PhotoSketch: better than sliced bread, Photoshop

This is quite possibly the coolest thing I've ever seen a computer do.What if you could draw some stick figures on a screen and somehow magically create a beautiful image montage?

This is quite possibly the coolest thing I've ever seen a computer do.

What if you could draw some stick figures on a screen and somehow magically create a beautiful image montage?

Well, it's possible.

A group of students in China have created PhotoSketch, a project that does exactly what I just described: it takes a rough, hand-drawn sketch, scours the web for photos that match, and runs them through an algorithm, stitching it all together. Watch this video presentation, you will not regret it:

Their abstract:

We present a system that composes a realistic picture from a simple freehand sketch annotated with text labels. The composed picture is generated by seamlessly stitching several photographs in agreement with the sketch and text labels; these are found by searching the Internet. Although online image search generates many inappropriate results, our system is able to automatically select suitable photographs to generate a high quality composition, using a filtering scheme to exclude undesirable images.

We also provide a novel image blending algorithm to allow seamless image composition. Each blending result is given a numeric score, allowing us to find an optimal combination of discovered images. Experimental results show the method is very successful; we also evaluate our system using the results from two user studies.

Here is a link to the source code for the project if you want to tinker with it.

Mind-blowing, right?

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