July 28, 2010

“Computational Rephotography” helps marry new & old

Remember the Historypin project I mentioned recently? Creating that kind of historical overlay is about to get easier.

“Computational rephotography,” says Wired, “is a fancy name for photos taken from the exact same viewpoint as an old photograph. Actually, that’s just rephotography. The ‘computational’ part is when software helps out.”

Adobe researcher Aseem Agarwala, together with MIT’s Frédo Durand and Soonmin Bae, are developing some interesting tech here:

 

According to New Scientist,

The team’s software runs on a laptop linked to a digital camera. The software compares the camera’s view to a preloaded historical scene and provides instructions to adjust the camera’s position and zoom to best match the scene.

The laptop is a temporary measure, however: “We envision the tool running directly on the camera,” the team says.

For more info, check out the project site and papers (including a 135 MB PDF!).  [Via Thorsten Wulff]

Posted by John Nack at 4:42 PM on July 28, 2010

Comments

  • Shai S — 12:11 AM on July 29, 2010

    This can be useful in so many ways besides Rephotographing historical photographs.
    commercial photography, time laps photography (where the time intervals are so long that you can’t leave the camera or grip gear on site)

  • Mark Greenmantle — 2:06 PM on July 29, 2010

    Great looking software, I work with living history reenactors annually (note – not larpers, historians) and would love to use this system to merge our archive images of the forts of the 1800s with their performances now.

  • George Reis — 8:04 AM on July 30, 2010

    This is quite interesting from a forensics standpoint John. We sometimes use a technique called reverse projection photogrammetry to determine the height of someone in a video, to analyze features of a vehicle, or to measure the size of a crack in the sidewalk, etc. We have an existing photo but no measurements, and return to the location and set up a camera with the exact same perspective. We do this by hand, and it can take some time to get the exact position – I look forward to learning more! Thanks for posting this.

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