Infrastructure // PC & Servers
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10/18/2011
03:55 PM
Larry Seltzer
Larry Seltzer
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Adobe Previews Stunning Deblurring Tool For Photoshop

The next version of the industry-standard photo editing package might attain the holy grail of photo processing: Instantly turning bad pictures into good ones.

Adobe Photoshop has always had stunning effects and over time they just get better. What Adobe is showing now is beyond stunning. It has to be either magic or a scam. It can't be real, can it?

It was revealed at the Adobe MAX 2011 show earlier this month in LA. The gentlemen in the video below are Greg DeMichillie, senior director, product management at Adobe; actor Rainn Wilson (Dwight in "The Office"); and, performing the demo, Adobe senior research scientist Jue Wang.

Before I go on, here is the demo itself:

(Click here to see this demo at adobe.com.)

In the demo Photoshop takes several blurry pictures and makes them sharp. This deblurring prototype goes way beyond Photoshop's old Sharpen filter; I echoed several in the audience who said that it couldn't be real. The demo had to be faked. How could they do such a thing?

Wang's brief explanation is that the software determines the motion and trajectory of the camera while the shutter was open which, of course, is what causes blur. Presumably it then adjusts the pixels in the photo to undo that motion.

The first demo of a crowd scene is impressive enough, but the second one is even cooler. The picture is of a poster containing text. After deblurring, the text becomes readable. It's magic.

I'm speechless. What's next? Can they get your kids to smile in old family photos?

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