Princeton researchers invented a tool that corrects distortions in “selfie” photographs, which often present a skewed sense of noses, foreheads and ears. Animated .gifs showing original and modified images are available at http://www.princeton.edu/engineering/news/archive/?id=16974
CREDIT: Image courtesy Ohad Fried/Princeton University
Ever taken a selfie? Around the world, people snap tens of millions of these self-portraits every day, usually with a mobile device held at arm’s length. For all their raging popularity, though, selfies can often be misrepresentative, even unflattering. Due to the camera’s proximity, selfies render subjects’ noses larger, ears smaller and foreheads more sloping.
To tackle this issue, as well as explore the basic science of digital photo manipulation, Princeton researchers have unveiled a new method for transforming individual selfies. 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.