapshots will be the same way. When all of our cameras have a little "lion cub" button to insert baby lions into the scene, random Flickr photos of people playing with baby lions won't be interesting. But when my friend comes back from Africa with pictures where she's actually playing with baby lions, I'll still be impressed.

To kick this can forward a little: doesn't this create an increased need for trusted journalists? I mean, think about a time where, next to the "lion cub" button on your video camera, there's a button to insert Barack Obama calling all white people "crackers" and shooting a moose from a helicopter. (I know it's not great UI, but we're in a post-Jobs world now, so go with me on this.)

When that time comes, basically every important photo and video will need a certificate that says "I was there, I saw this go down and it looked pretty much like it does in this video, and here's how you know you can trust me." (This is basically the standard we already use for admitting photos and video in court, incidentally.) A "journalist" in this scheme is basically someone who is part of a formal network of trust. Choosing to believe what you see means choosing to believe that your news source is good at enforcing the trustworthiness of its reporters.

(And, of course, there will also be a button on your camera to show your favorite journalist saying "I was there, I saw this go down and it looked pretty much like it does in this video, and here's how you know you can trust me." It's trust networks all the way down.)

Neat!
posted by Honorable John at 7:13 AM on October 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


Wow. That is a non-trivial level of seriously cool technology. Although once it becomes common, I'm going to question and doubt every single video going forward, the same way I now do about photographs.

The neat thing I could see using this for is making things in the background of a shot appear to not be... right. Just little things like having two people in a scene talking and the billiard balls on the table in the background are moving in a subtlety non-Newtonian way. Because it'd be so easy to fake the easily overlooked mundane, changing it slightly would be a great way to make a scene uncomfortable in way that people would have a hard time articulating.

So, yeah. Basically what I'm saying is that I plan on using this for Evil.
posted by quin at 8:02 AM on October 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Statue, teapot, snow dragon, billiard balls, bunny, giant rotating trefoil knot - wait, what?
posted by Wolfdog at 8:21 AM on October 24, 2011


Honorable John: Your "journalist" would be similar to a Fair Witness from Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land.
posted by growli at 9:17 AM on October 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


The additions looked pretty good, cool stuff. But the physics of some of the animated parts (most egregiously the ball bouncing down the stairs) looked CGI-enough to break the reality illusion.

Couple this with a good physics engine though and you have a winner.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:27 AM on October 24, 2011


a method for removing objects from a live video feed. Adblocking spectacles, anyone?

I was thinking more of the clothes-removing application.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:50 AM on October 24, 2011


This is jarring - I thought the point of artist's impressions was to make the most surreal and perspective-defying composite image possible, á la True American Dog?
posted by Acey at 10:54 AM on October 24, 2011


Once again, putting Champaign-Urbana on the tech map!

Also, that dragon really ties the room together.
posted by obscurator at 11:02 AM on October 24, 2011


Acey: "This is jarring - I thought the point of artist's impressions was to make the most surreal and perspective-defying composite image possible, á la True American Dog?"

How about you warn us of images of Lisa Simpson performing fellatio before we click? I had finally unseen that. Now, with all my rubber hammers having split heads due to overuse, I have to see that again.
posted by Samizdata at 11:03 AM on October 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


God that's cool.

And I was amused to see that teapots still play a role in graphics tests, along with dragons.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:31 PM on October 24, 2011


This is awesome because there goes my job!
posted by jnnla at 3:49 PM on October 24, 2011


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