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August 22, 2007

Seam carving and image resizing

This technique for image resizing (which appeared in SIGGRAPH 2007) is extremely cool. I particularly like the erasure feature - that could come in handy for removing former friends or ex-girlfriends from favorite photos. I predict it will also usher in a whole new era of crafty image manipulation for political reasons... politicos can just erase themselves from the incriminating photos!

In the paper (reference given below), the authors note that the seam carving method for removing (or adding) pixels performs poorly when there aren't many places with "low content" and describe an example with human faces. These sensitive areas can be protected (forcing the seams to avoid them), but there are limits as to how much carving can be done when there are a lot of places that you want to protect. All in all, an impressively clever approach to image resizing.

S. Avidan and A. Shamir, "Seam Carving for Content-Aware Image Resizing." SIGGRAPH (2007). [Warning: pdf is about 21MB in size; alternative source (via ACM).]

Update 1 February 2008: The New York Times is now (finally) running an article on popular versions of this technique, and its implications for photo art. (Tip to Jake)

posted August 22, 2007 08:45 AM in Computer Science | permalink