Image manipulations

Fred and Borris both recently blogged about intelligent image resizing. This previously came up about a year ago, probably when this research video started making the rounds:

It’s cool stuff, although I’m a little doubtful about it working well for general web content. It would be a fun experiment, though!

Also in the news today is this New York Times article (via Neatorama) about an automatic “beautification engine” that modifies images to make the people in them look better.

Would that be interesting in browsers? I suppose some people would find in interesting in some cases (*cough*porn*cough*), but it’s a little scary and creepy to think about the kinds of social and psychological effects that would arise from subtly applying such an algorithm everywhere. (Consider a similar vein: automatically rewriting web pages more cheerful. A news article about panic selling on Wall Street suddenly becomes a doubleplus good story about the great weather, buying opportunities, and fluffy kittens!)

4 thoughts on “Image manipulations”

  1. I guess such image manipulations such as those always may have some advantages but of course also lots of disadvantages and they may offer opportunities to people who will misuse them.

  2. Yeah, I didn’t mean to imply we should add a “beautification engine” to Firefox (though that would make the daily news more bearable ;)) but still I think content-aware resizing may be helpful for images stretched out of their aspect ratio, or for the page zoom feature. Then again, the algorithmic complexity could introduce an unacceptable delay at rendering the page. At least in the GIMP, using this is quite slow.

  3. I’m not sure which picture is supposed to be the “more beautiful” – oh the irony. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, this may turn out to be an uglification engine to many of us.


  4. The intelligent resizing looks awesome, however, part of the natural beauty of bigger photographs is in the expanse they portray and is lost with the resizing, although the algorithms they are looking at with the paths least resistant is fantastic.

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