New Tool Corrects Distortions In Selfie

Posted: Jul 29 2016, 2:21pm CDT | by , Updated: Jul 29 2016, 2:24pm CDT, in News | Technology News

New Tool Corrects Distortions in Selfie
Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Taking a selfie could be fun but due to the camera's proximity, such photos may render your nose larger, ears smaller and forehead more sloping. A new tool developed by researchers at Princeton University can correct these distortions, and has the potential to bring an end to selfie stick.

The new photo-editing method can correct distortions in 'selfies,' photos taken at abnormally close range, and make them look more like conventional portraits.

"Although it is the age of the selfie, many people are unaware of how much these self-portraits do not really look like the person being photographed because the camera is way too close," said Ohad Fried, lead developer of the new method and a PhD candidate in the Department of Computer Science at Princeton University.

"Now that people can edit so many aspects of a photo right on their phones, we wanted to provide a quick way to edit faces that maintains realism," Fried noted in a university statement.

The method can modify a person's face to look as though it were photographed from farther away, like at the distances opted for by professional photographers.

The editing tool can also alter someone's apparent pose, as if the camera were placed higher, lower, or at an angle.

When superimposed, images adjusted in this manner can further be used to generate 3-D head shots.

Down the road, the researchers said, it may even be possible to make "live" photos that seem to move uncannily, like the portraits hanging in the Hogwarts School from the Harry Potter franchise.

The project is the first of its kind to address the fixing of self-portrait distortions owing to camera distance, the researchers said.

The researchers presented a paper describing the latest progress in the photo editing software technique at Association for Computing Machinery's SIGGRAPH 2016 conference in Anaheim, California.

The paper will also appear in a forthcoming issue of the journal ACM Transactions on Graphics.

"The selfies application is very fun, which could bring an end to the selfie stick!" Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman, Assistant Professor at the University of Washington who was not involved in the research, said.

Before potentially pursuing commercial development or release, the researchers want to first focus on honing their photo-editing tool.

"We still have a lot of research to do," Fried said.

"We are happy with what we achieved so far, but we look forward to learning how we can make these selfie transformations appear even more realistic," he noted.

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