May 31, 2012

New Adobe tech for making cinemagraphs

You know cinemagraphs, “still photographs in which a minor and repeated movement occurs”?  They can be extremely cool, but creating them is tricky.

Now Adobe researcher Aseem Agarwala & colleagues at UC Berkeley have devised “a semi-automated technique for selectively de- animating video to remove the large-scale motions of one or more objects so that other motions are easier to see.” It’s easier seen than described:

From the project site:

The user draws strokes to indicate the regions of the video that should be immobilized, and our algorithm warps the video to remove the large-scale motion of these regions while leaving finer-scale, relative motions intact. However, such warps may introduce unnatural motions in previously motionless areas, such as background regions. We therefore use a graph-cut-based optimization to composite the warped video regions with still frames from the input video; we also optionally loop the output in a seamless manner.

Our technique enables a number of applications such as clearer motion visualization, simpler creation of artistic cinemagraphs (photos that include looping motions in some regions), and new ways to edit appearance and complicated motion paths in video by manipulating a de-animated representation. We demonstrate the success of our technique with a number of motion visualizations, cinemagraphs and video editing examples created from a variety of short input videos, as well as visual and numerical comparison to previous techniques.

Posted by John Nack at 8:42 AM on May 31, 2012


  • Nate — 10:24 AM on May 31, 2012

    So *that’s* how those strange NFL football player headshots are made.

  • Lars — 7:50 AM on June 01, 2012

    Wow, Give me the alpha prototype and i’ll make a music video utilizing the tech. Looking forward if it someday makes it into After Effects.

  • Stormchild — 3:00 PM on June 01, 2012

    Cool idea. I can imagine a bunch of obvious ways it in which this would be useful, but I bet it will also be used creatively to achieve some really interesting and unexpected effects.

  • Cinemagraphs — 5:46 PM on August 04, 2012

    Awesome video, thanks!

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