PhotoSketch

PhotoSketch is a computer programme that produces seamless composite photographs from stickmen-style freehand sketches

photosketch_0.jpg - PhotoSketch - 1800

Developed by five students from Tsinghua University in China and the National University of Singapore, PhotoSketch is a nifty online tool that allows you to create photomontages from simple stickmen-style sketches

The programme works with a simple tool palette on which you draw representations of an intended image, which are then tagged up by the user with keywords.

Using some neat technology explained in the demo video (see below), thousands of images are pulled in from Flickr, Google and Yahoo, from which 20-100 candidate images are produced. The most well-matched of these are processed (processing time is roughly 15 minutes for the items in the picture, plus a few minutes for the background), resulting in an almost seamless—lighting isn’t adjusted—composite picture.

PhotoSketch: Internet Image Montage from tao chen on Vimeo.

Unfortunately the splurge of interest in the programme has brought the university’s website to a stand-still (hopefully it will be up again soon), but the research paper detailing how PhotoSketch works is available to download.

The potential for producing quick storyboards without the need for any artistic talent is potentially boundless, although we’re not sure about the copyright implications of such a tool. The next question is, how long will it be before PhotoSketch’s talented creators turn their attention to video?

Originally posted on Mashable

  • http://2dforever.com Tom

    Oh well there goes my job.

    I joke, this seems like a great tool and would love to see some high quality examples of the final product. I wonder to what level of quality it cuts objects out.

  • http://www.blogs.vbpoutsourcing.com Tessa Carroll

    I actually think this PhotoSketch thing is great idea. Imagine the time you could save when putting together inspiration pieces for clients…”Here’s what I’m envisioning, how do you feel about it?” It’s basically a simple way of getting your ideas out quickly.

    I’m not advocating it taking anyone’s job, but PhotoSketch certainly has the ability to make those jobs slightly easier. As long as copyrights and trademarks are not being violated, it’s definitely a useful tool. Especially for creatives who don’t necessarily have the design chops.

    Tessa Carroll
    VBP OutSourcing
    http://www.blogs.vbpoutsourcing.com

  • James

    Sorry, am I the only one who thinks this is a hoax?!

  • S

    Has to be a hoax.

    (And if its not can you please make a version that will do all the rotoscoping I’m currently having to do?)

    Thanks

  • red

    sorry guys, aint a hoax, downloaded the binaries off a different site, uses openCV for edge recognition, works beautifully

  • http://www.timpestridge.co.uk Tim Photo

    Love the theory of this, and man, it could be one helluva useful tool to sell in photo shoot concepts to sceptical clients. Unless the concepts look better than my photographs! Downside? Probably only available on a PC ;-

  • http://www.oden.com Plunker

    very curious of the licensing issues. with even today’s standards and processes, there are a lot of grey areas that get caught under the gavel. it seems that photosketch would blur the lines even more unless there were pools of imagery that were created as “free” or “one time fees” that were used to source from…? i dunno…..

    also from the job angle, i would think that there would be another category possibly added to the photographer’s tool belt right next to RM and RF…

  • don goodman

    And do people really think they can steal photographs from the web without any comeback?

    Some pretty advanced software being developed right now to find any stolen photography posted on the net – sponsored by Getty

    If you use other peoples pictures you will eventually pay for it – and about 7 x the amount if you had simply licenced the image originally

  • http://www.mintsalad.com Rob MInter

    You’re right Don, we got slapped by Getty for using a thumbnail image on a website – £1500!!!!
    The software couldn’t work on that basis, even if photos are up on Flikr or wherever it doesn’t give others the right to use them.

  • Mike Bradley

    Given the copyright issues I imagine this will be used mainly in China lol (assuming it is for real which I hope it is).

  • http://www.macneill.co.uk Brendan MacNeill

    So now you present an idea to a client and they say “yes! I’ll have it exactly like that”. Chains and straightjacket anyone?

  • http://www.dj-photo.com Darrin Jenkins

    My photography career started in the days when computers were not used by designers or photographers. The visuals were often Magic Marker sketches on Layout paper, this gave far more creative freedom to both designer and photographer, without the constraints of having to match an existing photo.
    I much prefer a hand drawn sketch to a photo vis for this very reason. If we continually make ‘new’ images out of the existing photography we will rarely, if ever, reach new creative ground.

  • http://www.quarryfoldstudio.com David

    Yep things have gone full circle for us, rendering 3D models and translating back into hand drawn sketches. Suppose your average designer will begin the project by building composites or prototypes with the goal of creating the pretty picture. There’s nothing wrong with attractiveness, getting the look the client wants, but hey this is just another tool set. No substitute for content, so why not if it’s for real, there’s hopefully always a call for the pen…however, don’t forget content.

  • Sandra

    this is very cool. can we trial it on this page?
    sorry i may just have link blindness like when you are looking for a marmite jar in the pantry.

  • http://creativereview.co.uk Neil

    @Sandra. No you can’t trial it from here unfortunately. You can download the paper that shows how it works from the post above though.

  • http://creativereview.co.uk Neil

    Hi, Sandra. No you can’t trial it from here unfortunately. You can download the paper that shows how it works from the post above though.

  • http://www.paydayfinancial.co.uk/ john

    This is an incredible tool but I also wonder how the copyright will work on this. If it pulls images from Google, Flickr or Yahoo it means it will user other peoples photos and at some point I am pretty sure it will become a problem. On the other hand, if you use it to search through your own photos it is a very useful tool, but the chances of finding a suitable photo are also limited, but this depends on how many photos you have.

  • http://www.oyunyolu.net oyunlar

    this is very cool. can we trial it on this page?

  • http://www.kelebeknakliye.com evden eve nakliyat

    this is very cool. can we trial it on this page?
    sorry i may just have link blindness like when you are looking for a marmite jar in the pantry.

  • http://www.webdesign-gm.co.uk Oliver Bristol

    This looks like an amazing tool. It’s a shame that many of the decent photographs are licensed so would be impossible to use without being fined, unless you have accounts with all the stock photo sites. I would really like to see a trial and see what the results would be like.

  • http://www.medyumburak.com Medyumlar

    this is very cool. can we trial it on this page?

  • http://www.dekorlar.net dekorasyon

    this is very cool. can we trial it on this page?
    sorry i may just have link blindness like when you are looking for a marmite jar in the pantry.

  • http://www.esenyurtguncel.com esenyurt

    Love the theory of this, and man, it could be one helluva useful tool to sell in photo shoot concepts to sceptical clients. Unless the concepts look better than my photographs! Downside? Probably only available on a PC ;-

  • http://www.medyum.gen.tr medyum

    this is very cool. can we trial it on this page?
    sorry i may just have link blindness like when you are looking for a marmite jar in the pantry.

  • http://www.astroanaliz.com/ astroloji

    This looks like an amazing tool. It’s a shame that many of the decent photographs are licensed so would be impossible to use without being fined, unless you have accounts with all the stock photo sites. I would really like to see a trial and see what the results would be like.