Posts Tagged ‘Creates’

Photographer Dad creates epic Star Wars Christmas card for his family

07 Dec

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Photographer Josh Rossi is no stranger to creating epic photography for and of his family. His portraits of his daughter as Wonder Woman swept across the Internet like wildfire, and he’s continued doing amazing work, including this touching series where he transformed disabled kids into Justice League superheroes.

So why did he let some run-of-the-mill “family photographer” take last year’s Christmas pictures for him!?

He didn’t know either. In fact, he felt deeply ashamed by this lapse in judgement, and so he set to work creating something amazing to redeem himself this Holiday season. Cue Star Wars theme.

“I’m a huge Star Wars fan, and my wife has been asking me to do some pictures of us so I went all out this year for our family photos,” Rossi tells DPReview. And by all-out, he means he recreated the Star Wars: The Last Jedi posters featuring himself, his wife, and their two children instead of the lead actors.

“I had such a fun time doing this with my family,” he told us, “especially with my 1 year old.”

Rossi sent over a few behind the scenes images for us (below) and you can see the final shots in the gallery at the top.

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To see more of Rossi’s work, or if you just want to say hello and kudos for another really creative and well-executed project, head over to his website or give him a follow on Instagram and Facebook.

All photographs by Josh Rossi and used with permission.

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AI-based upsampling tech creates high-res versions of low-res images

01 Nov

Upsampling image and video files usually leads to pixelation and soft textures, simply because algorithms are not capable of replacing non-existing image detail. But scientists at the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Germany have come up with a clever solution that is capable of producing better results than anything we’ve seen so far.

The team has developed a tool called EnhanceNet-PAT, which is capable of creating high-definition versions of low-resolution images, using artificial intelligence. It’s not the first attempt at solving the super-resolution task but the approach is a new one.

Talking to Digital Trends, Mehdi M.S. Sajjadi, a member of the research team said

“Before this work, even the state of the art has been producing very blurry images, especially at textured regions. The reason for this is that they asked their neural networks the impossible – to reconstruct the original image with pixel-perfect accuracy. Since this is impossible, the neural networks produce blurry results. We take a different approach by instead asking the neural network to produce realistic textures. To do this, the neural network takes a look at the whole image, detects regions, and uses this semantic information to produce realistic textures and sharper images.”

To train the technology, large image libraries were fed into the AI-based system to accumulate knowledge of textures. The neural network is then given the task of upsampling previously downsized images. Finally, the research team compares the results to the original high-resolution image and modifies the algorithm to correct for errors or inconsistencies—this way, the algorithm keeps improving and after some time can work without any human help.

According to the team, photographic applications for the network include upsampling old movies to 4K resolution or restoring old photographs. However, the system could also be used to enhance object detection, for example in image search or mobility applications, such as self-driving cars. It seems that cheesy “Enhance!” trope from CSI is about to become reality…

To learn more about this technology, check out the full research paper here.

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DIYer creates ‘Polaroid’ camera that ‘prints’ instant animated GIFs

01 Sep

It sounds like Harry Potter magic, but it’s not. Industrious DIYer Abhishek Singh recently took to Reddit to show off his own version of an instant camera, one that ‘prints’ animated GIFs instead of photos. Singh built the Instagif Camera himself and based it on the Polaroid OneStep SX-70 camera, though it uses a special hardware cartridge rather than a packet of film.

Singh detailed the entire build process in an album on Imgur, explaining that it features a Raspberry Pi 3 (camera) and Raspberry Pi Zero W (cartridge), PiTFT display, PowerBoost 1000C charger, momentary switch, and LiPo battery… among other things. After designing a 3D model of the camera, the individual components were 3D printed with a Project 7000 SLA printer, painted, and assembled.

The GIF, as demonstrated in the video above, fades into view in a way similar to a Polaroid photo, and the cartridge connects to the camera itself directly, no external WiFi network necessary. Singh has provided the software, a parts list, and instructions for anyone to download and build their own Instagif Camera. All the links are available in the Imgur album and the code is available in GitHub.

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VAST photography collective creates ‘highest resolution fine art photographs ever made’

02 Aug

A group of photographers are working together to take gigapixel photography to the next level, and they’re doing it under a collective called VAST. Founded by photographer and software engineer Dan Piech, the VAST collective combines artistic skills with technical skills to produce high-quality, Fine Art gigapixel photographs.

Unlike typical gigapixel photography, these images feature scenes that are difficult to produce in massively high resolutions, such as photos taken around sunrise and sunset.

Talking about the collective and the work they do, founder Piech said, “We’ve developed a number of new techniques for doing some pretty amazing things that allow us to have the best of both worlds: resolution + aesthetics.”

Whereas common panoramas may involve only a few photos stitched together, these gigapixel photos require creators to assemble hundreds of images, the end result being an incredibly detailed, sharp photo for large printed pieces.

Huge amounts of time and work go into creating gigapixel shots, but the process doesn’t necessarily require expensive rigs.

As explained in a blog post by Ben Pitt, this 7 gigapixel photo of San Francisco was taken using “a normal tripod and an inexpensive ultra-zoom camera [the Panasonic FZ200].” That particular gigapixel photo is composed from 1,229 images captured across 16 rows, each with about 75 images. The shooting alone took more than an hour.

Stitching the images was, in the case of the San Francisco photograph, performed over the course of many hours using the automated and free Windows application ICE, though alternatives are available like GigaPan Stitch and PTgui. Photoshop was tapped for post-processing, used to patch in content from the original images when necessary, among other things. The resulting Photoshop files can be many gigabytes in size.

You can find out more about VAST’s own technique here.

VAST offers prints of these photographs, as well as others spanning categories like Abstract, Cityscapes and B&W. Price depends on the image and size—one example, the ‘Requiem for 2016’ image of New York City shown above, starts at $ 2,745 for a 60 x 21″ print of the 6,410 megapixel image. The full gallery of available prints can be viewed here.

Note: A previous version of this post mistakenly identified Ben Pitt as a VAST photographer. That is not the case.

All photographs courtesy of VAST, and used with permission.

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Trippy Transformations: Makeup Artist Creates Unreal 3D Illusions

26 May

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

Makeup artist Mimi Choy slices, disjoints, stretches, blurs and otherwise radically transforms her own face in stunningly realistic optical illusions using nothing but makeup. No templates, prosthetics or Photoshop go into the creation of her surreal photos – she freehand them all, often using standard cosmetics from brands like MakeupForever and Kryolan theater makeup. The Vancouver, Canada-based artist shows off her trippy looks on Instagram alongside her more standard everyday makeup looks.

Mostly using herself as a canvas for her optical illusions, Mimi says, “To be honest, I never thought anybody would be interested in following my bizarre late-night creations a few years ago because it wasn’t ‘on trend.’ But I continued because illusion art is challenging and I like having to push limits each time. Later on, I realized it’s not about creating looks that are ‘popular’ or would guarantee likes/follows, it’s about creating our own trend and breaking barriers.”

Mimi says she rarely even has a specific plan in mind when she starts painting – she just goes for it, and allows the result to come about spontaneously. Check out her Instagram @mimles for lots more wild and intricate makeup creations.

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[ By SA Rogers in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

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Google Guetzli is an open source JPEG encoder that creates 35% smaller files

18 Mar
20×24 pixel zoomed areas from a picture of a cat’s eye. Uncompressed original on the left. Guetzli (on the right) shows less ringing artefacts than libjpeg (middle) without requiring a larger file size. Image and caption via Google 

Google has announced the open source release of Guetzli, a new JPEG encoder able to reduce a JPEG’s file size by up to 35%, without any significant loss of quality. Per a study detailing the algorithm, Guetzli ‘aims to produce visually indistinguishable images at a lower bit-rate than other common JPEG encoders,’ including libjpeg. However, the study goes on to caution that the compression tool is ‘currently extremely slow.’

Google announced the new encoder on Thursday, detailing it as a proof-of-concept that can be freely used by webmasters and others to reduce the size of JPEG image files. The algorithm merges ‘advanced psychovisual models with lossy compression techniques,’ according to the study, to produce high-quality compressed images. It’s a different approach than that taken by other Google projects we’ve looked at recently like RAISR. Google expresses a desire to see future compression research that is inspired by Guetzli’s own psychovisual underpinnings.

Though Google largely details Guetzli’s benefits as they pertain to webmasters (namely faster Web page loading), the algorithm is available for anyone to download and use via Github. Instructions for setting up and using the tool are provided on the Github page for multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS and Linux.

Via: Google Blog

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Branco Ottico creates world’s biggest contact print at 24 square meters

26 Jul

Do you lie awake at night wondering how big the world’s largest contact print is? Wonder no more. It turns out Branco Ottico, an Italian photography group, created the largest contact print in the world during Phototrace Florence in September 2015. The project involved a 24 square meter (about 258 square feet) photo negative stitched onto an equally large sheet of canvas, and enlisted the help of strangers who placed their hands on the print for the nearly 13-minute exposure.

Their efforts resulted in a successful – and massive – cyanotype print. According to the group’s website, the print now holds a Guinness World Record. The whole process has been documented in the newly published video below. Additional photos of the project are available on the group’s Instagram.

Via: PetaPixel

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Bentley creates a 53 billion pixel car commercial

21 Jul
There’s a car in this picture somewhere – zooming in to the full 53 billion pixel image allows you to find it.

As part of its latest marketing campaign, car manufacturer Bentley has created a 53 billion pixel image, made up of more than 700 individual photographs. The extreme resolution allows viewers to zoom so far into the picture (above) that the needlework of Bentley’s logo on the seat cover of a car passing over the bridge can be seen – from 700 meters / 2297 feet away.

When the whole image is viewed it isn’t obvious there’s a car in the frame at all, as the panorama shows the whole 1.2 mile span of the bridge and a good length of coastline as well, but as the zoom function is activated the image magnifies dramatically.

The picture, which Bentley is calling the world’s most extraordinary car photograph, was shot by British photographer Simon Stock, using several Nikon D810 cameras fitted with lenses of between 300mm and 1500mm. The cameras were mounted on robotic heads that scanned the area in steps shooting a series of high-resolution long-lens pictures that were stitched together in post-production to create the final image.

Simon explained some of the process to DPR:

‘The challenge was to create an image in which the viewer could experience the journey from an epic wide panorama of the Golden Gate Bridge and zoom through the image to the intricate stitching on the car’s seat in order to highlight the craftsmanship and obsessive attention to detail that makes Bentley cars so unique.

To capture the giga-pixel image we used multiple robotic heads based on the NASA technology developed for photographing the surface of Mars. This breaks down the overall view into a large number of individual captures which we then stitch together to create the final image.’

‘I spent quite a bit of time testing all the various systems, cameras and lens combinations to get to the final result as no one had attempted this level of zoom before. One of the main issues working this way is that you can’t see the final result until you’re back in the studio and have stitched all the images together. This makes the testing quite a lengthy process.

The final image was made up of approximately. 700 hi-res images and ended up at 53 billion pixels in size. To give you an idea of scale, if this image was printed it would be the size of a football pitch.’

‘The time it took to capture the entire image varied between 2 and 4 hours depending on the focal length of the lens being used – the longer the focal length the more captures were required to make up the final wide view.

One unforeseen problem was the fact the Golden Gate Bridge can move up to 26ft in either direction when it is windy ! This made stitching the captures together quite complicated.

Mustard Post, who worked on the post-production, had to find new ways of working on such a large image as no one had tried to retouch on this scale before.

The post-production on such a large image was a real challenge because just opening and saving the file could take a couple of hours, even though we were using the most powerful Apple Mac Pro available.’

To see the full, zoomable image, visit the Bentley Motors website. The Bentley Mulsanne Extended Wheel Base that features in the picture starts at £275,000/$ 400,900.

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Dyslexic Designer Creates Custom Typeface Addressing Disorder

21 Jan

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Graphics & Branding. ]

dyslexic typeface

Designed to address the visual processing problems associated with dyslexia, this font uses a set of tailored strategies to make reading easier for those with the disability.

dyslexie bold letters bottoms

Christian Boer developed Dyslexie from first-hand knowledge of its effects. “When they’re reading, people with dyslexia often unconsciously switch, rotate and mirror letters in their minds,” he explains.

dyslexie regular design lines

“Traditional typefaces make this worse, because they base some letter designs on others, inadvertently creating ‘twin letters’ for people with dyslexia.”

dyslexie mirroring dislexic address

dyslexic p b q

For simplicity, clarity and consistency, most typefaces involve numerous mirrored letters, such as an ‘m’ that is a doubled ‘n’ which in turn is an upside-down ‘u’, or ‘b’ flipped to become ‘p’s and ‘q’s.

dyslexie design principles

To address this, Boer thickened the bottom portions of letters, making it more clear which end is up and creating clearer distinctions between different characters in the process. Larger spaces and punctuation are also made to make everything more legible.

dyslexie design strategy

“By changing the shape of the characters so that each is distinctly unique, the letters will no longer match one another when rotated, flipped or mirrored,” Boer said. “Bolder capitals and punctuation will ensure that users don’t accidentally read into the beginning of the next sentence.”

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[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Graphics & Branding. ]

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Instagram’s Boomerang app creates animated-GIF-like video loops

23 Oct

Following the success of last year’s excellent Hyperlapse app for creating smoothly stabilized time-lapse videos, Instagram has today launched its second ‘special feature app’. Boomerang captures a burst of still images over one second and combines them into a video that plays backwards and forwards continuously, resembling something not unlike an animated GIF. Read more

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